15 Jun 2011

A Pacific congregation in Christchurch resilient despite aftershocks

3:47 pm on 15 June 2011

A Pacific church leader in Christchurch says his congregation has shown resilience and courage in coping with the city's ongoing aftershocks.

St Pauls Trinity Church is located in the inner city's red zone, which was devastated by February's earthquake and suffered further damage in Monday's aftershocks.

Reverend Lapana Faletolu says 90 percent of his congregation are Pacific people, but luckily none of them seem to have been made homeless or suffered much damage.

He says he had applied to the council to rebuild the old church that was showing its age, before a fire damaged the building and the ongoing quakes ruined the church beyond repair.

"The church is no longer there, it has been demolished and people are still in good spirits. They are accepting the fact that we need to move on. And we are looking forward to how we are going to rebuild it and how we are going to look into the site, whether it's still safe there or safe somewhere else."

Reverened Lapana Faletolu says despite the setbacks and their relocation to different premises, about 200 families remain church members.