Kaikoura outdoor church service welcomes all faiths

12:35 pm on 20 November 2016

About 200 people have attended an emotional outdoor interdenominational church service in Kaikoura this morning.

A Sunday church service for about 75 people was held in Kaikoura nearly a week after the town was hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

A Sunday church service for about 75 people was held in Kaikoura nearly a week after the town was hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Photo: RNZ / Max Towle

The service was held in the shadow of the town's hospital and speakers contended with the sound of helicopters flying overhead.

View RNZ's full coverage of the earthquakes here.

They were ferrying aid supplies and people from the damaged town.

Seating was available for about 75 people and dozens more stood and watched.

One of those was Angela Blunt, who said it was more important than ever the town stayed united.

"It's about all the hugs and chats and the catching up," she said.

"I live out in the country so I haven't seen a lot of people since the earthquake so it's really nice to actually see people I know and give everyone a hug and see how they're all doing."

An organiser, Alistair McNaughton, said he wanted to bring the entire community together, regardless of their faith, after Monday's earthquake.

A Sunday church service for about 75 people was held in Kaikoura nearly a week after the town was hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

An organist plays at the outdoor church service. Photo: RNZ / Max Towle

He believed it was the first time the Catholic, Protestant and Anglican churches had come together in the town.

"We have a representative from the people of no faith, a former president of the human society is organising the sound system this morning, [and] dignitaries."

"And so it's an opportunity for the whole community to gather together, and particularly gathering around our shared experience of the awful events of Monday morning and also our shared experience of showing love to our neighbour."

The tale of The Good Samaritan was read at the service, which Mr McNaughton said was fitting considering how Kaikoura had responded to the disaster in the past week.

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