1877. The Rev. James Preston diaries - a South Canterbury circuit preacher.

His diaries are like a census of the Geraldine District.

Typescript of extracts from diaries 1871-1879 by Nancy McLaughlin, 1984. Canterbury Museum Folder 1093 2/85. Spelling as is.
1871   1872   1873    1874    1875   1876    1877  1878   1879

93.
7th January 1877 —
31st December 1877


Sunday 7th Jany ( 1877) I service at Marys Church Geraldine; administered the Holy Communion to about 8 coms. & baptized two children. At 3—30 pm I held service in the School Winchester; present about 30 people. Administered the Holy Communion to about 12 communicants. At 6—30 pm I held service in St Saviours Church Temuka; large congregation present. Staid all night with E. Pilbrow.
8th Monday. I called upon Rutland & a number of other people.
9th I called upon Hardcastle & Mr Slack. Let them know about our school treat. Staid the night with Mr Slack.
10th.... Returned home.
14th Sunday.... I held service Temuka 11am, Kakahu 3—30 pm, Geraldine 6—30 pm.
Sunday 21st.... I held service in Geraldine 11 am, in the Valley Church 3-30 pm, in the schoolhouse Waihi Bush 6—30 pm.
Sunday 28th.... I held service in St Saviours Church Temuka 11am; at the Point 6—30 pm. Baptized children & administered the Holy Communion to 14 communicants. Examined the children of St Saviours Sunday School for prizes.
Feb 14th Sunday.... I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to [blank] . Baptized some children. At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. At 6—30 1 held service at Temuka. Staid all night with J.C. Rayner.
5th Monday.... I went around by Milford. Called on the people & baptized children.
9th Friday.... I went to the Temuka Sunday School Festival ( Mrs Preston also). The day was unfavourable & it took place in the Volunteer Hall in the evening. The children all got a ride in the railway up to Winchester & enjoyed themselves very much.
Sunday 11th.... I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Kakahu 3—30 pm, at Geraldine 6—30 pm. Baptized Pratt 's baby during the service in Temuka.
Sunday 18th.. I held service at Geraldine 11am, the Valley 3-30 pm, Waihi Bush 6-30 pm.
Sunday 25th. I held service at Temuka 11 am, Pleasant Point 3—30 pm. Preached a sermon on Mr Jones death. I administered the Holy Communion in St Saviours Church Temuka & baptized some children. Visited a number of people on the 26th &  baptized some children.
Sunday the 4th of March.... I held service in St Marys Church

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Geraldine at 1 1 am. Administered the Holy Communion to about 15 communicants.  At 3—30 I held service at Winchester. At 6—30 I held service at Temuka. Baptized a child.
Thursday 8th of March.... I started for the McKenzie Country. Called upon Hughes, Kakahu, who had lost a little baby. Also called upon Tyndall. Called at Warne's and some other houses. Staid all night at Mr Wigley' s,
Friday the 9th of March.... Called at Carter's, Burgess, Gould. Went, over the hill & called upon Welch, Shall (?), Freme, McLean.  Staid all night at Albeery [sic Albury] station,
Saturday 10th. I went down to the Railway Station & called upon Revell the Station master, also the Police officer. Went on afterwards to Mr Gillingham's. Staid with him all night.
Sunday 11th.... I held service in Mr Giillingham's house at 10 o ' clock. Administered the Holy Communion to 7 communicants. Present at the service in all 22. Afterwards I went on to Burkes Pass. Called upon Mr Kimbe11 & had lunch. Got to the Pass Church at 3 pm. Administered the Holy Communion to 4 communicants. Called upon all the people in the Pass & went on to Sawdon Station. Staid the night & had a short service. Monday 12th I went on to the Takepo Ferry. Called upon Cowan. Crossed the ferry. Called at the Inn and met Mr J. Patterson. Went with him to his station. Staid with him all night. Held a short service. Called the same night upon Mr Saunders.
Tuesday 13th.... I started for Burnett's station. Rain on the way; got a little wet. Arrived at Burnett"s about 3 o'clock. Held a short service in the evening.
Wednesday 14th...I crossed the Tasman River - a very wide shingle ed/ Took me an hour to cross, so many streams & so full of quicksands. Met a bullock driver on the other side who directed me to Dark's station. Got to Dark's station about 2 o'clock. Very hot day. Much pleased with the view of Lake Pukaki & Mount Cook.  Mr Dark was boating his wood across the Lake.
Thursday 15th.... I left Dark's station; travelled down the Lake. Very hot & road not atall good. Got to a station where a Mr Allan was manager. Only a fiery nosed cook at home. Went on to Mr Ostler's station. Found that he had gone mustering. Got some lunch. Went on afterwards to the Pukaki Ferry. very much pleased with the sight of the river tumbling down over emence [sic] rocks. Called to see Mrs Tait the ferryman's wife. Tait came with me to the top of the terrace to show me the road. Got to Simon's Pass that night just at dusk. Staid there; Had a short service in the evening.
Friday 16th .... I left Simon Pass & crossed the Takepo river.

