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Chapel of Faith in the Oaks

Media Release
19 April 2006

Chapel of Faith in the Oaks

Faith will pay off for believers in one of Waitakere City’s heritage buildings when the Chapel of Faith in the Oaks gets a much-needed extreme makeover.

The chapel at Waikumete Cemetery was built in 1886 and used for church services until 1926, when it fell into disuse and eventually became a repository for ashes from the old crematorium.

Chair of the Finance and Operational Committee, Councillor Janet Clews, says Auckland City Council owned and operated the cemetery back then and intended demolishing the chapel.

“Thankfully, it was saved by a dedicated group of Waitakere locals, led by Judith Creegen (formerly Long) back in the late 1970s. It took years of hard work to restore the chapel to use before it was re-dedicated and re-opened in 1986, 100 years after it began its life as the mortuary chapel,” says Cr Clews.

The cemetery transferred to Waitemata City in April 1989, just before amalgamation to form Waitakere City the following October.

Now the chapel, listed a Category 1 Heritage Building by Waitakere City and Category II by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, is in for a make over - from the bottom up.

“It has no firm foundations and is in need of some serious structural work to protect it from the cracking and powdery surface crusting that will cause deterioration if left unchecked,” says Cr Clews.

The council has worked with the Waikumete Restoration Trust to secure funding for work that includes repairing and stabilising the building. Work is expected to start in September 2007 at an estimated cost of $270,000.

Cr Clews says the chapel is an important part of the historical and social fabric of both the cemetery and the Glen Eden area, and is closely linked with the Glen Eden Heritage Station which was moved and restored in 2001.


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