The Timaru Presbyterian Parish goal was to change from maintenance to mission which was one of the reasons for the formation of one Timaru Parish in March 2009 so ended up with an excess of buildings. St. Stephen's was the first to be sold followed by Trinity West and the manse.
St. Stephen's Washdyke - This was a Presbyterian Church. The foundation stone reads: To the Glory of God 1965 Minister Rev. W. P. Eggelton. South Canterbury Museum has the records of the Presbyterian Parish of St Stephens, including the St Stephens and Washdyke churches, covering the period of 1960-1990. The property was placed on the market in 2010. 5802m² tract of land. Dual access from Hilton Hwy and Seadown Rd.
St David's Union Church in Marchwiel - A Methodist and Presbyterian union parish. The church was established in 1951 as a union parish for Presbyterian and Methodists at 48 Andrew Street, Timaru. It was a result of a suburban boom in Marchwiel. In those days the houses were full of children and every family went to church. Today 2010 it is a childcare centre with paintings on the walls and fences around. St David’s Union Church in Marchwiel was sold and in July 2007 the church building was decommissioned. “We still had four members who had worshipped at St David's for all 55 years of its life. They remember raising money to build it. You choose a church not because of the building but because of the love and support of the congregation. When the church moves, the love in the hearts of the people moves with it. A plaque that expresses people’s memories of St David’s hangs in the childcare centre.
Looking north from 37 Andrew St. late 1960s.
48 Andrew St. is now a Kindergarten.
Saint Matthews Anglican Chapel, Kingsdown 1905-1970s and was a guest house/convention centre. It stood on the rise as you sweep round the corner on way to Pareora. Now in 2012 it is a B&B.
Holy Trinity, Orari
The Geraldine News 3 June 2011 Holy Trinity,
St Mary’s vicar, the Reverend John Hayhoe, says the decision to discontinue services at the church was made by the congregation.“The congregation was getting smaller and we recently lost two particularly supportive ladies. The church is too small for weddings, so they all go up to Geraldine anyway.” The service was to be a de-consecration, but the church was never consecrated in the first place, so it was more of a ‘going-out song’. The Holy Trinity Church had a very colourful history, which started in 1890 when it was built as the original Anglican Church on Talbot St. The congregation soon outgrew the wooden building, so the church that we now know as we now know as St Mary’s, was built. An early photograph shows the two churches side by side before the old one was shifted down to Orari in 1905. Records show that the shift was performed by three traction engines hauling the building on rollers. One can only wonder how long this took and how they managed to cross the Waihi River. The Orari congregation was established in 1906. Once the church was in place in Oak Street, Orari, a Sunday school room was built behind it in 1923. The original church featured a three light altar window donated in 1912. In 1925 the church burnt down and services were simply moved to the Sunday school rooms. Fragments from the window were later used in the design and construction of the Macdonald window, added to the St Mary's collection in 1997. By 1944, the rooms were officially considered as the church. “In true Kiwi style they just moved next door and carried on" Mr Hayhoe says. “They never got round to having the building consecrated.” During an open home at the church when it was for sale, even more history about the building came to light. Several people came in just for a look and said they’d had school lessons in the building after the Orari School burnt down. They’d used the church as a classroom while the school was re-built.”
