Most time my travels do not take me west. Occasionally when I have a visitor and I think they may get tired of travelling up and down the same dirt road to get anywhere, I turn left out of the driveway and take the long way to town. But, I have never come home that way.
Returning from our tiki tour (in other countries you might call it the ‘roundabout way’ to get somewhere, or the ‘scenic route’) around the Hokianga, the road from the west was the shortest way home.
It had never dawned on me that I should drive this road from the other direction just once, although I'm well aware you see different things when travelling in a different direction.
Sure enough, I spotted a church I've never noticed before. When I drive along this road, it is always hidden from view.
So the Church of Epiphany, near Tangiteroria, was a pleasant surprise. When I thought we'd seen all the churches we were going to see this trip, there was one more waiting, close to home.
A sign inside the church informed us it will be 100 years old in January, 2016, the new roof was completed in 2009 and parishioners are now fundraising for the next project - the renewal of the steeple roof, the cross and the walls. They hope to have the refurbishment completed for the centenary celebrations. I look forward to seeing it when it has been returned to its former glory.
It's quiet, rural setting isn't as grand as some of the churches we visited in the Hokianga but would compete with quite a few.