The Churches of Waimate, South Canterbury

St Augustine's Church 
St Augustines is magnificent - it has a 1 classification (highest) with  Historic Places. The picket fence in the picture is no longer there.

St. Augustine's Church is located in John Street, Waimate. The original church was built in 1872 and designed by Benjamin Mountfort and built by J. W. Gaitt  and G. Dickison. The foundation stone was laid on 28th August 1872 by Rev G. Foster. Construction was of locally sawn timber - matai and totara and the land was given by an original settler Michael Studholme.  Consecrated on May 4, 1873. Michael arrived in Lyttelton in 1851. Before this church was built the vicar of Timaru held services at the Studholme homestead. The original St Augustine's has not been altered much.  Recent views

 2001. St Augustine. Digital image courtesy of waimate.com

"Waimate St Augustine's Parish of the Anglican Church extends from the Hook River on the north of the Waitaki river on the south and from the seaboard to the hills. In 1903 the southern portion of the district, from the Waihao to the Waitaki, was created a new parish. Services are held at Hunter, Makikihi, Waihao Downs, Morven and Glenavy, as well as at the parish church at Waimate. The contract for the construction of St Augustine's church was signed in 1872 and the building was opened in May 1873 and enlarged in 1883, by the addition of a lantern-tower. A handsome lych gate has been recently added, and there are some very fine stained glass windows in the church. The land occupied by the church and parsonage was presented by the late Mr. Michael Studholme, of Waimate. There is room in the church for 200 worshipers. A convenient Sunday school building, close by, was erected in 1897. It has accommodation for 200 children and there are 130 names on the roll and eleven teachers. The parsonage stands in St Augustine Street, and was erected in 1874. It has a glebe of 5 acres of land." Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903


The Augustine Church and Troopers Memorial.

St. Augustine's Lychgate is registered as category 2. Historic place of historical or cultural heritage significance or value.Additions:
1880 - Lantern Tower - built of Kahikatea by Mr. S. Collett and desecrated by Rev. Charles Coates
1902 - Lych Gate - made of native timber and given by Mrs. Michael Studholme in memory of her husband and two sons
1903 - Bell Tower 
 
1923- A new chancel built of concrete
and sanctuary to replace the wooden original. Architects Turnbull and Rule from Timaru designed the addition incorporating two windows made by Morris and Co, England.
1963 -A lady chapel was added
1999 -  A new lounge and meeting rooms, designed by Sir Miles Warren, were added.

The Church has two beautiful stained glass windows. Both windows were designed by Sir Edward Bourne-Jones and made by the English firm Morris & Co. Mereton, Surrey:
1st was installed in 1926 in memory of Lieutenant Clifford C. Barclay who was killed on 1st Anzac at Gillipoli and depicts Sir Galahad's vision of the Holy Grail. The donor was his mother, Ruth A. Barclay who died 26 Nov. 1938. Unveiled Anzac Day 1926.
2nd was installed in 1931 in memory of Mrs Fanny Gebb (?Genn) and depicts Christ in the house of Martha. Donor by bequest.

Timaru Herald, 26 August 1897, Page 2
A very beautiful memorial window was unveiled at the early service in St. Augustine's Church, Waimate, on Sunday last. It was placed there by Mrs A. E. G. Rhodes in memory of her parents, the late James William and Anne Emily Moorhouse. The subject is " The Transfiguration." In the centre stands a radiant figure of Our Lord, and on either hand Moses and Elias, whilst below kneel the Apostles S.S. Peter, James, and John m attitudes of humblest adoration. The colours are richly toned, and the whole effect is extremely beautiful and artistic. The window is from the establishment of Messrs Clayton and Bell, London.

Nearly $500,000 needs to be raised so St Augustine's Church, bell tower and lychgate in Waimate can be restored. That would result in a restoration that would ensure the buildings lasted for another 100 years and more, an investment needed for the town's future generations, Mr Paul Studholme said, Feb. 23 2009.  The lychgate was designed by Samuel Hurst Seager with Arno limestone was donated by Mrs. Michael Studholme in memory of her husband and two sons in 1902. The bell tower, erected by Norton Francis in memory of his wife Ruth, also the daughter of Effie and Michael Studholme. 1903, was also designed by Samuel Hurst Seager.

Evening Post, 7 October 1902, Page 5
Waimate, 6th October. A lych gate was dedicated at St. Augustine's Church on Sunday by the vicar, the Rev. M'Kenzie Gibson. The gate, which is a handsome and substantial structure, was erected by Mrs. Studholme in memory of her late husband, Mr. Michael Studholme, and her eldest and youngest sons, Michael Cuthbert and Geoffrey. Mr. Hurst Seager, of Christchurch, was the architect.

References:
Te Waimatemate by William Greenwood
Waimate Centennial booklet issued in 1954
Photographs from the collection held at Waimate Museum

Suggested reading: Dream of Spires A book by Ian Lochhead. Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort (1825-98) and the Gothic Revival. Study of influential Christchurch architect. He designed the beautiful Christchurch Cathedral in 1864. The belfry at Saint Michael and All Angels in  Christchurch 1861. St Mary's in Esk Valley. The Napier Cathedral which collapsed in the 1931 earthquake. Mountfort is, however, best known as a designer of churches and his achievements are worth noting because it was he who did most to shape the architectural character of nineteenth- century Christchurch. When the Canterbury Pilgrims arrived on the "Charlotte Jane" 16 December 1850 Mountfort was one of the first settlers ashore and he lived and worked in Canterbury, first in Lyttleton, then from 1857, in Christchurch, for the rest of his life. As an architect he designed most of the public buildings which give Christchurch its distinctive Gothic Revival character.

