3 July 2012
The Race Relations Conciliator has recognised St Anne’s Parish, Newtown, for its multicultural Stations of the Cross.
The parish recently installed new Stations of the Cross in the church, which was renovated last year, to reflect the parishes’ multicultural community.
Parishioner Maria Rodgers came up with the idea of having a visual representation of the cultural richness of the parish community because there was nothing in the church to represent this.
‘We decided to incorporate representations of the cultures into what was already there – in effect we ‘reframed’ the existing Stations of the Cross.’ The communities were asked to provide a fabric that represented their culture. The fabrics were then stretched across a backing on which each of the original images was mounted.
The ‘new’ Stations of the Cross represent 14 different communities: Māori, Samoan, Rwandan, Goan, Croatian, Cook Island, Irish, Scottish, Filipino, Hungarian, Tokelauan, Polish, Kerala and Tongan.
Each donated fabric has a story, and it is intended to preserve these in a brochure.
The next part of the project is to install a plaque with an explanation of each Station in the country’s language.
The church now also displays the communities’ diversity in windows in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with the words ‘Be still and know that I am God’ in the different languages of the communities represented in the new Stations of the Cross.
Lay pastoral leader Karen Holland says, ‘We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Maria Rodgers who has spent hours of her time sewing, consulting, listening, measuring, stapling and generally making sure that this project happened. It has been a labour of love and one that will bring joy to our community for many years.’
Image: The second Station of the Cross backed by Samoan cloth.