Bums on pews, a tall order
March 13, 2019
The Khandallah village Presbyterian Church has attempted to attract new and younger members with investment in audio visual equipment or its annual Shrove Tuesday event.
Shrove Tuesday, a community outreach, was promoted through social media website Neighbourly and signage in the Khandallah community.
Parish administrator Bron Edwards-Pattinson said 40 people attended Shrove Tuesday last year, at which there were free pancakes, and pancake shooting with a foam bullet dispensing toy Nerf gun.
Edwards-Pattinson said also in previous years the Khandallah village pharmacy and physiotherapy clinic had attended.
However, Lisa, store manager at the Khandallah Village Pharmacy said “in the 11 years I’ve worked here I have never attended.” She was “unaware that it was on next Tuesday.” The Pharmacy may not have been as involved as it would like to have been in the past.
The Khandallah village physiotherapy clinic had similar views. Office Manager, Ruth saidthe church hadn’t done a good enough job of promoting Shrove Tuesday. “We don’t know about it.”
Edwards-Pattinson said the church had installed a wall-mounted big screen TV and Bose speakers with the aim of attracting “younger folk” to the church.
A group of basketball singlet clad young men sat outside Parson’s Café next to the church weren’t so sure they would be lured into the church by the promise of scripture rolling down a big-screen TV and church songs played through Bose speakers.
Tyrone (20) said “TV is old school. I’m always on my phone watching stuff.”
His friend Toro (28) said “Nah. Food might work. Food’s like love. Maybe they do steak sandwiches though, because I can get a sausage sizzle at Bunning’s on the weekend.”
Across the road from the church in the Countdown carpark drainlayer, Ben (17) said he attended a Mormon church across town. His church did not have a TV or speakers. Another Drainlayer, James (24) said he didn’t go to church and didn’t feel an audio visual system would get him in to one.
Edwards-Pattinson said “people have less time these days”.
Holiday maker from the UK, Rob (32), said he was staying in Kandallah because of connections he made through Wellington’s Arise church. “I already go to church,” Rob said. “I’m definitely time poor. But it’s about priorities.”
Up until recently the church had a choir. However most of the group became too old to keep it going.
Parish Minister Ryhan Prasad was unavailable for comment.