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Behind the Scenes : How a 100-Year Old Church Became A Family Home

13 August, 2019

You might have read recently in Stuff about an amazing church in Nelson, which has been converted to a modern, four-bedroom home

Listed for sale with Tall Poppy, we sat down with the home’s owners to find out more about this amazing property.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a restored church? A Nelson family has done just that, converting a 100-year old Methodist chapel in historic Wakefield, Nelson to a beautiful four-bedroom home.

Krista Hobday and her family spent four years giving the old church a new lease of life.  This wasn’t their first historical project - before moving to New Zealand they renovated a 300-year old building in Scotland and used their expertise to maximise the church’s natural features.

"People have told us they married here and went to Sunday school here - and we are so glad that the church now lives on as a home with a unique history."

"We loved the native timbers, high ceilings, exposed trusses and the light that filters through the windows in the evening. We have ‘zoned’ living areas where we sit around the fire during the evening, and a place where we can seat our whole family around a huge table. We can push everything back and use the full space the former church hall offers as well,” says Krista Hobday.

Wendy Pearson, Co-Owner of Tall Poppy Nelson, says properties like this are incredibly rare, given its location in a picturesque, historic village.

“Wakefield is one of the first settled areas in New Zealand. Wakefield Primary School opened in 1843 and is still in use today. The Church has played an important role in the community and it’s amazing to see it converted into a beautiful home,” says Wendy Pearson.

Above: The original church’s local history also saw it provide a resting place for elephants when a circus passed through Wakefield in the late 1930s.

Wendy Pearson anticipates high demand for the converted church, due to its unique nature and location.

"It’s a great home for couples and families, and also has the potential for people wanting to explore Airbnb. We think there will be strong interest from around New Zealand. The renovation has been beautifully done, the home is warm and welcoming (particularly in winter) but is also close to a community pool for those hot Nelson summer days,” says Wendy Pearson.

If you want to secure this special piece of New Zealand’s history, you’d better be quick as it’s for sale By Negotiation.

Keen to know more? You can view the property here.