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Final farewell ... Waikaka Knapdale parish interim moderator Peter Dunn (left) and Waikaka Knapdale Presbyterian Church member Geoff Nicholson shut the door of the Knapdale Presbyterian Church for the last time after a decommissioning service on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Practical reasons have led to the closure of the 135-year-old Knapdale Presbyterian Church.

The church is one of three buildings that service the Waikaka Knapdale parish.

Session clerk Jim Weir said the building was getting to the point where it needed money spent on it.

“It doesn’t have toilet facilities apart from a long drop and the building was getting to the stage that if you did anything to it, you were really needing to do lots to it ,” Mr Weir said.

The building was only being used in the months of the year with a fifth Sunday.

“We were only using that building about four times a year.”

“The drag of maintaining buildings that you only use occasionally is quite a bit, so we are really better to focus on people and what meets the congregation’s and hopefully the area’s needs.”

The church looked well-maintained from the outside but a closer inspection showed serious problems.

“The piles are sinking or rotted out.”

The land and building would be put up for sale.

A decommissioning service was led by interim moderator the Rev Peter Dunn on Sunday.

Mr Dunn said it was an end of an era.

“Although there is a sadness, it was just a practical end of a season.”

The thing that was special about the Knapdale congregation was many were descendants of the founding families of the church, he said.

“Their great-great, even great-grandchildren now are still active Christians in the church, so that’s quite a thing that stands out.

“You don’t get that in all churches to such an extent,” Mr Dunn said.