Living stones in the Living City
By Paul O’Rourke
Blake Moore says the massive investment in new churches and commercial and retail development is testimony to Devonport’s health and confidence in the future.
The Devonport Church of Christ Pastor said the growth was “good for the city’s self esteem” as he reflected on Sunday’s opening of his church’s new $1.75m complex on the corner of Steele and William Streets.
The striking new church complex features an indoor children’s playground, outdoor entertainment and eating areas, increased parking, new foyer, offices and extra spaces for children, youth and family gatherings.
“Our new complex, Gateway Church, C3 and even what Pathway to Life is doing in East Devonport says something about the health of the city,” he said.
“The future of the city is looking good when you consider the Living City project, including the new Novotel hotel on the waterfront, and the amount of new retail outlets coming to the city.
“This project would cost closer to $2.5m if we were starting now, given the impacts of COVID on building costs.”
“Devonport used to be a place people passed through on their way to somewhere else.
“The city’s best days are certainly ahead.”
Pastor Moore said the former church building was old and tired and had reinforced community stereotypes about the church being irrelevant, boring and rundown.
“The facilities didn’t match the vision we had for children, youth and family ministries,” he said.
“While the new building certainly helps with our existing children and youth ministries, our proximity to Devonport High School and central location means we can better serve the community through mentoring, helping students with homework, sport and as a drop-in space.’’
Devonport Church of Christ started in 1924 and has had several Devonport homes including in Oldaker and King Streets before occupying the current site since the 1950s after a local Christian woman, Iris Buck, sold the former farming and marshlands to the congregation.
Parishioners donated $820,000 to the building project, with design and construction undertaken by the S Group and Vos Construction and Joinery respectively.
“We’re incredibly thankful to God for his faithfulness and blessing, for those who went before us, and those who contributed so generously to this project,” Pastor Moore said.