First Church community benefits from upgrade

3 July, 2020

Invercargill’s First Presbyterian Church. Photo: Petrina Wright

About the community group/organisation/individual

First Presbyterian Church, better known as First Church, is one of Invercargill’s most prominent historic buildings.

Built between 1912 – 1915, it is listed with Heritage New Zealand as a category one heritage building.

Three separate congregations utilise the building on Sundays – Presbyterian, Samoan and a small Kiribati congregation.

In addition, the church facilities are utilised by the community for weddings, funerals, concerts, school prizegivings, Open Polytechnic, music and speech exams, choirs and Christmas Eve/Easter services.


What the grant went towards

First Church Heritage Building Charitable Trust received a grant from the ILT Foundation of $15,000 to assist with replacing the ceiling of Stobo Hall and to modify an existing toilet into an accessible toilet.

The Foundation has been supporting the trust since 2006, providing grants totalling $103,275 towards the purchase of equipment, refurbishment work, heating, new sound systems for the church and halls and more.


What the grant means to the community group/organisation

“[The funding support] helps us to maintain the structure of the building so it can continue to be used as a community resource,” First Church Heritage Building Charitable Trust chairman David Cocker said.

First Church Heritage Building Charitable Trust chairman David Cocker surveys the work under way to replace the ceiling in the church’s Stobo Hall in July.  Photo: Petrina Wright