Sunday is taken quite seriously on Aitutaki and every other island across the Cooks. No (or very little) work, the shops are closed, and you are expected to get on over to church.
Christianity is deeply rooted across the culture and day-to-day life here. With none of us having been to the Church of the Cook Islands, our faculty and students took this opportunity to check out what was reputed to be one of the most musical masses in the islands. And we were not disappointed!
The Church we attended was the first Christian church founded in Aitutaki and the oldest Christian community in the Cook Islands. This was also one of the first permanent, modern buildings here on Aitutaki, built in 1836 by Reverend John Williams, his lieutenants, and early flock. From its 1826 Cook Islands inception with the touching down of Fijian believers arriving on Aitutaki, Christianity spread to nearby islands. After establishing a Christian community on Aitu, Reverend Williams was finally given correct directions to find Rarotonga and begin his conversion efforts across Rarotonga. This paved the way for the conversion of the entire island chain.