St Patrick's Church 

2001. St Patricks Church, another of the gems in the crown of architecture. Digital image courtesy of waimate.com

Timaru Road, Waimate. Built in 1908-09 it replaced the original wooden church that had been built in 1876. The old St Patrick's Church is registered as category 1. Historic place of special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value. church was transported to Washdyke in 1934. The new Church was designed by F W Petrie and constructed of brick and stone. Its two main doors were constructed of stamped copper and on both sides of the doors stood two large South Sea Island shells for Holy Water. Rose windows at the front measures 14ft in diameter and three bells in the tower were cast in Belgium, with the largest bell weighing 3/4 of ton and the other two weighing 1/2 ton each. The impressive tower at the top was built in 1912 and is 45ft high.  Their pipe organ was built by Arthur Hobday & Son in 1916-20. view

Waimate's first Catholic priest in 1881 was Father John Goutenoire and was followed in 1889 by Father Regnault. As with most Catholic Church's a school was also built. Waimate was no exception and the first one was constructed in 1880. Originally lay teachers staffed this but in 1891 sisters of St Josephs of Sacred Heart took over and in 1891 a Convent was opened with a Presbytery following in 1895.  The old Convent was replaced in 1965 and a new school replaced the old one in 1983. .Reference: St Patricks Parish Waimate 1865-1965

St Patrick's Catholic Church at Waimate dates from 1877 and the convent at the back of the church was erected in 1890. The church is a wooden building with seating accommodation for 200 worshipers, and the convent is under the care of six Sisters of St Joseph, who conduct a school adjoining it. About 150 children attend this school and there is room for 200. Music is taught and a good elementary education is given, and those who desire it are prepared for higher examinations. The present presbytery, which was erected to replace the old building in 1894, is a handsome two-story brick and plaster building, and stands in front of the school, facing the main road. The church owns 23 acres of land, part of which is within the boundary of the borough. Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

BUILDING ON A PROUD HISTORY
5 March 2005 Timaru Herald
Waimate has a fine Catholic church, but one that needs urgent attention.  On driving into Waimate, via the main northern entrance, one of the first sights to catch the eye is the local Catholic church. St Patrick's Basilica is an imposing feature of the Waimate landscape, sedately perched on a rise that overlooks the township and farming hinterland. Perhaps not quite in the realms of "a pinnacle of beauty", this architecturally impressive spiritual home for the local Catholic community, "St Pats", has provided an attractive landmark to all and sundry associated with Waimate for the past 95 years. The Lombard-Romanesque structure is classified Category 1 by the NZ Historic Places Trust and carries a Category A Heritage Building classification in the Waimate District Council Plan. Recognition of the church's national architectural importance has added impetus to the restoration project now being organised by parishioners. The architect responsible, Francis William Petre, has been described as New Zealand's most significant neo- classical architect. The first Catholic Mass in Waimate, said by the visiting Marist priest Fr Jean Baptiste Chataigner, was celebrated in 1867 in the home of Larry and Sarah Tooher. The growing number of Irish settling in the Waimate district generated a desire for a permanent place of worship and the first Catholic church was built in 1876. This, a wooden structure made of timber harvested from the local Hunters Hills, could accommodate up to 200. By 1907 the local Catholic community was confidently established and construction of the Basilica began. At a cost of 6000 the concrete, brick and Oamaru stone church was completed in 1909 and in 1912 the imposing copper dome bell tower was added at a further cost of 1000.  Waimate's St Patricks Basilica is one of a number of significant works designed by Petre. But it was the only one of his later designs to be completed to his specifications and Petre (pronounced `Peter') maintained close supervision of the construction. His interest in neo-classicism is reflected in its architecture. Petre combined classical designs with permanent and local materials to create a somewhat grand Italianate edifice on what was once a very unassuming colonial landscape. This architect was known to have a penchant for dramatic silhouettes. St Patricks is simple in design, solid in structure and incorporates frequent use of the arch. Although it does not have the aisles, in other respects it follows the form of the Roman basilica, oblong in shape with a semi-circular apse at the end. Basilicas were large buildings originally designed by the ancient Romans as a public hall for the administration of justice or other business. With the advent of Christianity they were often converted into churches and the ground plan for these ancient structures provided the model for the construction of new churches. The revival of classical Greek and Roman architecture became a feature of European design in the late18th and 19th centuries. Neo-classicism stood in contrast with the Gothic revival that was also influential in the design of buildings during this period. Churches provided the perfect structures for architectural expression. Basilicas had become popular for Catholic churches in the second half of the 19th century as a means of emphasising the Roman connection and distinguishing the buildings from Anglican churches built predominantly in the Gothic style. The oblong shape of the basilica meant that a congregation could be seated as closely as possible to the altar. Basilicas could also be made of concrete. Liturgically, and financially, they were ideal for Catholic congregations in a newly developing colony still heavily influenced by the culture of their Irish, British and European origins. And so it was that Francis William Petre, a very shy and modest man, came to be responsible for some of the most dignified and beautiful churches on our South Island landscape. Petre was born in Lower Hutt in August 1847. The Petres were an old and notable English Catholic family once in residence at Thorndon Hall where Petre's grandfather was the eleventh Baron of Essex. His father, Henry, first came out to New Zealand with the main body of company settlers, landing in Wellington in 1840. At the time of his son's birth he was farming in the Hutt Valley, deciding to return to England in 1855 for his family's education. Francis Petre was educated at a Jesuit College in Derbyshire before spending two years as a naval cadet at Portsmouth. He had time at school in France and on return attended Ushaw College in Durham. Petre's initial ambition was to be a sculptor but instead he was articled, in 1864, to a London firm of engineers and naval architects. In 1872 he came out to New Zealand as a supervisory engineer for John Brogden and Sons, English railway contractors who had been commissioned to lay lines in the South Island.

