Table of people chatting after a meal. Other people talking in the background.

A fitting celebration

At a celebration on 2 July 2022, around 90 people farewelled The Community of St Aidans, (Northcote) and St Andrews Presbyterian Church (Birkenhead), remembering also the former St Philips church in Birkdale. We acknowledged the formation of the Onewa Christian Community last year. The gathering included ministers who served in the former parishes and their family members, presbytery members, congregation members past and current, the families of supporters and donors, and community representatives.

In 2021, after decisive votes by both the St Andrews and St Aidans congregations, Northern Presbytery gave its full support to dissolving the former parishes and the creation of the new one.

The more usual way of congregations celebrating a transition could not be followed in 2021 because of the circumstances around COVID-19. The congregations seamlessly transitioned on Zoom and then into worship and meeting in person when that became possible.


Speakers included Shanan Halbert MP, Councillor Richard Hills and congregation members. Councillor Chris Darby and Kaipātiki Local Board deputy chair Danielle Grant also attended. Alexa Johnston read Psalm 100 and congregation members offered prayers of thanksgiving.

With reference to the season of Matariki, speakers acknowledged the long legacy of service by the former parishes in Northcote, Birkenhead, Birkdale, Beach Haven and Glenfield. Highlights were innovative community programmes and brave witness and ministry that took a stand on issues of social justice. Concluding words from Rev. Colin Gordon were a call to renewed action in the days ahead. Rev. Ron Lau’ese then led the entire gathering in grace to give thanks for kai.

Watch speeches and prayers from the celebration event
Table of people chatting after the celebration meal. Other people talking in the background.
Celebration event, 2 July 2022
People in the church hall, seated and standing at the celebration.
Rev. Ron Lau’ese chats with congregation members; Cr Richard Hills is in the background