The Sudden Closure of Our Lady of the Assumption Church Hoon Hay

by Fr Peter Head SM - Parish Priest

17 September 2023

On returning to the Catholic Parish of Christchurch South from the priests assembly in Hanmer Springs at the beginning of June, I received a letter from the Christchurch City Council. In referring to our church at Hoon Hay, part of this letter stated “This building is earthquake-prone. It has been assessed at less than 34% of the New Building Standard (NBS) and will be at risk during a moderate earthquake. If the building or a section of it collapses, it will likely result in injury or death to persons in or near the building.” 

The safety of the parishioners and the staff and pupils of Our Lady of the Assumption school left no other option but to close the church. After the 9.00am Mass on Sunday 18 June, the parishioners were informed of the closure of the church. This news was a shock to all in our parish, but especially to the parishioners of Hoon Hay, who have attended this church since it opened on 25 November 1956.

Several meetings have since been held with the parishioners of Hoon Hay to determine what their future will be with regard to where they go to Mass in the parish. At present, they have the options of two Vigil Masses on a Saturday night and they have the options of four Masses on a Sunday morning in Sacred Heart Church, Addington, Sts Peter and Paul Halswell, the Carmelite Monastery, and St Peter's Beckenham. The possibility of having another Mass at 9.00am on a Sunday will also be considered. All the items in the church will remain there in the meantime, and we will look at having a gathering of the Hoon Hay parishioners at some stage in the future, to recognise the closing of the church.

OLA Church 2023