Monday, 8 September 2014

The church on the lake

The kids were here for a couple of weeks but are back in Japan again now and back into the daily routine. While they were here we did a bit of a road trip with them. On day one we drove as far as Fairlie and stopped for the night. The next morning we were on the road again to go up to Aorangi Mount Cook to spend the day and enjoy the splendour of the mountains. Then we went back to Fairlie for another night and on day three headed for home again. A round trip of just over 660 kilometres. We packed a lot into three days  but well worth the effort.

One of the places we stopped at was The Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo. It is a beautiful old stone church situated on the side of the lake. When we set out it was a lovely sunny, if cool, morning. We drove through high country farmland, with the mountains in full view.


About half an  hour or so later we arrived at Lake Tekapo. It was shrouded in thick fog and you could be forgiven for thinking the lake was just a myth. (Excuse the pun).But if you look hard and carefully you can see a little hint of it just below the misty trees.


There was a good hoar frost as well but I never got a photo of it. Very cold! Luckily we had packed a thermos and biscuits as we had arrived a bit early for the church to open so we were able to stand around drinking hot tea and coffee, much to the envy of other tourists who were waiting with us.


After about half an hour the sun had managed to burn off some of the fog and the caretaker arrived and opened the doors for us. A very nice man who knew a lot about the church and the area. That big white disc in the top right corner is the sun trying to get through. It did eventually win, but not while we were there.


The church is still used for regular Sunday services and is full of history, character and charm. From the pews you look towards the altar and out over the lake toward the Southern Alps. The view is quite breathtaking.


Everything is original apart from the tiles on the roof which were originally wood but changed to slate a few years later when they discovered that wood didn't do the job.

The roof and a lantern.

The beautifully hand carved font, which is made from Oamaru stone as is the altar. Every part of the church and everything used in it has been gathered from the surrounding area. 

 A short history of the church.

I suppose we spent a half hour or so in the church and chatting to the caretaker and then we took to the road again, hoping to leave the fog behind and spend the rest of the day in the sun. We did.

The evenings were still closing in fairly early but we decided to stop at Tekapo on the way back and have another look at the church in the sunshine. What a totally different aspect. It was quite stunning with the lake and mountains as a backdrop.

 My GKB and I wandered around the little town and the lakeside while the young ones went up to the hot pools for a dip. I don't know how we managed to do it but I left our swimming togs in the cupboard at home. Oh dear, how remiss of me.


We decided to find something for a bite of tea and sat in the car at the church car park and waited for the sun to go down. 


The sky here is designated a world heritage sky and there are all sorts of regulations governing the lighting that can be used outside. There is an observatory on top of a mountain nearby but we decided it was too costly for us so just waited for night where we were. Along with quite a few others who had the same idea.


After about an hour of waiting we were rewarded with a beautiful clear night and stood outside for a time just admiring the stars. After a few minutes gazing you could get a sense of depth, it was quite awesome. We were able to pick out some of the constellations but my daughter in law was a bit confused because she was looking at a different sky to what she was used to. None of our cameras were strong enough to take a decent photo. I could have stayed longer but my GKB was ready to get on the road again and head for bed. And it was blankety blank cold!

So that ended a wonderful day out.  The next day we headed south and home again.

I hope you've enjoyed our trip to Lake Tekapo and The Church of The Good Shepherd.

*****************




Keep well and don't work too hard, 
Diana

30 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see more of the church. Thanks Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  2. It sure is a beautiful old church. Love the stone! Thanks for joining in!

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  3. you should link in to inspired sunday at www.inspiredsundaymeme.blogspot.com/

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  4. Oh, have I ever enjoyed this! That last shot is awesome...but just really enjoyed all the shots. What a beautiful place.

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  5. Oh how beautiful! What a glorious setting for a house of God...just breathtaking...wonderful photos too!

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  6. What a great old church! And that is gorgeous scenery!

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  7. What a lovely beautiful old stone church in a beautiful setting. I bet you can't help but feel God's presence there.

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  8. wonderful pictures...i really like the one looking out the window with the cross!

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  9. That last shot looks like a painting.

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  10. What a lovely place. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. Your photographs are fabulous, and what a wonderful road trip. I thoroughly enjoyed this. ~Thank you.

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  12. what a gorgeous church in an awesome setting.

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  13. Wow! This is one of the iconic places that I want to see for myself some day. Your photos are just amazing.

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  14. What a wonderful trip Diana, I've been there with beloved and we found it very spiritual place. The backdrop is straight from heaven.
    x

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  15. Who needs stained glass when you can have a view from a window like that one. You just can't beat the beauty provided by Nature!

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  16. Nice pictures! Sounds like you had a great time with your kids! I hope they come visit you again soon.

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  17. That is a gorgeous spot. I saw that church years ago and would love to visit it again. The views are beautiful. :)

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  18. What an iconic church in an iconic setting! What a view from the window! Just amazing!

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  19. What an amazing, so very interesting, post!! Loved your photos. And to sit in the pews looking toward the pulpit and viewing the lake and it's pristine beauty must be so inspirational!!!

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  20. What a sweet spot, with a beautiful view!,

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  21. Lovely - pleased to hear the observatory is still there - we enjoyed visiting it in 2001 - but yes it was bitter cold up there - we also had a sail on the Lake. Lovely to be reminded again.

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  22. Wonderful scenery. And what a fabulous spot for that church; it must be quite an experience to have those views whilst attending a service.

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  23. Thank You for Your visit and comment on My post.I'm so glad I didn't miss this post of Your's Diana.You both are always up to so much fun on the road it seems to Me.A chance for many of Us to see Your beautiful country.Oh My! The Church it'self and the area it's in is perfectly gorgeous and so inspiring.Thank You for this post-Hugs to You My friend across the Sea.

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  24. Looks like a lovely time. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. so cool. i love it. very tiny ... but what a view!! sorry i am late commenting ... i have been away. ( :

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  26. So beautiful and peaceful. I would enjoy seeing this.

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