Church to rise in Golden Sands

Golden Sands Baptist church chairman Bruce Rea, Ken Edkins, pastor Colin Gruetzmacher, Brook Friend and Kelly O’Hara. Photo: John Borren

A church is aiming to be a community hub with a new $5 million building in one of Papmoa’s newest suburbs.

Golden Sands Baptist is taking a unique approach to the new development it announced this week by offering a $10,000 prize to the architect that comes up with the best design.

It already has a 1ha site on the corner of Te Okuroa Dr, Stevenson Dr and Piata Street and a list of criteria, including a 450-seat main auditorium that can be expanded to hold 600 people in the future.

Church chairman Ken Edkins says the church itself had grown from being an idea just over two years ago, to now having 150 members.

It has outgrown two church buildings and as residential development continues its march down the coast, they will soon be in the thick of a new community.

“Everyone is new and getting to know everyone else. There are a lot of young couples, lot of young families. Our thing was, we don’t just want to be a church that meets on a Sunday we want to be a community of people.

“We want to be very much a part of the community so talking with the architects it is not just about meeting on a Sunday, this is a seven-days-a-week job.”

The idea for the church has been bubbling away for a few years.

“It started from our spa pool. For our 25th anniversary our kids got us a spa pool. Over the years we would sit out there and watch the lights grow further and further along Papamoa. I said: ‘someone should get hold of some land out there for a new church’.”

They eventually teamed up with Blue Haven Developments to secure the land and then Bethlehem Baptist got involved with seeding the new church.

A competition is now being run among Bay of Plenty architects including Architectural Design Group, Creative Space, DCA Architects, First Principles and Stufkens & Chambers, with $10,000 prize money on the line.

The brief is: ‘a design that encapsulates the values of our church, is sustainable and eco-friendly in design, celebrates the landscape of Golden Sands including the beach and welcomes the multi-cultural community of Golden Sands and Papamoa East’.

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