In 1875, F. W. Petre established his own practice as Architect and Engineer, based in Dunedin. In certain circles he was to become known as "Lord Concrete", a reflection on his ancestry and his pioneering work in the use of reinforced concrete in early New Zealand architecture. Along with numerous other buildings, Petre was responsible for 70 churches in New Zealand. Included are a number of striking basilicas. Petre was the architect responsible for Wellington's Sacred Heart Cathedral (built in1901). His legacy in the South Island can be seen in a trail of magnificent churches that winds its way from Christchurch to Invercargill. Several of these have already undergone extensive and successful restoration. The Christchurch Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (1904-1905) would have to be one of Petre's most inspiring and ambitious projects rivaling the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral in its dimensions.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Timaru, described as his most original work, was completed in 1910 under the parish priest's supervision after Petre sold him the plans. Just 45km south is the Waimate basilica, completed in 1909. Then there is St Patricks Basilica in Oamaru (1894 and 1903), St Patricks Basilica in South Dunedin (1879-1894), and the Southland Basilica of St Marys at Invercargill (1905). Another Petre basilica, built at Gore in 1914, was demolished in the mid 1980s. According to one of Petre's children, of all the churches his father designed, St Patricks Basilica in Waimate was the one of which he was most proud. As in his other basilicas, the Waimate church reflects early Latin architecture with its love of largeness, space and light. The exterior of the church is constructed of reinforced concrete and sheathed with brick. Arches and piers are faced with Oamaru stone, exploiting the colourful contrast between the red brick and cream stone. The roof is made of Marseille tiles, warm red clay tiles commonly associated with a Mediterranean landscape, and originally imported from France. An arcaded portico extends across the full width of the front of the church. Monumental Tuscan pillars separate the arcades. Above is the central rose window, a feature Petre sought to incorporate in the style of his basilica. The rose window, a characteristic of medieval architecture, has its origins in ancient Greek design where it was used to represent the eye of god, a window to the soul. The dominating feature of the Waimate church is the belfry tower that is crowned with an eight-sided copper-sheathed dome complete with a cross on top. Petre used the dome to dramatic effect. This eastern European influence became a characteristic of basilicas in the late 19th century. The belfry is home to three bells. These, donated by the Quinn family of Makikihi, were cast in Belgium and installed in 1913. On entering the church one is struck by its airiness and light. Large arched glass windows in the nave blend into very plain wall surfaces. Vestiges of classical detail can be seen in the decorated plaster, mainly at ceiling level. The ornate ceiling panels are of pressed zinc. One's eye is drawn to the southern end of the church where an arch opens into the sanctuary, terminating in the semi-circular end wall that contains seven beautiful stained glass windows set high to catch the morning sun. Six of the windows are attributed to Frederick Mash, an accomplished stained glass designer who emigrated from England in 1912 to work for Smith and Smith in Christchurch. The seventh, Our Lady of Fatima, was designed by John Brock, another Englishmen, who trained with the London based James Powell and Sons and emigrated to settle in Dunedin in 1914. The sacristy is sited to one side of the sanctuary to enable placement of the windows in such a way that light falls on the altar. Large concrete columns support the organ loft and choir gallery above the main entrance of the church. Access to the loft and gallery is by a cast iron spiral staircase. The church's Hobday organ was the last organ built by Arthur A. Hobday in 1922 and some experts consider it one of his finest works. Restoration of this at a cost of $70,000 was completed in 1996.

The organ is registered under the New Zealand Antiquities Act and was gifted to the church by the local Hanley family. With the organ restoration project successfully accomplished attention is now focused on preservation of the church itself. Conservation architect Chris Cochran has stated that the Waimate Basilica has architectural importance as a work of distinction and he describes Petre as one of New Zealand's most creative and competent architects. The St Patricks Church Restoration Trust has set itself an ambitious target, giving exterior maintenance and structural repairs priority. A total of approximately $530,000 is needed for the major maintenance and exterior restoration and fund raising is well under way. Trust chairperson John Foley anticipates work will be completed by March 2006 subject to NZ Lotteries and Grants Board approval. An envisaged third phase of the project will be restoration of the interior and sanctuary. A favourable recommendation from the Historic Places Trust is welcome. Their dictum, "to direct and enrich our future by using wisely the heritage of our past" seems appropriate somehow. St Patricks Basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on the Waimate landscape. Its history is closely interwoven with that of the whole of the Waimate district. But more than this it symbolises a heritage that reaches far beyond New Zealand shores to places and periods of time that ultimately connect us with all who have created something sacred in order to express that which defies expression.

