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By ROBYN BRISTOW

A Cheviot landmark will remain in public ownership.

The future of the Knox Presbyterian Church has been secured with a $100,000 grant from the Lottery Grants Board.

Cheviot Knox Community Trust chairwoman Jane Maxwell says this will ensure the success of the project to buy the church, hall and land, and save the landmark from falling into private hands.

Funds now sit at $230,000, which is the amount required to buy the church, thanks to the lottery grant, $50,000 from the Sutherland Self Help Trust, plus contributions from a “couple of larger donors”. However, the project is aiming to raise another $55,000, which will be used for insurance, maintenance and earthquake repairs.

Mrs Maxwell says the price put on the property has been discounted by the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees in recognition of the community’s involvement with the church over many years.

“The trust is also bound by statutory requirements so could not just give it away,” she says.

The Cheviot Knox Community Trust is now ramping up the sale of bricks so that a symbol of the community’s involvement in the project, in the shape of a Celtic Cross, can be laid between the yew trees at the front of the church.

Mrs Maxwell says brick sales are steady, but anyone wanting to buy one can only do so until the end of this month.

Anyone wanting to buy a brick for the pavement or make a donation can do so by going to cheviotnz.com. Go to Our Community and then Community Services to download a form.

Forms are also available from the Healthworks pharmacy on Cheviot’s main street, or by emailing info@cheviotnz.com and a form will be emailed.

The opening of the community-owned centre and the unveiling of the bricks is timed to coincide with the annual Spring Festival, which runs from September 7-9.

Mrs Maxwell says festivities at the church during the festival will be held on Sunday, September 9, with a service, unveiling of the bricks, a lunch and a celebratory opening of the Knox Community Centre.

She says trustees have a clear vision how the centre will work for and in the community.