Church Name: Our Lady of the Way

A state school bought 1952, and windows & altar removed from abandoned Waimea Church were installed.It was opened in 1953, closed  in 1997.

The Kumara Parish History says:   “Fr Joe Leonard stayed in Kumara until February 1955 during which time much was accomplished. His biggest accomplishment was the building of the Church of Our Lady of the Way at Turiwhate. Fr Joe had the happy knack of getting the right men for the right job. He fossicked out the late Bill Hutchison (Brick) to be head man at the building of the Turiwhate church; he could not have picked on a more thorough or conscientious man and without Brick there would have been no church.

“Getting supplies of materials was no problem for Father. If you had them, he just took them, it was nothing for him to arrive at your house at any hour of the night seeking goods and chattels for a given job; if you could not help you just made Father a couple of onion sandwiches and on to the next hope he went.”

The church was known colloquially and somewhat irreverentally as the Church of the Good Thief because of the way materials were sourced, also, owing to its situation surrounded by bush, it was called by some the Church of the Twelve Opossums.


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