Te Waiora - history - "His Story!"
"It has been well said that unless someone responds to an idea or vision and takes the responsibility to make it live, then no matter how potentially brilliant or helpful it may have been, it will die."
The Te Waiora Christian Centre was founded as a direct result of a Christchurch woman's response to a vision. Patricia Entwistle and her husband, Stewart, were working with the Church Missionary Society in Pakistan when Patricia contracted the disease, brucellosis. Because of her continuing illness the Entwistles had to return to New Zealand in 1983, where Patricia was to remain unwell for over two years. During this period she felt the need for time to reassess herself emotionally and spiritually, as well as giving the teenage family and her husband a break from the pressure of her prolonged ill health.

Patricia Entwistle also realised that if she was feeling this way there must be many others, women and men, who would need "time out” to be restored physically, mentally and spiritually. Her first thought was to establish a Christian Guest House, but it was while she was at Titoki Healing Centre in the North Island of New Zealand and after discussion with the Chaplain, the Rev. Don Ferguson, that her vision was affirmed of a centre and community where there was a ministry to the whole person.

On her return home Patricia was led of the Lord to share her vision with Mrs. Gladys Childs, Dr. David Troughton and Miss Elizabeth Smith. Following these discussions and a meeting with the then Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt. Rev. Maurice J. Goodall, an inaugural public meeting was held on the 11thSeptember, 1984, from which a working committee was formed. The Te Waiora (Canterbury) Healing Centre Trust was registered in December 1984. A number of Christian men and women also agreed to be advisors to the Trust.

A Home is Found

At that time the Trust became aware of the availability of a Vicarage on 4.4 hectares of land at Hororata, 40kms west from Christchurch. The Vestry of the Anglican Parish of St. John's, Hororata, wished to sell the property prior to building a new Vicarage. A public appeal for funds was launched from Bishop's House on the 5thMarch, 1985, to which representatives of churches and the news media were invited.

By 31st March when the option was to expire, close on $20,000 had been received, sufficient to put a deposit on the property. Generous bridging finance was made available by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. The following months were busy as the fund raising continued.

The property was officially taken over by the Trust at the beginning of November 1985, when the new Vicarage was completed. On the first Sunday in November there was held the first of what would become an Annual Thanksgiving service. In spite of atrocious weather approximately 130 attended, coming from Christchurch as well as the local district.

Vision Realised

On Sunday 9th March 1986 over 200 people were in the grounds for the dedication of the Centre by the Patron of the Trust, the Rt. Rev. Maurice J. Goodall, Bishop of Christchurch. In a very simple service the Bishop was assisted by the Rev. R.B.Allen, Chairman of the Trust, Rev.R.Maslin, Moderator of the Christchurch Presbytery, Patricia Entwistle, Elizabeth Smith and Dr.David Troughton, Trustees.

Te Waiora in its early days as the Vicarage for St.John's Church, Hororata
Patricia and Stewart Entwistle
taken in the mid 80's

We've come a long way since the Te Waiora House was built in 1909

2009 - 100 years later

In March 2009 we celebrated two special events. 100 years since the house had been built and 25 years since The Te Waiora (Canterbury) Healing Centre Trust was registered. Little did we know that it would be one of the last big events to be held at Te Waiora as we knew it then!
2010 - September 4th
The day Canterbury experienced a 7.1 earthquake, resulting in serious damage to Te Waiora. After some months of assessments the Trustees came to the realisation that the old home had to be demolished. Fortunately the Chapel received only minimal damage and was able to be repaired. A decomissionning service was held in March 2011, and the building was demolished in May 2011. Months of prayer and planning followed and the rebuild began in January 2012.

2012 - September 1st
Another day of celebration, as the new Te Waiora was opened, two years after the original home was destroyed.
We now have a beautiful, purpose-built facility, where anyone is welcome - a place of tranquility, rest and refreshment.