NZ Tablet 28 Oct. 1909 pg 1693

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/lifestyle/3131888/Rejuvenated-basilica
Now restored in its centennial year, a Waimate landmark resounded for decades to the accents of presiding French priests, writes KEN FRASER.
When a casket containing the remains of 19th- century French bishop Pompallier was brought to Waimate on a national tour in 2002, it rested in a former base for French priests preaching to mainly Irish worshippers and offspring. Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier's Marist priests were until the 1880s - as Frenchmen - the main ethnic group among New Zealand's Catholic clergy. Assisting change was an influx of Irish immigrants and clergy. But French priests, beginning with John Goutenoire in 1881 and ending with Leopold Carcenac (1939-47), continued to serve with distinction at Waimate, Carcenac being the last French Marist cleric stationed in New Zealand. The fusion of French accents and Irish heritage seemed to work, in contrast to the linguistic frustrations aired by West Coasters.
Waimate was a logical part of the itinerary seven years ago for the journey of Pompallier bones and relics after their exhumation on the outskirts of Paris and, finally, re- interment at Hokianga in the Far North of New Zealand, the country in which Pompallier directed his "Sons of France" for three decades.
Visiting French priest Jean Baptiste Chataigner said the first Waimate Mass in 1867 at the home of Larry and Sarah Tooher. Their bluestone cottage is just up the road from St Patrick's Basilica, which was completed in 1909 after congregations outgrew a wooden church built in 1876. The latter (also dedicated to St Patrick) was in 1934 shifted 50km to Washdyke on the northern outskirts of Timaru.
Depicted in one of the Waimate basilica's beautiful stained-glass windows is St Peter Chanel, who sailed with Pompallier from Le Havre, France, in 1837. As members of the new Marist order, their mission was to evangelise the far- flung islands of the southwestern Pacific, Chanel becoming the First Martyr of the South Seas after being murdered on the island of Futuna in 1841.
The basilica in its centennial year has also completed a nine-year $600,000 restoration programme. Parishioners and others in their donations and fundraising have emulated some of the faith and sacrifice of the early congregations. A third of the cost has been paid by the Lottery Grants Board and there have also been contributions from other charities "including the Mid and South Canterbury Community Trust and the Lion Foundation", says John Foley, chairman of the restoration trust. The Lombard Romanesque basilica designed by Francis William Petre, perhaps New Zealand's most significant neo-classical architect, is nationally recognised with a Category I (Historic Places Trust) registration and top heritage rating in the Waimate District Town Plan. Oblong with a semi-circular apse accentuating Petre's masterful use of light, the structure has for most of its life been known as St Patrick's Church but is now "confirmed as architecturally a basilica", Foley says. It makes Waimate the smallest town in Australasia with a basilica in its midst. Built in concrete, Oamaru stone and bricks from Quinn's kilns at nearby Makikihi, the basilica's airiness and Carrara marble from Tuscany are among interior features, including marble altar rails recovered from among the church piles for the restoration. The tower's three bells were cast in Belgium. Long concrete columns support the organ loft and choir gallery above the main entrance of the nave, the Hobday organ having been restored in 1996 at a cost of $70,000. Christchurch organist Martin Setchell has been among the visiting performers at fundraising concerts in St Patrick's, as has renowned soprano Dame Malvina Major, who has received standing ovations. Ecumenism is also alive and well at Waimate, with St Patrick's and St Augustine's Anglican Church having recently held a combined dinner and auction in the Waimate Stadium. The 136-year-old St Augustine's has a $500,000 restoration programme and will share proceeds from the next concert in St Patrick's Basilica. "We (the basilica trust) plan to have two major events (concerts) every year in the basilica, " says Foley. "And the basilica is open to the general public every day of the week, Mondays to Sundays, 9am to 5pm." The landmark on the northern entrance to the town's main street seems to have an assured future. Perhaps that's a widening smile on the face of the statue of Ireland's patron saint near the front pews.

New Zealand Tablet, 26 March 1903, Page 5 Waimate.
March 23. On St. Patrick's Day Mass was celebrated at seven o'clock and 11. At the 11 o'clock Mass the Rev. Father Le Petit, of Fairlie, preached the panegyric of St. Patrick. Considering the late harvest there was a large congregation. In the evening a national concert was held in the Oddfellows' Hall. As usual the hall was crowded to the doors, many being unable to obtain admission. A capital programme was presented, which was opened by the school girls with a well-rendered song and chorus. Mr. N. O'Shea followed with 'O'Donnell Abu,' which he sang in a very spirited manner, receiving a vociferous encore. The school boys gave a very fine exhibition of club swinging, which was greatly appreciated by the audience. Mr. Jeffries sang 'The deathless army. Miss Rattary was heard to advantage in ' Come back to Erin,' and was encored. An action song by the boys, dressed as sailors, was well received. Mr. Hintz happily struck the taste of the audience in his comic selection, for which he received a well-merited encore, and Mr. Barrie Marschell recited 'Shamus O'Brien' with considerable success, he also receiving an encore. The first part concluded with a hornpipe, given by Mr. M. Sullivan. The second part opened with a song and chorus by the school girls. Mr. O'Shea followed with Barry's song, 'The sword.' Master Twomey won the applause of the audience for his rendering of 'Tommy Topweight.' Miss Cameron was recalled for her fine rendering of 'Killarney. Mr. Jeffries gave 'Off to Philadelphia, and Mrs. Hamilton gave "Thady, O'Flynn' in a first-rate style. Mr. Hintz fairly brought down the house with the comic contributions, being recalled twice. Mr. Barrie Marschell gave a humorous recitation, entitled 'Glimpses from my life,' being a series of studies in dialects, in which he was very successful. Mr. Sullivan concluded with an Irish jig. All the items were well given and well received, a recall being demanded and responded to in every instance. Miss Jones accompanied the school children, and Miss Smart, Miss V Wall, and Mrs. Hamilton the soloists. The programme concluded with 'God save the King.' On Sunday, the 21st, the Rev. Father Regnault thanked all those who had assisted to make the concert a success.  

