About New Brighton Union Parish
New Brighton Union Church is a small, vibrant community-engaged church in the seaside village of New Brighton, on the eastern edge of Christchurch. We seek to continually evolve and present a contemporary, progressive face to Christian spirituality and practice that is transformational in society. We also are committed to being bearers of hope in times where locally and internationally things often seem overwhelmingly impossible.
Our roots in the New Brighton community run deep. They extend back as far as 1874 when a house church began in someone’s home. The first building on our current site doubled for a few years as the first school in New Brighton.
Our “union” involved the confluence of two denominational streams – Methodist and Presbyterian – and four tributary congregations in New Brighton and South New Brighton in the 1970’s.
The legacy of former parish buildings lives on serving the wider community in a variety of ways. The old St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church in Hardy Street is now the New Brighton Museum. What was the South New Brighton church in Bridge Street is being transformed into The Bridge community centre.
The earthquakes of 2010-11 have shaped and assisted our evolution in multiple ways.
- Some members had to move away because of damaged houses, or because they were red-zoned. Nearly eight years later we have gained new people from another eastern parish, Wainoni Methodist, that was red-zoned and has recently closed.
- Our main worship building – at the time 98 years old – sustained increasing damage and was eventually condemned and demolished. This loss led to a new building programme. In February 2018 we opened our wonderful new building complex.
- Immediately following the most destructive earthquake in February 2011 we needed to respond to the needs of people around us in our local community. In doing this we developed a strong hospitality ministry that has become core to our understanding of church. In our new building complex, we have a hospitality room that is the centre of much of what we do.
- We have learnt how essential collaboration is to building community and spiritually-based transformational work. We have actively built closer relationships with other churches and community groups. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with two other eastern parishes that enable us to work collaboratively around new community initiatives.
- We have developed a far greater appreciation for the importance of the transitional and experimental. We have learnt that nothing lasts forever and an organic, evolutionary approach to everything is healthy.
About Our Minister
Mark Gibson has been the part-time co-ordinating minister at New Brighton Union for eight years.
Our Mission & Values
We are called by Jesus to be a community that is a life-giving presence in the community, and to be a faith community that celebrates inclusivity, and openness to all flavours of spirituality.
Our Facilities & Services
New Brighton Union has a number of facilities, spaces and services available for the community.