St Therese Chapel, Bethlehem
The first St Therese Chapel at Bethlehem was built in 1928 when Father Holierhoek was Parish Priest. Later a replacement was built, in the time of Father Dolphyn, blessed and opened by Bishop Delargey in 1972. This church served the people of Ngati Hangarau and the local church community for over 40 years. Tragically, it was burnt to the ground on 6th February, 2014.
The third St Therese Chapel was opened by Bishop Steve on 28th August 2016, to the delight of the local people and the whole parish community. On the day of the opening, kaumatua Karora Smith said that the community was determined to build a new church, because St Therese, and St Joseph’s at Te Puna, were important in keeping the faith of the Maori whanau in the area. “We were naturally devastated when the church was burnt down... I am glad it has been a beautiful day and I am proud our community could put the building up and we all share with the joys and blessings, not only now for our families, but also for the future.”
Mass is celebrated at St Therese every first Sunday, at 9am, and every Wednesday morning at 9.15am.