About Us

Our Story

Epworth operates as an affordable Christian accommodation facility. It is owned by the Methodist Church of New Zealand and is managed under direction from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Synod. Epworth derives its name from the birthplace of John Wesley, the well-known Methodist Evangelist from the United Kingdom. Epworth is set on 10 acres beside the Waikato River and also maintains and utilizes 2 acres of water frontage. The land was gifted in 1949 and the dedication and first Easter Camp was celebrated in 1951. Arthur Finlay first gifted land beside Epworth to the Baptist Church before a Methodist woman from Cambridge was bold enough to ask if he would give a block to the Methodists also. Having enjoyed fellowship at the Methodist Church in Te Aroha previously, he readily agreed. We would like to acknowledge the extremely generous gift that Arthur and Dawn Finlay gave us, allowing so many others past and present to enjoy this long-standing and unique retreat. Many, many volunteers have given their time or invested financially in the developments that have taken place over the 50+ years Epworth has existed. Without their commitment and support, Epworth would not be the beautiful facility we have today. We acknowledge all those who have come and gone before us.

Arthur & Dawn Finlay
Official opening of the camp on the 11th March 1951

Our Mission

We at Epworth cultivate a mission towards creating a safe, affordable and convenient adventure ecosystem with accommodation, creating a feeling of relaxed companionship, community and welfare, along with fullfing the wandering souls.