News Story

Interfaith Choir Performs Christmas Cantata 

On Sunday, 8 December the Panmure Stake, Auckland, presented Sally de Ford’s “Silent Night: A Christmas Cantata” before an audience of about 400 people including whānau and friends, many from other faiths. It was also live-streamed with more than 800 viewing the evening’s programme.

Participating in the programme were members of the Presbyterian, Ratana, Methodist and Catholic Churches.

The Glen Innes Ward Choir, and friends, together with soloists, narrators, and talented instrumentalists provided music which touched the hearts of many.

Stuart Weightman from the Presbyterian Church joined the choir for the fourth time as guest conductor and looks forward to more opportunities to work together.


Mr. Weightman commented to the choir that he works with many choirs including those that sing sacred music, but do not believe in or know God. “It’s so nice to work with a choir that sings sacred music and believe what they sing, and feel the preciousness of the message, people who have faith.”

Awhina Puritia Ranginui, from the Ratana Church, offered the opening prayer in te reo Māori and was accompanied by many others from the Ratana Church. Puritia commented on the beauty of the music, and the wonderful message and spirit she felt which “moved many of us to tears.”

Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki from the Methodist Church, a member of the Tamaki Women of Faith Collective and Member of Parliament, shared a message of “care and kindness” this Christmas season, encouraging all to take care of themselves, too, so they can better care for others. Anahila said she felt “honoured” to be invited to participate in the evening’s programme.

Maria Meredith from the Catholic Church, a member of the Tamaki Women of Faith Collective and local board member for Maungakiekie-Tamaki, offered the closing prayer and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate.

Leah Broughton-Couch, interfaith specialist and organiser of the devotional, was “delighted our interfaith friends accepted the invitation to participate so willingly and found joy in the occasion. There is power in building our interfaith connections in our community, ”adding that “it adds richness and depth to our community.”

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