New Zealand Tablet, 18 January 1906, Page 13 WEDDING BELLS
VENNING� KENT. A pretty double wedding was solemnised in St. Patrick's Church, Waimate, on Tuesday, January 9, when two highly respected and popular young ladies of that parish, the Misses Lucy and Elizabeth Kent, second and third eldest daughters of Mrs. Kent, of Glenbane, Michael street, were joined in Matrimony to Messrs. John and Edward Venning, first and third eldest sons of Mr. and Mrs. J. Venning, Roslyn,' Timaru. The ceremony commenced at nine o'clock in the presence of a very large number of relatives, friends, and well wishers of the happy couples, Rev. Father Charles Venning (brother of the grooms) officiated, assisted by Rev. fathers Tubman, Regnault, and O'Connor. In a short address he congratulated the young couples on the step they were taking, reminded them of the similarity of their union to that of Christ with His Church, and then before concluding referred to his own personal interest in the ceremony. The brides, who looked charming in beautiful white silk dresses and veils with orange blossoms were given away by their brothers, Messrs. John Charles and James Francis Kent. The bridesmaids were Miss Mary Kent and Miss Mary Venning, and Miss Caroline Kent and Miss Zeta Venning, and Misses Dorothy and Annie Delahunt acted as flower girls. After the celebration of the Nuptial Mass the Wedding March was played by the organist as the happy couples left the chinch for the residence of the brides' mother, where the wedding breakfast was laid. Some seventy guests sat down to the well-provided tables. Rev. Father Regnault presided, and proposed the health of the Brides and Bridegrooms. He said that by the marriage two of the best and most Christian families in South Canterbury were united. Waimate had no reason to rejoice in losing two of its best young ladies, who were indefatigable in all Church work, and zealous and regular attendants in the choir. It was over sixteen years since he first met the brides he now saw before him, and even then they gave promise of that noble Catholic womanhood into which they had since developed. Mr. W. Evans, of Timaru, and late chairman of the Timaru Harbour Board, said that he was not long acquainted with the brides, but the bridegrooms he knew well they were two of the most straightforward and conscientious young men he had ever come across, and had been in his employ since they left school. Mr. and Mrs. Venning were old friends of his, and exemplary people they were. Mr. Venning had worked with him for the past 30 years, and he sincerely hoped that his sons would ever keep before them the fine example set by their parents. Rev. Father Tubman proposed the toast of the Parents, and referred to them as examples of true Christians. This toast was seconded by Rev. Father Regnault, and replied to by Mr. Venning, senr., and on behalf of Mrs. Kent, by Mr. M. J. Brennan, of Opunake (uncle of the bridegrooms), and Mr. J. Charles Kent. During the day and evening scores of telegrams arrived felicitating the happy couples. At two o'clock the whole party, in five vehicles, went for a short drive up the Gorge, and the day being a particularly pleasant one, the outing was thoroughly appreciated. On returning afternoon tea was dispensed, and their the happy couples were driven to Studholme, and given a right royal send-off by the whole party as they left for their honeymoon by the express, Mr and Mrs. J. Venning going to Christchurch and Akaroa, and Mr. and Mrs. E. Venning to Dunedin. In the evening quite a large number of guests were entertained at a social evening in St. Augustine's Hall, the first class music being supplied by the Misses Flynn and others, and a most enjoyable time was spent. It may be mentioned that Mr. W. Knight was best man, and Mr. S. Venning groomsman to Mr. J. Venning, and Mr. G. Venning best man, and Mr. M. J. Doyle groomsman to Mr. E. Venning. The weddings presents were very numerous and valuable.

Timaru Herald 6 September 1920, Page 5
Yesterday saw the opening of the large pipe organ in St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Waimate, the organ being the generous gift of Mr and P. Hantey, of Morven, which district is included in the Waimate parish. The organ has been built by Mr Arthur A. Hobday, of Wellington, who has certainly turned out a fine instrument.

The Press Oct. 2005
Now restored in its centennial year, a Waimate landmark resounded for decades to the accents of presiding French priests, writes KEN FRASER.

When a casket containing the remains of 19th- century French bishop Pompallier was brought to Waimate on a national tour in 2002, it rested in a former base for French priests preaching to mainly Irish worshippers and offspring. Jean Baptiste Francois Pompallier's Marist priests were until the 1880s - as Frenchmen - the main ethnic group among New Zealand's Catholic clergy. Assisting change was an influx of Irish immigrants and clergy. But French priests, beginning with John Goutenoire in 1881 and ending with Leopold Carcenac (1939-47), continued to serve with distinction at Waimate, Carcenac being the last French Marist cleric stationed in New Zealand. The fusion of French accents and Irish heritage seemed to work, in contrast to the linguistic frustrations aired by West Coasters.

Waimate was a logical part of the itinerary seven years ago for the journey of Pompallier bones and relics after their exhumation on the outskirts of Paris and, finally, reinterment at Hokianga in the Far North of New Zealand, the country in which Pompallier directed his "Sons of France" for three decades. Visiting French priest Jean Baptiste Chataigner said the first Waimate Mass in 1867 at the home of Larry and Sarah Tooher. Their bluestone cottage is just up the road from St Patrick's Basilica, which was completed in 1909 after congregations outgrew a wooden church built in 1876. The latter (also dedicated to St Patrick) was in 1934 shifted 50km to Washdyke on the northern outskirts of Timaru.

Depicted in one of the Waimate basilica's beautiful stained-glass windows is St Peter Chanel, who sailed with Pompallier from Le Havre, France, in 1837. As members of the new Marist order, their mission was to evangelise the far- flung islands of the southwestern Pacific, Chanel becoming the First Martyr of the South Seas after being murdered on the island of Futuna in 1841.