St Luke's Anglican Church, Fairview
The Timaru Herald 22 June 2006
Fairview to lose church after 55 years serving community
St Lukes in Fairview, a church built on the enthusiasm of parishioners 55 years ago, will soon close. Its final service will be held on August 27. Hilda Hawke was involved in the original fundraising for the church and has been its florist. She has been to most services for the past 45 years. Her husband Rob Hawke was lay preacher for 30 years. "He was so good you would have thought he was the vicar." In St Lukes' early days the church would be so full that some of the men stood outside and listened. A Catholic farming family, the Hartnett's donated the land and the small, simple brick church was built through local fundraising. Mrs Hawke opened her home after church. "We'd have a cup of tea and put the world to rights." Her in-law Gaylene Leslie became organist at 11 and played mostly by ear. "Dad hung his hanky out when it was the last verse." She was also to be the Sunday school teacher. The church stuck to the Anglican liturgy and formal hymns. "We stuck to the traditional not the happy clappy," Mrs Hawke said. But many long time farming families shifted or their children moved away from church. And many of the lifestyle people who moved to the country later last century were not church goers. Mrs Leslie returned to Fairview in the mid '80s and the church was no longer such a focal point of the community. She said it was sad the church she had attended with family and witnessed events like baptisms was closing. However, the falling off of the congregation had been apparent. Apart from Christmas the congregation numbered about half-a-dozen at most of the fortnightly services. Priest Chris Saunders said the vestry of St Peters, St Lukes and St Marks Otipua proposed the closure to the diocese executive. And at the end of the month the St Lukes parishioners will consider how they would like the church to be disposed of. Their recommendation will then go to the diocese executive. Mr Saunders said once the church represented Fairview Anglican's strong desire to have their own church. And in St Lukes' early days it was a central part of the community and testament to their faith.
Photo taken 1st Dec. 2007. St Lukes is not longer a church but a private residence since 2006. The weather beaten sign still stands in the front and reads "Services 9.30 am 2nd Sunday each Month". All Welcome. There are still two crosses on the roof and windows with tracery. The yard has two beautiful evergreen ornamental conifer trees, lawsonianas, to the right, a silver birch in front to the left and the tall tree behind the "house" is an eucalyptus.
St. Mary, Winchester
This Roman Catholic Church was on corner of SH1 and turnoff to Geraldine in Winchester township, on the main road on the site of the old Winchester Hotel. The foundations were started on November 30, 1953. Built of hand made concrete block. 3300 blocks measuring 18 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches weighing 42 lbs each were made beside St Joseph’s church in Temuka. 90 more had to be made to finish the job. Closed in 1982, sold and converted into a house in 1986. The stained glass windows were made by Bradley Brothers. Three of the stained glass windows were re-used as interior windows in the Tinwald church, the remainder going to Green Island church in Dunedin. In March 2011 for sale again.
Wesleyan Church - Pareora West - torn down
Located in the Pareora West Cemetery, Beaconsfield Road, Otipua. May, 2007 - Photos by M.T. "Now we have gone further up Beaconsfield Road to the Pareora West Cemetery. Very overgrown but monuments still stand proudly, including the Boer War Memorial. I was interested in a large stone standing at left side of cemetery. It commemorates a Wesleyan church built on the site in 1870. "
The Wesleyan church was completed before Christmas 1870 by Mr Chivers who had the contract to build the church and pews for £57. The timber for the church, totara, was £33 and the totara shingles £5 5s. The cemetery grew around the church as it was being built. The first wedding May 22, 1871 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Upper Pareora, by the Rev. R. Bavin, William Clarke, to Catherine Ward, eldest daughter of Robert Ward, farmer, Pareora. This couple is also buried at the church cemetery. The first person interned was James Bell on 26 October 1870 with the land donated by Mr Chamberlain. The first christening was baby James Chamberlain. In 1963 the Levels County Council took over the care of the cemetery. The cemetery up to 1946 had 61 interments. The church deteriorated. The last service was in 1958. The church was demolished in May 1966. The walls were filled with clay and difficult to pull down. The stone on the old site 25 April 1971. Additional Reading: Tragedies Triumphs Treasures of Timaru & South Canterbury by Colin Townsend, page 27 - 31.
St. Mary's, Makikihi, sold in 2010
St Mary's (1903-2010) on State Highway 1 at Makikihi was made of Quinn bricks which came from the factory nearby. No longer a church - sold in 2010 and the two Quinn stained glass windows removed to Waimate. April 2012 photo
Evening Post, 9 June 1903, Page 5
Waimate, 8th June. Bishop Grimes opened the new Catholic Church at Makikihi on Sunday. The day was beautifully fine, and the ceremony was largely attended, representatives from every port of this portion of the county being present. The collection amounted to 156 pounds, made up of small donations. The new building is of brick and stone, and is commodious for a country church. The Bishop is being entertained at a "social" this evening by the Waimate parishioners, who will present him with a donation towards the Cathedral fund.
