Members of the Temple View community joined with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yesterday to discuss plans for the development of Church-owned land in the Hamilton suburb.
Hamilton-based Church leader Elder David Thomson said "Temple View Properties Project leaders shared current plans to develop the former Church College of New Zealand property in a way that will create a new vibrancy in the Temple View community while also safeguarding the beauty and dignity of the land around the Church’s temple."
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Around 160 residents and other interested persons attended a community open day at the Matthew Cowley Building on Tuhikaramea Road, Temple View.
The open day, from 3.00pm to 6.00pm yesterday, was followed by a community meeting at the Latter-day Saints’ Fosters Road meetinghouse, attended by approximately 200 people.
“The open house and community meeting were well attended and there was a very good amount of discussion and feedback on the progress of the consultation process and on the concepts for future use of Church-owned land in Temple View,” Elder Thomson said.
Yesterday's gatherings follow on from a series of similar community consultation events THAT have taken place over the last five years.
Consultants and specialists from Hamilton City Council and other organisations have been closely involved in these events and in moving the project forward.
Visiting Church leaders, Bishop Dean M. Davies, of the Church’s Presiding Bishopric, and Elder James J. Hamula, President of the Church's Pacific Area, met with members of the community yesterday, listening to their comments, and answering questions.
Bishop Davies expressed his love for the people and thanked them for joining with Church leaders and the project team to move the effort forward in a way that honours God and Jesus Christ, and also blesses the lives of the people.
He confirmed that the plan being developed and the community's comments on that plan are being closely followed by senior Church leaders, which include the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Presiding Bishopric.
During the community meeting Elder Hamula indicated that Church leaders were striving to preserve in the physical redevelopment of the Church property spiritual values important to both the Church and the Temple View community, and encourage community members to do the same.
He emphasised the Area Presidency’s desire to honour the legacy of faith and service provided by the labour missionaries who built the temple and Church College, as well as the contribution of the Church College and its many teachers and students who have gone on to build their families, their communities, and the Church throughout the world.
Elder Thomson says “It was a pleasure to see so many come along to participate in the process and to work to build understanding of how the future of the community and the use of these special sites can work together to maintain the sacred spaces around the temple and to provide opportunities for community growth and development in coming years."
“The legacy of Church College of New Zealand is a legacy of faith. Building on that legacy, together, and in the Lord’s way, will bless current and future generations,” he said.
Read more about the project and plans that are being developed at the Church’s New Zealand website.