The future of St Stephen’s church hall – home of Tamahere Market day morning teas and the Christmas Festival – is up for debate.
The hall, also used for weekly Tots and Tunes classes, quiz nights, wedding breakfasts and funeral wakes, is a candidate for either renovation or replacement, says church official Jane Manson.
“It will be a big project either way, so as a Church we have to consult the parish and work through all options,” Manson said.
The Waikato Diocese would have the final say as it owned the property, she said adding that discussions were in their early stages.
“I’m sure nothing too major will happen till late in the year, if not next year.”
The hall came to the site in two stages several decades ago with the first part – the flatter roof section – moved from Leamington to provide for what was then a sizeable mid-week Christian school for up to 80 children known as the Wednesday School.
The high ceiling part of the hall, made of Totara, was donated by Warwick Johnson, whose Johnson House Removal company premises formerly adjoined the church grounds.
At its recent annual meeting, the church community heard that the building was structurally sound and discussed how it might be used in the future.
Manson pointed out that the almost completed Te Awa Cycleway, which is likely to see up to 2000 cyclists a week pass close by the hall, might spark new uses for the hall.
“We need to think outside the square and consider the needs of the community,” she said.
Church officials are planning to continue to consult on the hall’s future and have invited local’s input.