Evening Post, 7 October 1902, Page 5
Waimate, 6th October. The foundation stone of the new Catholic Church at Makikihi was laid on Sunday afternoon by Bishop Grimes. Mr. Nicholas Quinn gave the site and �200 towards the cost of erection. The collection of the ceremony amounted to 184 pounds.
Our New Zealand Cousins - by James Inglis- 1887 - 311 pages
At Makikihi I find a snug village. A steam threshing-machine is at work in a field close to the railway station, and as far as the eye can reach, it follows farm after farm, and takes in cottages, corn-ricks, trim plantations, hedge-rows, and busy ploughing teams. When I was last here [20years ago], Makikiki was purely a flax swamp and its only famous as being a grand shooting ground for ducks. Waimate too! I remember when there was but the home station her, one "bush pub," and forge, and a few sawyers' huts. Now the dense bush has all been cut away. Waimate is the terminus of a branch railway, and can boast stores, hotels, and buildings.
Gunn's Bush 2011
Timaru Herald 5/03/2008
The decline in numbers of youth in church has led to the sale of the iconic Gunn's Bush Methodist Camp. The camp, near Waimate, is on the market after struggling to be economically viable for the past few years. The camp had been around since about 1960 after a trust was set up to raise the money for its construction in 1956. It was built with a lot of voluntary labour and people have spent a lot of time over the years looking after it. Now run by a group of South Canterbury volunteers Rev they had reached a point where its original use, which was primarily church camps for young people, was no longer being met. It's not getting the use by the target group. Its lack of use has largely reflected the decrease in numbers of young people attending church. In the 1950s and 60s there were large Sunday schools and youth groups they were now much smaller - an estimated less than quarter the size they used to be. In the last five years the camp had particularly been struggling to get the numbers of people to make it economic to run. The sale of the camp will certainly disappoint some schools and community groups which use the premises. Girl Guides have held a number of camps and events at Gunn's Bush over the years. It's great because the facilities are all there, and it's not too far away. The money from the sale would go to other forms of ministry within South Canterbury with a focus on young people. The camp had a quotable value of $500,000.
Methodist Archives Christchurch has Architectural Plans
Gunns Bush Camp Site, Waimate ca 1970s Sleeping Accommodation 204, Later additions: Sick Bays, Chapel, Canteen, Book room, Canteen, Kitchen, Bunk rooms and Hall
South Canterbury Methodist District Youth Council's Permanent Camp Site at Gunn's Bush, R.S. 16667 C.T. 353/244 1p
Gunns Bush Camp Site 1957 Proposed Methodist Youth Camp, Gunn's Bush, Waimate 1p APS1904 8306 copy John S. Arthur
1977 New Swimming Pool at Gunns Bush, R.E. Litter,
1974 Swimming Pool - Lovell-Smith & Crisp
Morley, William. The History of Methodism in New Zealand - Page 456 online.
Pareora is the second place in the circuit. Mr Bull started at Mr Chivers, Pig Hunting Creek, near the township of Beaconsfield. A class was formed there by the Guscott, Priest, Rapsey, Ward and Gilchrist families. Week evening services were occasionally held at Mr Elworthy's station. In 1870 a church was built to seat 110 persons at a cost of £140. Nine years since a commodious vestry was added at a further outlay of £46.
Otago Witness, 12 October 1904, Page 32
Mr John Jackson on Friday presented the trustees of the Timaru Wesleyan Church with a town section for which he paid £500.
Evening Post, 2 April 1912, Page 7
The Rev. W. Baumber, who leaves Timaru shortly for Nelson, was the guest at a farewell gathering of the Timaru Wesleyan congregation last evening, and was presented with a purse of sovereigns. There were many expressions of regret that the minister's health made a change desirable.
Timaru Herald 16 May 2012 Morven Presbyterian Church is on the market.
