Main Road, Matavera, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Office Bearers

Minister: Rev. Panu Rouru
Secretary: Vaitoti Tupa
Assistant Secretary: Teokotai Ngamata
Secretary, Deacon’s Meeting: Teokotai Ngamata
Treasurer: Ngatuaine Maui
Assistant Treasurer: Teokotai Ngamata
Assembly representatives: Teokotai Ngamata, Vaitoti Tupa


• 8 Deacons
• 50 regular adult members
• 30 regular Sunday School Students
• 20 regular youth members
• An estimated 80 others


The Matavera church was first established inland in 1849 where it remained for 8 years before being moved to the present location on land given by the land-owners to the church. Work on the present structure (known as Silo) commenced in 1853 and was completed and dedicated in 1857.

The church went through a major renovation (1949) when its height was reduced by some 6 feet. The 2nd major renovation was in early 2005 when the roof and ceiling were badly damaged by Cyclone Nancy. Minor renovations were carried out in- between. Out of the 36 Ministers who served in the church since its establishment, only 3 originated from Matavera. Most of them were from the outer islands.


Management in the church comprises the Minister as chairperson for all meetings except departmental ones. The overall administrator is the Secretary, assisted by the Assistant Secretary and the Deacon‘s meeting. The Treasurer looks after the church’s finances and reports regularly to church meetings.

The church has completed a detailed terms of reference for all positions which spells out the duties and responsibilities of the office bearers as well as those in the individual departments. However since the completion of the TOR for the CICC as a whole, the church now follows that TOR.


There are 6 departments in the Matavera branch; Deacons Meeting, Sunday School, Women’s Fellowship, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, and Christian Youth. Each department has its own regular programmes and activities which, except for the first, are linked to those at the national level.


All departments hold regular individual meetings to monitor the progress of their own programmes. The parish as a whole has a combined meeting at the end of every 3 months. In these quarterly meetings, developments in each of the departments are reported, as well as reports from the Minister, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Deacon’s group. Irregular meetings are also convened as and when the need arises.


Religion is very much a way of life for most Cook Islanders irrespective of their denomination. Church-goers cherish this a lot and portray it in the way they dress and attend services. On communion Sundays, men wear white suits and women wear white dresses.

On church parade Sundays, children and youth wear their designated uniform. Special apparel is also worn during special services. On normal Sunday services, church goers usually wear their best clothes. Informal/casual wear is not the norm and not encouraged.

During the actual services, the following are observed:
  • Quietness at all times unless part-taking in the hymns
  • No cameras & videos are to be used inside the church except for special functions (e.g. wedding) which must be arranged beforehand
  • Casual wear (singlets, shorts, etc.) is not preferred

After the services, feel free to chat with the Minister and members.


The CICC follows the Scripture Union Bible Reading Plan which sets out daily scripture readings. It is quite common for all services to be based on the day’s reading. Sermons are conducted in the local language (Cook Is Maori), unless visitors are present in which case the Minister makes a brief translation of his message in English. No other foreign language is used

Sermons are prepared and presented by the Minister, Deacons and fully ordained members of the church who are talented, through practice and training, to undertake such task.

Whilst in the past only men are allowed to conduct services, women after attaining set standards, criteria and ranks, have recently been allowed to make presentations. Certain types of services and sermons are earmarked for Ministers, Deacons and ordinary members only

Regular Church Services

Normal church services are as follows:
  • Sunday early morning service: 6.00am
  • main service: 10.00am
  • evening service: 5.00am
  • Wednesday & Friday morning service: 6.00am
Other/special services include the following:
  • Rekapi (pre-communion):   Wednesday prior to Oroa
  • Oroa (communion):   1st Sunday of each monthe
  • Etene (post-communion):    Wednesday after Oroa
  • Pentecost:    As per calendar
  • Teretere Apii Sabati:    3rd Sunday of May & November
  • Teretere Mapu:    3rd Sunday of February & August
  • Church parade:    2nd Sunday February to November
  • Youth rally:    2/3 per annum on set dates
  • National Gospel Day:    October 26
  • Rarotonga Gospel Day:    July 25
  • Boys’ Brigade Day:    October 8
  • Girls’ Brigade Week:     1st week of June
  • Easter:    as per calendar
  • Christmas, New Years Day:    as per calendar
  • Mothers/Fathers Day:    as per calendar

Order of Sunday main service

The order of the main service (10.00am Sundays) is as follows:
  1. Invocation
  2. Sunday School hymn (imene Apii Sabati)
  3. Prayer of confession/Lord’s prayer
  4. Bible reading
  5. Traditional hymn (imene tuki)
  6. Bible reading
  7. Prayer of thanksgiving/intercession
  8. Traditional hymn
  9. Notices and announcements
  10. Offering and its dedication
  11. Sermon
  12. Sunday School hymn
  13. Vesper

A normal service of the above order runs for about an hour, with the actual sermon taking from 15 – 25 minutes. Variations of the above order happen during special services. Functions and ceremonies are also held in the church, for example baptism, marriage, bereavement service.


Seating is arranged in 3 rows partly to coincide with the 3 sub-divisions of the village; Vaenga/Pouara, Rotopu, and Titama/Tupapa. Visitors may sit anywhere, but are usually escorted towards the front.

Other Information

The Matavera church is a member of the Rarotonga CICC Council and participates in all programmes and activities organized by this council. Furthermore, it complies with the resolutions passed by the CICC General Assembly. It has 3 properties: church building, Sunday School Hall (preparations are under way for its renovation), and the minister’s residence.

Contact for more Information

Minister: Rev. Panu Rouru Phone: 20158

Secretary: Mr. Vaitoti Tupa Phone: 22403 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.