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Called in at S.....'s Station. Called in at the Pass. Got to Mr Kimbell's that night.
Saturday 17th.... I started in the rain (s. Wester). Got wet through on my way to Raincliff. Went in & changed my clothes & dried them. Got some lunch. Started again in the rain & got home about dark.
Sunday 18th.... I held service at Geraldine 11 am, the Valley 3-30 pm, the Waihi Bush 6-30 pm.
Sunday 25th of March.... I held service at Temuka 11 am; administered the Holy Communion to about 16 communicants. At 6-30 pm I held service at the Point & baptized some children.
April 1st, Easter Sunday.... I held service in St Marys Church, Geraldine at 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to abt 26 communicants. The Church was beautifully decorated and quite full of people. At 3—30 pm I held service at Winchester; present a large congregation. I administered the Holy Communion to 17 communicants & baptized a baby. In St Saviors Church, Temuka, I held service at 6—30 pm. Present a very large congregation. Church more than full; people standing even in the porch (about 300 people present). I administered the Holy Communion to twenty three communicants. Returned home the same night.
Apl 8th.... I held service in the School House Kakahu 3—30 pm; present about 20 people. Rev Mr Opie took my service in Temuka. I visited the people in the Kakahu. Baptized Rooke's child & attended the Sunday service.
Addressed the Sunday School children & gave them some reward cards. At 6—30 I held service in St Marys Church, Geraldine.
[Following this entry are details of Easter returns from Easter 1876 to Easter 1877 , including numbers of clergy, lay readers, churches, no. of sittings in churches, services held, average attendance; Holy Communion, marriages, burials, Sunday School rolls, attendance, clergyman's stipend, offertories, extent of glebe land, etc.

A new diary then commences]
1877,  April 8th.... First Sunday after Easter. Mr Opie from the Cust district took my service in Temuka. I went to the Kakahu. Visited a number of people. Attended the Sunday School & addressed the children & gave them some reward cards. Held service in the schoolhouse at 3—30 pm; present about 20 people. After the service I baptized Rooke's child. At 6—30 pm I held service in St Marys Church, Geraldine. (Two services)
April 15th, Sunday.. I held service in St Marys Church, Geraldine; present about 60 people. At held service in the Valley Church; present about 16 people. At 6—30 I held  service in the Schoolhouse Waihi Bush; present about 40 people. (three services) .
April 22nd, Sunday.... I held service in the Church Temuka, 11 am; present about 50 people. Administered the Holy Communion to abt communicants. Baptized two Children after

