Who we are
Hillcrest Chapel is an Elder led congregation. The Pastor, with the Elders form a team that determines and implements the strategy of the Church. The Pastor participates in Elders meetings providing important strategic, theological and organisational contributions. Constitutionally the Elders function as the employer of the Pastor, with the Pastor reporting to the Chairperson of the elders or his/her nominee.
Hillcrest Chapel is a multigenerational church, with members ranging from babies to 90+ year olds. We are made up of mostly NZ Europeans, with some members from Pacific Islands and quite a number from Asia.
We are a well-connected family who desire to love and serve each other. Our congregation seek to make people feel welcome and we love to help each other in practical ways. Many of our members live in our Silverdale/Hillcrest area and are involved in the community in various ways outside of church life.
At Hillcrest Chapel we encourage everybody to be connected into a Homegroup. These smaller groups meet mid-week in homes and are the main way we make sure everyone is pastorally cared for and supported in a more personal way.
Hillcrest Chapel is founded on God’s word and seeks to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Our services involve people from all ages participating in using their gifts to serve and worship God for His glory.
Our Services have traditionally run in two styles
1) a quieter, reflective, Spirit-led service. The service provides the opportunity for anyone to share what God has spoken to them about, read scripture, pray or request a song for shared worship. This service includes communion each week and concludes with a time of fellowship over coffee and tea. Most people attending this service also stay on for the next service.
2) The Family Service: This service is prayerfully structured and family orientated, with a worship band, children’s programme and a sermon. Once a month we have an intergenerational service which includes communion.
OUR HEART FOR OUR COMMUNITY
Hillcrest Chapel has a desire to reach our community with the message of Rongopai (the good news) of Jesus Christ. We have an annual Light Party which is well attended by our local community. We have positive relationships with the local schools and have many community groups using our facilities. We run a fortnightly Monday night kids club (Kidzone) which is open to the community. As Elders, we recognise that this is an area for growth and would love to see our members reaching out to their neighbours and our community in a growing capacity.
We long to be a church who, at every turn, humbly seek God in prayer and who are willing to be led by His Spirit into whatever He may call us to. We desire to be intergenerational. Our values can be found in the Values section of the About drop down. It is also our desire to develop an awareness and inclusion of Te Reo Māori. In recent times we have embarked on a journey into recognising our country's bi-cultural routes and the use of Te Reo in our singing, our communications, and in the stating of our values.
Hillcrest Chapel commenced in 1970. Over the years our congregation has adapted to our changing society whilst remaining focused on the Gospel of Jesus. Throughout our history we have sought to: listen to what the Spirit says to the Church, particularly though the Holy Scriptures; practice what we are taught in evangelistic and social concern; respectfully engage with the commercial, intellectual and political worlds; and to serve with and support the global Church. A distinctive feature of our congregation is that we embrace women in all areas of worship, service, preaching/teaching and leadership.
The earliest recorded settlers in the Hamilton area were Māori from the Tainui waka. TheTainui people called an area on the west bank of the Waikato River Kirikiriroa (long stretch of gravel), which is the Māori name for Hamilton today. The area was later renamed Hamilton after Captain John Charles Fane Hamilton, who was killed at the battle of Gate Pā in Tauranga in 1864.
The Hamilton area has a history of 700-800 years of Māori occupation and settlement, highlighted by pā sites, traditional gardens and agricultural features along the Waikato River. The main hapū of Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and the surrounding area are Ngāti Wairere, Ngāti Hauā and Ngāti Māhanga.
In 1863, the New Zealand Settlement Act enabled land to be taken from Māori by the Crown. This resulted in 1.2 million hectares of land being confiscated in the Waikato region, and part of this land provided the basis for European settlement in Hamilton.
Formal European settlement was established on 24 August 1864, when Captain William Steele came off the gunboat Rangiriri and established the first redoubt near what is now known as Memorial Park. A military outpost was set up in Hamilton East, which was originally destined to be the main street of Hamilton. Evidence of planning for the centre of the village can be seen in the 'village square' concept of Steele Park and the planting of English trees along Grey Street.
The Borough of Hamilton was established in 1877 with a population of 1,245 and an area of 752 hectares. In December 1945, Hamilton became a city with 20,000 citizens.