Christmas 2014 at Oihi

On Christmas Day 1814 a service and a sermon preached by Samuel Marsden, to a Māori and Pakeha congregation, began Christian mission in this land. It was the partnership of Marsden and Ruatara which led to a pivotal moment in our history and the development of the special relationship between the two peoples, Māori and Pakeha, it was a step towards nationhood.
 
December 21st will be the opening of Rangioua Heritage Park, a place that tells of beginnings and includes the site of the Marsden Cross. Details for that day are available on www.rangihouaheritage.co.nz
 
On December 25th there is an invitation for all to attend a Bicentennial Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving at the Marsden Cross site.  The Christmas Service will celebrate the birth of Christ at the birthplace of Christianity in Aotearoa New Zealand.  It will be lead by church leaders from across the country.
 
If you intend to come to the service, to assist with planning it would be appreciated if individuals or groups could register numbers attending at the following website.
 
Start time: The service will begin at 11am. It needs to start on time as it will be broadcast live on TV One. It is suggested people walk down to the cross by 10:30am at the latest. It is a 15-20 minute walk.  People are encouraged to arrive early, if they are able, to ease possible congestion.
 
Parking: There will be a drop off point for those travelling by car at the entrance to the pathway on Oihi Road that leads down the hill to the Cross. Cars will be parked in allocated areas approximately 1.5 kilometres away. Shuttles will then take drivers back to the beginning of the pathway. It is not possible to take vehicles down the access path on the day.   
 
Boat: Those travelling by boat can arrive at the beach but should be aware of commercial vessels operating that day.  Fullers are also operating services on the day and inquiries can be made to their Paihia office about bookings.
 
What to bring: People need to be self-sufficient with their own water, refreshments, sunscreen and clothing for changeable weather. There is an invitation for people to stay after the Service with their own picnic and walk round the site and view the information panels that tell the story of Rangihoua.

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