Be prepared to put on your dancing shoes and join Reverend Rosemary Carey for the upcoming Art Deco Dance to be held in the Gordonton hall.
The dance will be an opportunity for the neighbourhood to farewell Rosemary; after eight years at St Mary’s Church. She gives her final service the day after, on 24 June.
As for the decision to leave, Rosemary says she is sad but the right time.
“I’m making the decision to support my husband Bryan in his ministry at St Matthews in Morrinsville, and to also have more time with our family. I feel as though I have done what was asked of me at St Mary’s.”
She was asked by Bishop David Moxon to take on the position of Deacon while she was teaching at Southwell School, which she accepted in 2004.
“He said ‘I think you’ll love this little church out at Gordonton’. He didn’t want it to become a café or ballet school. He wanted to see if it would grow having a constant person in place.”
In its 70 years St Mary’s had never had a priest of its own.
Only about seven families were attending two services a month when Rosemary arrived. That has grown to a congregation of 52 families with a flourishing kids’ roll who have their own space under the huge conifer tree in the school grounds. They also use Hukanui School rooms on Sunday mornings.
“I feel God has responded to Bishop David’s initial prayer. It’s been wonderful to see St Mary’s spring back into life, and to have the privilege of nurturing the return of families to faith has been tremendous.”
Six grandchildren have “tumbled” into her life during this time and she has self-published a short, historical novel, The Walnut Legacy.
“It’s the story of my Chinese great grandfather Thomas Coto, who at the age of 10 leaves his family on the island of Amoy to live in Australia. The story tells how someone from a very different culture and language can succeed in a new land.”
“The story has its own wings and sells through word of mouth. I now have copies in many different countries and all through New Zealand.“
Profits go into missionary funds.
Now she’s ready for her next challenge – “I feel I’m standing on the end of the high dive board again, but I know that God is in charge and all will be well. St Mary’s is at a good stage to grow to its next stage. It will be okay and I will be too.”
- The St Mary’s Art Deco Dance will be held in the Gordonton hall on 23 June.