Important Information for Participants

Thank you for Registering to be part of the historic Aldersgate Opening Celebration Weekend (29 February – 01 March 2020). This includes important logistic information for all attending. If you’d like to be emailed a copy of the information on this page, please request a copy from or phone Wallace at 03 358 4209.

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so immediately at REGISTRATION.

If you are in Christchurch and can’t wait for a look inside, we have organised special Sneak Peek Behind-the-Scene Tours; drop in to 309 Durham Street North any time between 1:00-4:00pm on Sunday, 23 February. 


There are plenty of bicycle racks, including a covered bike shed on site. However, there are only 42 parking places on the Aldersgate site (entrance off Chester Street West), and we have been generously given permission to use further parking places opposite thanks to Baker Tilly (carpark entrance also off Chester Street, sign-posted as Tavendale and Partners Centre). These will be filled on a first-come basis, but we ask you to please leave church car park places for people with mobility difficulties, families with young children or who otherwise have difficulties walking a distance.

There is limited on-street parking around Aldersgate in Chester Street, Durham Street and Armagh Street and it is mostly metered ($3.10/hr) and restricted to 120 minutes up to 6pm, including on weekends. There is some unrestricted and free parking available around Cranmer Square, and beyond (5 min walk plus). There are also four Wilson car parks within 3 mins walk: opposite at 55 Chester Street West ($4 Weekend rate); and at 85 Armagh Street ($5 Weekend rate, must use ParkMate app); up at 335 Durham Street ($4 Weekend rate), and around the corner at 76 Armagh Street ($9-12/12 hours). There is additional covered and uncovered off-street parking 10-15 mins walk away.

Opening Celebration Pōwhiri

For the main Opening Celebration on Saturday 29 February, a special Pōwhiri will be conducted at 2:30pm to welcome you into the Aldersgate Great Hall & Chapel (our wharenui).

Members of Durham Street Methodist Church will be the tangata whenua (hosts) for this occasion, and so are asked to arrive early in order to seat themselves inside in the front rows on the right hand (southern) side of the central aisle before the pōwhiri begins.

Manuhiri (all other visitors and guests) are asked to gather in the Huritau Garden, in the courtyard at the carpark side of the building. This will be our ātea (gathering space). Please plan to arrive ahead of time so we are all gathered and ready to start at 2:30pm.

The manuhiri will be called in by three kaikaranga (ceremonial callers) from the tangata whenua, and kaikaranga from the manuhiri side will respond. As the manuhiri are called, please enter through the main door at the garden end of the Great Hall, and sit in the seats from the front of the left-hand (northern) side of the central aisle (leaving a few seats that are marked as Reserved). When all the seats on the left-hand of the aisle are taken you can sit on the right-hand side behind the tangata whenua.

Waikōrero (welcome speeches) will be made on behalf of the tangata whenua, and manuhiri will respond with their kōrero. A small group  will support each speaker with a waiata (song) after the speaker. Feel free to join in if you know the waiata.

With such a large crowd anticipated, it would not be practical for us all to be individually greeted, so a small number of guests will be invited to hongi (press noses together in greeting) with representatives of the tangata whenua, on behalf of us all. (We will all have the chance to greet each other later over afternoon tea.)

The pōwhiri will formally conclude with sharing in the afternoon tea at the end of the Opening Celebration, which breaks the tāpu (sacredness) of the pōwhiri. All are invited to share in this time of fellowship and conversation.

Before this, after the Opening Celebration concludes, we will all be invited to move back to the Huritau Garden (where you began) for the unveiling of a Memorial Plaque, remembering the three people killed on this site in the earthquake of 22 February 2011.

Celebration Dinner

For catering reasons, places at the dinner are strictly limited to people who have pre-registered by 10 February. You also need to have advised us of any dietary requirements on your registration form or notify us immediately at Unfortunately we will not be able to accept any additional people or changes in dietary requirements on the night. 

Also, if you did register but are now unable to attend for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing, so if there is a wait-list we can give the opportunity to another to attend.

Some people have asked what is the cost of the 3-course celebration dinner and drinks. It is costing us approx $60/person, however, we want to emphasise there is no charge to you – this is our gift as part of our celebrations. Elsewhere there is opportunity for you tp give donations if you wish. 

Historical Display

Don’t forget to look for the Historical Display in the Lounge. If you have any items for inclusion please give them ASAP to Warwick Mottram: or phone 021 225 3866, clearly marked with your name and return address, and they will be returned to you. If you would like to donate any items to a permanent display in Aldersgate please let us know.

Don’t Forget

Amongst all the other activities of the weekend, make sure you also look out for the results of a Children’s Art Exhibition on the theme of The Essence of Aroha. There will also be special displays by Christchurch Methodist Mission, and Christian World Service, who both also share Aldersgate with us as their home.

Nearby Facilities

If you are coming to the Opening Celebration (afternoon tea finishing around 4:30/5:00pm), and staying for the 7:00pm Celebration Dinner on Saturday evening, and not going home (or back to your hotel), you are welcome to stay around other parts of the building not being set up for the Dinner. Or you may wish to catch up with friends in a nearby café or bar. Likewise on Sunday after the Sunday Celebration (morning tea finishing around 11:30pm/noon) and before the 2:30pm Festival of Music.

There are several cafés and bars both south and north of Durham Street and up along Victoria Street. Many of the closest cafés are closed by 4:00pm on Saturday, but restaurants further south or north (especially into Victoria Street) will be open. And most will be open on Sunday in the middle of the day. Ask a local for any recommendations. On the Sunday, out-of-town visitors in particular might also like to take the opportunity to visit Quake City (10am to 5pm, Adults $20, Seniors/Students $16, Accompanied Children under 15 – free) which is almost next door, or the nearby Christchurch Art Gallery (10am to 5pm) or Art Centre (10am to 5pm), both on different corners of Montreal Street and Worcester Boulevard (10 mins walk away). There are also plenty of food stalls in the Arts Centre Mārkete on the weekend.


Please note there are no charges for any of the activities on our special weekend. However, donations are always welcome to help in our work. If we have received a donation from you, a receipt will be separately sent to you, which can be used for a tax rebate. Any donations made over the weekend will go towards our work in serving the city, through Aldersgate or the StreeTs programme. (You can find out more about StreeTs here at.)

And you are welcome to give at any time through:

□ Giving Online with a credit card here on our website;

□ Internet Banking by depositing into account 02-0820-0162064-000, Christchurch Central Methodist Parish, BNZ Riccarton (clearly identifying your Name, and using the Code ‘Opening’); or

□ Cheque, made out to Christchurch Central Methodist Parish, crossed ‘Not Transferable’ and sent to us, with your name and address, at PO Box 1416, Christchurch Central City 8013.

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