"WE cannot put into words just how happy we are to see our church renovated."
These were the words of Manasa Taraki, the steward of Ratu Apenisa Memorial Methodist Church in Nakelo yesterday.
The church was reopened by British High Commissioner Roderick Drummond following a $45,000 assistance from the UK Ministry of Defence for renovations.
"We have a denomination of close to 500 from Nauluvatu and Namuka villages," Mr Taraki said.
"When we have a district service, the Ratu Apenisa Memorial Church is used, so you can understand just how happy we are that our church is now looking beautiful and new."
Mr Drummond said they had a close relationship with the Nakelo community because they had the most number of Fijian soldiers serving in the British Army.
"We have such a long association with Nakelo, these are our friends, almost like family," he said.
"The sons of Nakelo have made the ultimate sacrifice dying in the service for the Crown."
The church renovations included the painting of the entire building and the installation of pews, new doors and windows and a new sound system.
According to the British High Commission, it is estimated that of the 13 villages that make up Nakelo, on average there are about 20 members from each village serving in the British Armed Forces.
Three British Army soldiers who have died in action in Afghanistan were from Nakelo district.