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Marralomeda – The Best Place on Earth

On a quiet street in North Christchurch, you will find a community where people with and without learning disabilities share life together. Set over three properties, with five houses, the Pike Centre, and beautiful gardens, Marralomeda truly is “the best place on earth”.

In 1989, Anne-Marie and Roger Pike, together with their family, welcomed Ann Miller and Margaret Bowring from the Templeton Centre to live with them at Mottram Street. It was here, in their four bedroom home, that the community of Marralomeda was born.

Marralomeda is a Christian community where those members with a learning disability, who live within the community or access other services provided by Marralomeda, are encouraged and resourced to take their rightful place in the wider community. It was inspired by the concept of L’Arche communities that exist worldwide. L’Arche communities hold in balance four elements – service, community, spirituality, and outreach. Marralomeda is a beautiful example of this balance in action.

Each person in the community is accepted as they are and valued for who they are – their gift is precious to the community. Each person is accepted as “the light of Christ”

Since its beginning 33 years ago, Marralomeda has welcomed many more members and expanded from one to five homes within close proximity to each other. There is Ena Adams house, named for AnneMarie’s mother, McHale named after Marralomeda’s first chaplain Fr John McHale, McAuley Lodge, Kowhai and most recently, Annie Margaret named after those first Community Members at Marralomeda – Ann and Margaret.
The activity centre, which also sits on the property, was renamed the Pike Centre in 2020, in recognition of the love and service of Anne-Marie and Roger.

Marralomeda is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for new Trustees to join the Board. This voluntary role asks approximately two hours per month for a Board meeting, held every fourth Monday of the month, with an additional four hours per month to support Marralomeda. For more information about Marralomeda, visit www.marralomeda.org.nz, or if you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please contact Sally Thompson on sally.thompson@xtra.co.nz.