The Church of the Good Shepherd

This post was published on Tuesday 22 January 2019.

One of other attractions of Lake Tekapo – apart from the dark skies – is the Church of the Good Shepherd. We weren’t sure what it had to commend it – apart from being built in the most incredible scenery, and being in a dark sky reserve you can get amazing pictures of the church with the stars and the Milky Way behind.

We wandered down to see it, hoping to catch a glimpse (and a photo) of the moon rising above it – but the clouds were too many, and all in the wrong place.

In the second picture, you can see one of the things about NZ that has amused us the most. From the new footbridge to the church, you can see the church, in all its glory... surrounded by building works. The pile of hardcore you can see – they are everywhere in NZ, by the side of roads, bizarrely corrupting the amazing scenery – but I guess because there is so much of it, it doesn’t really matter if some of it is spoiled...

While we were down there last night, we noticed that the church is actually open during the day, from 9am – so before we left Lake Tekapo, we drove down and walked in. Of course, it was buzzing with tourists after their perfect picture of the church – I know, I was one of them – but inside the church it was so peaceful.

The instant I sat down, my tears welled up for no reason – almost always a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit – and we sat in the simple pews, surrounded by simple stone, looking out at God’s beautiful painting through the simple window. In the middle picture you can see the main window, and the third the view through that window.

I thought we had visited Lake Tekapo for the night sky but it turns out this is what we visited for. 

As you sit inside, this is what you see: the beauty of God’s creation, the strength and permanence of the mountains, the life giving pure water of the lake, all from a place of coolness and peace. 

What an incredible place.