The basilica in its centennial year has also completed a nine-year $600,000 restoration programme. Parishioners and others in their donations and fundraising have emulated some of the faith and sacrifice of the early congregations. A third of the cost has been paid by the Lottery Grants Board and there have also been contributions from other charities "including the Mid and South Canterbury Community Trust and the Lion Foundation", says John Foley, chairman of the restoration trust. The Lombard Romanesque basilica designed by Francis William Petre, perhaps New Zealand's most significant neo-classical architect, is nationally recognised with a Category I (Historic Places Trust) registration and top heritage rating in the Waimate District Town Plan. Oblong with a semi-circular apse accentuating Petre's masterful use of light, the structure has for most of its life been known as St Patrick's Church but is now "confirmed as architecturally a basilica", Foley says. It makes Waimate the smallest town in Australasia with a basilica in its midst. Built in concrete, Oamaru stone and bricks from Quinn's kilns at nearby Makikihi, the basilica's airiness and Carrara marble from Tuscany are among interior features, including marble altar rails recovered from among the church piles for the restoration. The tower's three bells were cast in Belgium. Long concrete columns support the organ loft and choir gallery above the main entrance of the nave, the Hobday organ having been restored in 1996 at a cost of $70,000.

Christchurch organist Martin Setchell has been among the visiting performers at fundraising concerts in St Patrick's, as has renowned soprano Dame Malvina Major, who has received standing ovations. Ecumenism is also alive and well at Waimate, with St Patrick's and St Augustine's Anglican Church having recently held a combined dinner and auction in the Waimate Stadium. The 136-year-old St Augustine's has a $500,000 restoration programme and will share proceeds from the next concert in St Patrick's Basilica. "We (the basilica trust) plan to have two major events (concerts) every year in the basilica, " says Foley. "And the basilica is open to the general public every day of the week, Mondays to Sundays, 9am to 5pm." The landmark on the northern entrance to the town's main street seems to have an assured future. Perhaps that's a widening smile on the face of the statue of Ireland's patron saint near the front pews.

Timaru Herald February 1, 2006
After keeping a century's worth of Waimate parishioners dry, the Marseille tiles on the roof of St Patrick's Church have been replaced. Their replacement, the Australian-made Monier Tiles, was approved by the Historic Places Trust, restoration committee spokesman John Foley said. "The Marseille tiles have an intriguing story," he said. The original tiles were made in France, coming from mines first opened in Roman times. Sporting a distinctive insect and turtle emblem on top and an inscription in French underneath, the tiles were exported all over the world, Mr Foley said. The removed tiles, still in working order, were �The first stage of the restoration would include the replacement of damaged roofing tiles, the strengthening of the belfry and the Rose window.

St. Patrick's Parish, Waimate, 1865-1965; The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1890-1965, St. Patrick's Jubilee celebration, Waimate, April 17th-20th, 1965, 100 Glorious years
Authors: John Foley, St. Patrick's Catholic Parish (Waimate, N.Z.)
Publisher The parish, 1965. 70 pages

Of grace and majesty : the history of St Patrick's Basilica Waimate, 1909-2009
by Foley, John . -- St. Patrick's Basilica (Waimate, N.Z.)
Publisher: [Waimate, N.Z.: J. Foley] 2009.
Other title: St Patrick's Basilica, Waimate, 1909-2009.

2009 A century of praise at St Patrick�s Basilica Waimate
Nine years of hard work and community effort were celebrated with a centennial Mass in October at Waimate. The newly repaired beautiful rose window, a feature of Francis Petrie�s romanesque St Patrick�s basilica, looked down over 250 musicians, bishops, and former and current parishioners, who enjoyed a concert with Soprano Lois Johnston, the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and St Kevin�s College choir. �Everybody associated with the project felt privileged and proud to bring the basilica up to it�s present standard�, said chairman of the Restoration Trust, John Foley. St Augustine�s Anglican church, which also enjoys a NZ Historic Places #1 classification, and is being restored. The book Of Grace and Majesty by John Foley, containing excellent pictures of St Patrick�s. Orders: $20 (incl. P&P) c/- 35 Mill Road, Waimate, 7924.


Knox Presbyterian Church

    2001. Knox Presb. Church. digital image courtesy of waimate.com   

The 1st church was built in 1874 and was of the traditional wooden style. Rev Robert Ewen had started services in 1871 in Waimate and after the construction of the new Church George Lindsay was appointed Resident minister in 1875.

The 2nd Church was built in 1934 on Shearman St. The stone for this building was taken from the local riverbed through the Waimate Gorge and both Hook and Waituna districts also supplied shingle from their areas. Timber from the 1st wooden church was used in the roof and beam construction as were memorial windows from the old church and three new stained glass windows were added in dedication of the Carter family. Recent
The Bell Tower and the four Flames of Remembrance were also removed from the old church and relocated to an area in Belt Street near where the Presbytery Manse was built in 1919. A new Manse was built opposite the Church in 1959/60, however the Bell Tower still stands as a local icon today.
Reference: The Ever Open Door - The story of Knox Presbyterian Church, Waimate - A century of worship 1874-1974

Knox Presbyterian Church Waimate stands on a half-acre section at the corner of Sherman and Manse Streets. The building which is of Gothic form and constructed of wood, will hold 250 worshippers, and was erected in the year 1876. Close to the church there is a Sunday school room, in brick. The school is attended by about 100 children. The manse is at the head of Manse Street, and is a roomy two-story building, with a glebe of five acres. Regular services are held twice each Sunday at Knox Church and regular country services in a number of school rooms in the large surrounding district. Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

The induction of the Rev. A.S. Morrison to the pastorate of Knox Church took place on Tuesday afternoon. The church was profusely and beautifully decorated with flowers and greenery. There was a good congregation and Rev. J. Comrie, Moderator of the Presbytery, conducted the service. Rev. White of Pleasant Point addressed the congregation, and Rev. R. Mackie, St Andrews. spoke a few words. There were on the platform Revs. Gillies, White, Todd, Cromrie, Mackie, Stevens (of Papakaio), Geo. Barclay and J. Dukes (St. Paul's Wesleyan church), all of whom addressed the meeting, giving congratulation and words of advice to the minister and people, Mr Mackie remarked that all the ministerial members of the Timaru Presbytery except Rev. J. Dickson, who was otherwise engaged in church work, were present and Rev. W. Gilles called attention to the fact that in the Timaru Presbytery young colonials now predominate. Mr. W. Allan welcomed Mr. Morrison on behalf of the session and the congregation. Mr. Coltman moved a vote of thanks to the speakers. Waimate Advertiser Feb. 4, 1899


Muir & Moodie photo.