The parish is moving its ministry to neighbouring Glenavy as it seeks to rationalise the use of church buildings. Minister Bill Penno says the Glenavy church will be used for worship services from now on. The Morven church is weatherboard and has a rimu panel interior. It was built in 1906. The church hall and three sections will go on the market with it. St Matthews Anglican Church in Morven was sold some years ago and its bell moved to a specially constructed tower at Morven Presbyterian Church. A hefty increase in earthquake insurance premiums had influenced the decision to sell.
"We don't see it as our mission to keep buildings that are not being used." A closing service will be held at the church on Sunday at 10am.
Otago Witness 28 February 1906, Page 38
Church. The Presbyterians have decided to build a church at Morven, and the tender of Mr Gillies, of Oamaru, has been accepted. This is a step in the right direction, as church held in a schoolroom is never very satisfactory. Bazaar. The Morven ladies are making big preparations for the bazaar to be held in May in aid of the Hall Fund.
Timaru Herald, 19 February 1897, Page 3
A new way of paying off a church debt has been thought out in an Otago rural district. The local barber went for a lengthened holiday, and in his absence a zealous churchwarden undertook to cut the hair of as many customers as chose to drop a shilling into the collection bag.
Otago Witness, 14 September 1904, Page 59
Saturday last, at Timaru, a number of boys, whose ages ranged from nine to 16 years, were charged with throwing stones and causing willful damage to gravestones in the Beaconsfield churchyard. The accused, while waiting for Sunday school to open, placed a tin on the top of a marble headstone, and amused themselves by throwing stones at the tin, some of the stones hitting the headstone and knocking chips off it. On another afternoon they broke the top off a marble headstone by throwing stones at it. The parents of the lads undertook to pay for the damage done in this case, and the stipendiary magistrate convicted the boys of willful damage, and ordered them to come up for sentence when called upon.
A Church bell would never speak of a funeral unless it was tolled.
The Old Church
What! tear the old church down, you say, and build a modern one
That we can look upon with pride upon and boast of when 'tis done?
With lots of little rooms below for festivals and fairs,
And one big room for preachin', with its pews and easy chairs?
What's wrong about the dear old church we've worshipped in so long!
The walls are good, the clapboards tight, the windows sound and strong;
I'll own the roof is leakin' some, but that can be made right,
A shingle stuck in here and there will make the old roof tight.
I tell you, brethren, that the old church seems like a life-long friend;
Sweet memories clusterin' round there will last till life shall end.
Each timber, joist, and board, and nail seems speaking with a tongue,
And tellin' of the good done here since you and I were young.
Beside that dear old alter there just fifty years to-day,
I knelt and begged for pardon, and Christ washed my sins away,
And, through old Time has thinned my hair and leached white as snow,
That alter is as dear to me as fifty years ago.
The sermons that we've listened to from holy men of God,
Whose bodies now are lyin' cold beneath the churchyard sod,
Seem ringin' in my ears to-day, and full of truth
And when I listened to them in the merry days of youth.
I seem to hear the preacher's voice say, "brethren let us pray."
And all the congregation kneel in the old-fashioned way;
I seem to hear the thrillin' shouts of "Glory" and "Amen"
Responding from the people's hearts and echoin' again.
I seem to hear those old time hymns we all so loved to sing,
That used to swell from ev'ry heart, and make the old church bell ring.
There's one now ringin' on my ears- "Let angels prostrate fal,
Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all!"
'Twould seem too much sacrilege to tear that alter down;
I'm afraid God wouldn't bless that deed, but rather on it frown.
No, brethren, not a dollar will you get from my old hand!
I'd rather give five hundred more and let the old church stand!
Waimate Advertiser Tuesday 29th May 1900 page 3
Under the Historic Places Act it is illegal to destroy, damage or modify an archeological site without the authority of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. An archaeological authority is required for the demolition of any building or structure constructed prior to 1900.
Timaru Herald, 9 February 1895, Page 2
The Rev. B. T. Hallowes, B.A., founded the Congregational Church at Timaru about seventeen years ago.