by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Hawera parish priest, Fr Tom Lawn, moved out of his presbytery in January.
Fr Lawn told NZ Catholic on February 18 that the presbytery is to be sold for removal.
The adjacent Catholic primary school is 400 square metres under code, he said, “and the Ministry of Education get quite excited about that sort of thing”.
The presbytery land is about 1000 square metres, he said, referring to it being incorporated into the school. Fr Lawn said the diocese wanted this to happen as a solution, and the idea had gone through parish consultation.
He has moved into a flat until the parish finds a suitable house for him to live in.
“I’m living in one flat in a villa which is divided into two flats, until there is some new development,” said Fr Lawn.
The 114 year-old presbytery building will be moved to Foxton Beach to become a family home.
A new St Joseph’s school and church administration block will be built on the land previously occupied by the presbytery.
Parishioner Phil Waite said currently the school had been “considerably under-resourced” in terms of space.
School principal Cath Clough said the current administration block would be converted into a classroom and extra teaching spaces for her 250-plus students.
“We have so many extra programmes now that we’ve got nowhere for people to work,” she said.
“We’ve got a music teacher, an extension teacher, a speech teacher, and then little groups who work with teachers and teacher aides; currently they’re in little corridors and all over the place. “This way we’ll have lots of space to have those things.”