A monthly children and family’s service used the forest last month for a ‘caring for creation’ theme.   by Richard Johnson

St Luke’s - the chapel in the bush

In the last year, the bush surrounding the little Anglican church of St Luke has been transformed from a weed infested eye-sore, in a community restoration project.

Dot Muir, warden of the church, said that for some time neighbours around the church had been quietly working in the bush to clear weeds, and this ramped up last year to include members of the congregation.

Aaron and Francis Douglas and Dot Muir, from St Luke’s — Image by: Richard Johnston

"We had a vision of creating a chapel in the bush, but first we had to do a lot of work around the church and in the bush, ” said Dot. Weeds were cleared, exotic and invasive trees, including willows and sycamores, were removed, and natives planted. A parking area behind the church was cleared and spread with dunnite. A large cleared area in the bush was covered with wood chip to form a space
which can be used for play groups or outdoor meetings. 

Family Service at Otatara, 20 February 2022 — Image by: Anne van Gend

This is an ongoing project, says Dot, who expressed the congregation’s deep appreciation to the wider Otatara community for so much assistance, including time, energy, plants, woodchip, and machinery.

This article was originally printed in the Pigeon Post, a local community newsletter edited by Rev'd Richard Johnson (attached below).