Sisters of Nazareth reveal plans for new Christchurch Community of Care

2 July 2013

Nazareth_Main_Entry.jpegThe historic site of the former Nazareth House in Christchurch is to be developed into a state of the art aged care community complex on the eight hectare grounds.

The new “Community of Care” complex will offer a continuum of care including Licence to Occupy independent living villas, rest home, hospital and dementia care facilities, and a range of community services. A new chapel will also be built using the original marble altar, stained glass windows and other treasured items salvaged from the former chapel wich has since been demolished. A small convent would also be established on site.

Sister Dominica, Regional Superior of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth in Australasia, and Chair of Nazareth Care Australasia, which is developing the complex, said while Nazareth House is a Catholic community, it is open and welcoming to all people.

Sister Dominica said Nazareth House would be a “vibrant, living community of care.”

“We are very excited about this new venture which will bring Nazareth back to life in Christchurch. It’s been a difficult two years, but we look to the future with hope and trust.”

Resource consent was expected to be lodged in July for the staged rebuild, with the first tranche of 20 units, from a total 62 two and three bedroom villas, scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014. The Licence to Occupy villas would be sold off the plans. The remainder would be finished by 2015 and the total complex by 2016.

Included in Stage 1 are the independent living villas, an 80 bed aged care facility, service block, market place and community services. The dementia care facility, convent and chapel will follow once the first stage is completed.

A third of the total cost would be funded by the insurance payout on Nazareth House while Sister Dominica said she hoped a fundraising appeal would help contribute towards the shortfall.

Sister Dominica said Nazareth House would be a low-density development with lush landscaping and a strong connection to the community.

“We want to create a real community of our own, but which also connects to the wider area so that residents still feel very much in touch with the wider community - a community within the community. Integral to this is the development of what we’re calling a market place, which will feature things like a café, hairdresser, small cinema, pharmacy, and hopefully a medical centre – all the sorts of things you expect to find in a community. ”

Nazareth House and its chapel were irreparably damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and in 2012 the aged care facility, convent and chapel were demolished.