St Paul's Methodist Church - up for sale in Nov. 2013

In 1877 with Rev. William Cannell as minister the 1st Methodist church held services. The church site was a wooden building 25ft x 18ft. Shortly after they erected a Sunday school but both were destroyed in the great fire of 1886. In 1888 a new Oamaru stone building was erected with a gallery added in 1889. In 1914 the vestry & choir recess was enlarged and in 1953 the vestibule was also enlarged. However, a new Sunday school was not erected until 1928. Reference: The First Hundred Years - Waimate Methodist Church 1863-1963

2008 article

Timaru Herald 18/04/2013
The congregation of St Paul's Methodist Church have held its first service in their new home after the old building was closed from earthquake damage. The new headquarters is at the Waimate Community Centre, the room that was once used by the Salvation Army. The old church is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. Over those years, thousands of momentous occasions have been celebrated by generations of followers. The walls of the church have witnessed major life events of many - baptisms, weddings, and funerals - not only of present day members, but also their parents and their great-grandparents. The generations are linked though sharing their lives in the church, its closure resulting in a deep feeling of loss for many. Engineers surveyed the building in January and said the church was unsuitable for use, but Mrs McLay is not convinced that the building is unsafe. "There's no obvious signs that it is unsafe. The council have changed their regulations since it was built, and I feel as if it is penalising the folk who have buildings that are over 100 years old. "There may be the odd crack here and there, but nothing that my house doesn't have. I still feel very safe when I'm in that building. There's so many ifs' and buts' but with the problems that Christchurch has had the authorities aren't prepared to take any risks." Although she will miss the old building, for Mrs McLay the true meaning of worship comes not from the house but from the heart. "When we love the Lord we have to worship somewhere. No matter where you are, the meaning stays the same."
  The church building was erected in 1888, after brothers John and George Manchester, whose family had been associated with Methodism from its start in Waimate, offered the Glasgow St site to the church. St Paulís has not had a fulltime minister since 1988 and then had halftime ministries until 2002.  In 2013 the congregation had moved to the Waimate Community Centre in Queen St.


The foundation stone for the hall. This stone was laid by J. Bitchener, Esq., M.P., August 25th 1928 J.T. Hayman Architect.

Photo taken Dec. 2013 by M.T.

Timaru Herald 20/12/2013
Seismic rating spurs sale of church
St Paul's Methodist Church in Waimate is on the market. The sale has been forced because of a seismic report, spiralling insurance fees and congregation numbers. Church administrator Christine Bailey said the seismic report was below Methodist Church of New Zealand recommendations. "We were just too small to be able to upgrade it." The church building and hall came up to 34 per cent of the building standard, she said. Closure of the church hall also limited income as public groups had previously used it. "It was helping our bank balance and we lost income when we lost use of the hall. We couldn't have survived if we had stayed there." The congregation has moved to the Waimate Community Centre in Queen St. The Church required all buildings to be brought up to 67 per cent of the building standard. The church building was erected in 1888 after brothers John and George Manchester, whose family had been associated with Methodism from its start in Waimate, offered the Glasgow St site to the church. The hall was built in 1928 and two wings were added to the hall in 1958. St Paul's has not had a fulltime minister since 1988, and then had half-time ministries until 2002. The congregation has since been led by visiting preachers, retired Methodist and Presbyterian ministers, and lay preachers. The Glasgow St property is 1897 square metres.

Photo taken Dec. 2013 by M.T.
The church, hall and Sunday school complex 11 -13 Glasgow St., Waimate  up for sale in Nov. 2013.

Photo taken Dec. 2013 by M.T.

Photo taken Dec. 2013 by M.T.

TM 2013

Tm Nov. 2013

St Paul's Wesleyan Church Waimate grew out of the Methodist services held in the district in the youthful days of the district. In the early sixties, Mr. George Manchester threw open his own house in High Street for services in connection with the church of his fathers. The first church in Waimate was erected in 1866, at a cost of �110, and was a small wooden building in Queen Street, on a site near Messrs Cameron Bros. butchery. The old building did duty for some years, and facilities were given to Presbyterians and Episcopalians alike, to hold services there before they had churches of their own. Later, it was used as a schoolroom and a larger church was erected alongside, but both buildings were burnt down in April, 1866.
    Services were then held in a wooden building, which was originally erected by the Temperance Society in Shearman Street, and served as a Temperance Hall; it was bought by the church when the other building was destroyed, and is still used as a Sunday school. St Paul's church was built in 1887, at a cost of �958, without the gallery, which has since been added. It has an acre and a half of land attached to it with frontages to Glasgow and Shearman Streets. The church is a brick building, with an iron roof, and has seating accommodation for about 400 worshipers. The parsonage is a convenient brick building, with a garden and paddock attached, in Parsonage Road. Services are held by the minister in charge at Nukuroa every Sunday and at Waihaorunga periodically. 
Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

