News Story

Latter-day Saints Join Interfaith Celebration in Palmerston North

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with members of several other faiths in an evening of music and fellowship in Palmerston North, New Zealand on Friday 30 November.

The evening was called: “A celebration of the diversity of faiths in our community.”


Faith representatives shared prayers, music and songs of praise.

Guests were invited to bring donations which will be given to Red Cross and Manawatu Multicultural Centre for their work in supporting refugees and migrants settling in Palmerston North.

Around 350 people attended the event which was held at Queen Elizabeth College Hall, Palmerston North.

The event took seven months of planning by Palmerston North Interfaith Group led by Chair, Dr Mary Eastham, who is also on the NZ Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations.

The gathering arose from an initiative of the New Zealand Sikh Society, facilitated by a planning committee drawn from: Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i, Muslim, Hindu, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic faith communities in Palmerston North.

Latter-day Saint senior missionary couple Elder Peter Stanford and Sister Sheryl Stanford were on the planning committee from the outset.

Sister Stanford was stage manager and Elder Stanford was MC for the first half of the programme.

Honorable Iain Lees-Galloway opened the evening by saying: “It makes me tremendously happy to see you coming together tonight to celebrate as a community, as one.”

Deputy Mayor, Tangi Utikere said: “At the heart of this interfaith event are the core values that are shaped by the faiths of this world—respect, compassion, love, hope and peace.

"These are values that sustain communities, but they are also values that nurture good and civil behaviour."

Guests included Wellington New Zealand Mission President Newman Soloa’i and Sister Luisa Kava Kavea ‘Etuate Soloa’i.

17 year old local Latter-day Saints, Alice Te Rangi and Tipene Anderson, spoke to those in attendance on the night. They shared their feelings about Christmas, Jesus Christ, and serving others.

Youth from Palmerston North sang I am a child of God and Peace in Christ.


Newsroom contributors: Jill McEwen and Tania Torea

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.