A farewell favourite


Rātana Church, Raetihi, North Island, NZ. Seen from the road en-route to Whanganui and worth the slight detour. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

My dad is ill and I’m off to Whanganui to visit him tomorrow.

My journey will take me past this beautiful church in Raetihi. It’s a journey I make regularly, but I’ve only once managed to stop and photograph it.

Its slightly unusual design is characteristic of churches built for worshipers of the Rātana faith. The Rātana church was founded in 1925 by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana, a Maori spiritual leader who also campaigned for social justice and racial equality.

The church, and the movement it forged, continue to play important political, social role and religious roles in New Zealand life. Annual celebrations of Rātana’s birth attract thousands of people (including the country’s politicians) to his home marae at Rātana Pā, just outside Whanganui.

I posted this photo originally to the Daily Post Photo Challenge |On the Way, on 31 May 2015. It seems fitting to post it again for this final challenge | favourites.

58 thoughts on “A farewell favourite

    • Thanks Amanda. I love Ratana church architecture (in truth, I love all church architecture). The Raetihi church is particularly lovely and built on a hill with no other builldings in the line of sight — so naturally it’s a photographer’s dream 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Peter. I suspect there are lots of people here in NZ who don’t know about Ratana, and wouldn’t recognise the church as of that faith. I wish we taught history in schools more.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Janet. 🙂
      Unfortunately, I don’t think I’d be allowed inside the church to take photos. I’ve only ever seen one (grainy) image of a church interior, and that was on their website.


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  2. Safe travels Su. And I wish your dad a speedy recovery. Being in hospital is always stressful for the patient and the relatives! But his health is paramount. Lovely photo btw. Perfectly captured. Has a vaguely Icelandic look to it. And no, I haven’t heard of the Ratana faith either.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your dad, Sue. But reading the comments above, it seems like he is better and I hope he gets even better soon. You got to be there for the ones you love ❤

    Beautiful image and lovely to read a bit about the history of the Rātana church. It sounds like it came from a place of good intent for the world, an intent for fairness and respect for all.


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