The Primative Methodist Church Rhodes Street, Waimate, was erected in 1877; services had been held for two years previously in the Temperance Hall. The building which is of brick, and has seating room for 200 persons, stands on a quarter acre of land. A Sunday school is held in the church, and the minister in charge preaches on alternate Sundays at Waimate and Oamaru, periodically at Morven and Nukuroa. The parsonage, a convenient seven-roomed house built on a section of half an acre of land in Parsonage road, was erected in 1898.
Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

North Otago Times,16 May 1877, Page 2
Waimate, May 15.
The Wesleyan Church in Queen street in now nearly finished, and a recent visit together with the courtesy of Mr N. Hillary, the architect, enables me to give a tolerably fair description of the building and its adjuncts. It is built on a section of land fronting on Queen street, having an area of 2 chains long by 50ft broad. The style of architecture is Gothic. It is lighted by 12 Gothic arch windows at the sides and west end, the centre lights working on pivots, as ventilators. Over the porch at the main entrance it a triple leaved cathedial window of colored and plain lights, formed of three roses at the head, two trefoil and one quinquefoil. The roof is supported by four Gothic principals and two end ones, and presents a very handsome appearance. The walls are plastered and dressed with cement within five feet from, the floor, where they join the dado pannelling of richly chased totara. Two Gothic vestry doors are placed on either side of the rostrum at the east end, while this indispensable portion of church furniture contests of a balustraded platform 13ft 6in by 7ft 6in, and supports a moveable reading desk. The seats are ordered from Dunedin at a cost of L70, and it is contemplated to erect an organ left in room of the plain box-like inner porch presently erected. The carpenter work has been executed by Mr Hewit, of Dunedin, assisted by Mr George Dixon, of Waimate, the painters are Messrs Kennerd and Collins, of this place ; the plasterers Messrs Hook and Bant of Oamaru ; the contractor for the building being Mr A. Hayes, of Waimate, who is to be congratulated on the way in which the work has been carried on and accomplished. The whole cost of the building is L760, and finishes the fourth tasteful church for Waimate.



The Salvation Army Barracks at Waimate are situated in Queen Street and were built in 1901. The corps was established in 1885, but its first building was destroyed by fire. The present barracks are of brick, and have seating accommodation for 250 persons. The Sunday school is attended by 35 scholars, and there are five teachers. There are forty-three members in the Waimate corps, including officers. 
Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. 1903

The Church of St Andrews at St Andrews was built in 1889. Records

Waimate Daily Advertiser Thursday 12 July 1900 Page 2
The opening services of the new Presbyterian Church at St. Andrews were held Sunday and were conducted by the Rev. Dr. Irwin of Christchurch. Three services were held. Their new church reflects great credit on the architect Mr. J. Turnbull and the contractor Mr W. Baird. It measures 52ft by 25ft including class and vestry. On entering the building the diagonal lining of the walls and the cathedral stained glass windows immediately attract attention. The thanks of the congregation are due to Mr. J.T. Read, St. Andrews, for the pulpit railing lamp hangers and brackets, Mr Read having made these free of charge, the Church Committee finding the material. The congregation are also indebted to the following ladies and gentlemen for their valuable gifts:- 
Mr Andrew Martin Senr. (Otaio) bell
Mr Martin Communion Service of heavy silver
Mr W. Smith, Springbank pulpit Bible
Mr S. McBride (Timaru) baptismal font
Mr G. Pearson (Timaru) collection plates
Mr D. Martin, floor matting and carpet platform
Mrs R. Stewart (Kingsdown) Bible cushion and pulpit
A hymn book was presented by Mrs D. Ogilve, but its purchase deferred as the congregation intend changing their hymn book and adopting the new church hymnal. The services of the day were much enjoyed and the collections towards the building fund were liberal, that of the morning service alone amounting to �24 5s 9d

Morley, William.  The History of Methodism in New Zealand - Page 456
Methodist Church in New Zealand - 1900 - 510 pages. South Canterbury section pages 447 - 457 online

The Waimate Circuit.
The three partners, Manchester Bros, and S.W. Goldsmith went to Timaru in June, 1863, to hear Mr. Buller. J. Manchester was appointed class leader. The original members were Messrs John, George and William Manchester, S.W. and Mrs Goldsmith, Messrs W. day, B. and M. Tregoning and J.W. Freeman. A church site was given and a building 18ft by 25ft for 110 was opened by the Rev. W. Cannell. Lengthened by 15ft for 60. In 1876 a site was purchased on Queen Street for 60. A church of wood was built the following year and opened by the Rev. W. Lee. It seated 300 persons. The cost was 1100.

The Circuit. In 1872 Mr Hewlitt, the second preacher, lived there as did Mr Dewsbury.In 1877 Waimate was made the center of a new circuit. A house and land was purchased in 1881 for a married minister. In May 1886, the church and school were destroyed by fire which had originated at a nearby hotel. There was insurance of 900 on the buildings. A two room building was purchased from the Good Templars. At the end of 1887 the foundation stone was laid by the Rev. W. Rowse for the new church (St. Paul's) The site given by Messrs Manchester Brothers. A neat and substantial brick building, with Oamaru stone facings, was built to seat 270. It cost 1120 and opened by the Rev. W.J. Williams in June 1888, there was only 100 debt. The same year the former parsonage was sold and a good brick house with nearly half an acre of land was purchased. The glebe now has three acres. In 1890 a gallery was erected across the end of the church and the Sunday School enlarged. Two years since a splendid American organ, costing 150 was placed in the church. Mr Smalley was appointed as Connexional Evangelist. Mr Lewis worked in 1882 and 1883. Prominent members: Messrs Nind, Graham, Douthwaite, Hunt, Skevington, Dailey and others. Rev. J. Blight, was a local preacher in South Australia, came to NZ in 1883.

St Michael's Church at Waihao Downs.

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Churches
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project