Visiting church members have a ‘brilliant’ time in Oamaru

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Singing, sharing food and giving gifts made the visit from members of the Presbyterian Churches of Taiwan and Korea a special day, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Reverend Rose Luxford says.

On Saturday, a group of young people from overseas visited St Paul’s to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first sermon in New Zealand and the 150th anniversary of the first Chinese goldminers arriving in Otago.

“It was a good get-together,” Rev Luxford said.

“We enjoyed meeting them all.”

Singing and discussions about the guests’ culture marked the day, she said.

“After we had the lunch together . . . we went into the church and spoke about what they did at home.”

The guests then sang to the church and exchanged gifts.

Reverend Dr Stuart Vogel, the executive secretary of the Asian Council of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, said the visit had been “brilliant” for everyone.

“We had a really good time,” he said.

“One of the interesting things for our group was having a true blue Kiwi welcome.”

The group had loved Oamaru and enjoyed exploring the Victorian Precinct.

The singing, presentations and gift-giving made the day unique and memorable, he said.

“They really felt that Oamaru was kind of the original New Zealand.”

By DAVID DE LOREAN