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the service. At 3—30 pm I held service at Pleasant Point; present about 50 people. Administered the Holy Communion to 13 communicants. Staid all night at Mr Acton's, (Two services)
23d, Monday.... I called upon Howell who bad been just married & a number of other people. Baptized three babies. Returned home by Temuka.
27th, Friday.... I started for Mount Peel. Called upon the people going up, also on the Scotsburn people.
28th Saturday.... Called upon the people in Peel Forest and went on from Mr Cooper's to Mr Acland's, Mr Cooper himself drove my wife to Mount Peel. It came on rain.
29th, Sunday.... I held service in the Church of the Holy Innocents. Administered the Holy Communion to eleven communicants. Offertory, Maori Mission, At 3-30 I held service at. Scotsburn; present about 20 people. Rain, Returned the same night to Mr Cooper's house. (2 services).
30th, Monday.... I returned home by Mr Tripp & Sir T. Tancred' s.
May 6th, Sunday.... I held (service) at Geraldine 11 am, at Winchester 3-30 pm, at Temuka 6-30 pm.
May 13th.... I held service at Geraldine 6—30 pm. I didn't hold any service at Temuka & the Kakahu owing to a severe snowstorm.  The snow was 3 inches deep on the ground & the trees in every place broke with the weight.
May 14th.... I went to the Point to read the burial service over Mrs Botherway who died suddenly. It was a very wet day, rain & wind from the S—W & altogether it was a most dismal funeral & most dispiriting.
May 20th.... I held service at Geraldine 11 am, at Pleasant Valley 3—30 pm, at Waihi Bush 6-30 pm.
May 27th.... I held service at Temuka 11 am. Baptized three babies & administered the Holy Communion to 16 communicants. Read the Churching service. Baptized five more babies in the afternoon & held service at Pleasant Point. On Monday the 28th, I called upon a number of people & baptized two more children. Call( ed) upon 6 people in Temuka before returning home. Got home by about 9 o'clock pm.
June 3, 1st Sun. after Trin. I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am. Holy Communion administered. At Winchester, 3—30 pm; Holy Communion adm. Present 7 communicants. Baptized a baby. At 6-30 1 held service at Temuka.
June7th.... I attend(ed) School Committee Meeting which Howes was elected master.
June 8th.... I started for Burkes Pass. Called upon Kelland & others on the road.  Staid night with Mr Wigley.

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June 9th I went over the hill with Mr Wigley. On the way called at Raincliff & had lunch with McKay. I called upon all the people on the flat (Hamilton's) & staid all night at Mr Gillingham's.
June 10th, Sunday I held service in Mr Gillingham's house Sunday morning at 10 am, & then rode up to the Church, Burkes Pass. Held service there at 3—30 pm. Administered the Holy Communion at Mr Gillingham's & at the Church, Burkes Pass. 5 communicants at the former place & 4 at the latter. Called on the people in the Pass Township. Returned to Mr Kimbell's.
June 11th, Monday. I called upon Mr McPherson and all the people on the track going towards Hamilton' s. Got to Alberry Station. Staid all night (no one at home but the servants). They, being Roman Catholics & Germans, I had no service.
June 12, Tuesday.... I got as far as Mr J. Rutherford' s. Staid all night & had service in Mr R. Rutherford's house. Called upon Mr Spenser. His sister was over at the service.
June 13th, Wednesday I staid at Mr Rutherford's because it came on rain & snow.
June 14th, Thursday. I returned home over the Brothers. Came on rain & fog. Snow on the top of the hill. Had great difficulty in finding my way down. Got home at about 5 o' clock.
Sunday 17th.... I had service at Geraldine 11 am, the Valley 3—30 pm, Waihi Bush 6 pm.
Sunday 24th June.... I held service at Temuka 11 am, at the Point 3-30 pm. Administered the Holy Communion to about 14 communicants, & baptized children. I returned home the same night owing to Archdeacon Harper's visit on Monday to hold a meeting at Winchester in reference to the division of the District. The meeting which was held on Monday was unanimous as to not opening the subject of Division any more — as the matter had been already settled by the Synod of Chch.
1st of July, Sunday.... I held service in St Marys Church, Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to abt 13 communicants. At 3—30 1 held service at Winchester. Administered the Holy Communion to abt 9 communicants.
At 6-30 pm I held service at Temuka.
8th of July, Sunday I held service at Temuka 11 am, Kakahu 3—30 pm, at Geraldine 6-30 pm.
15th of July I held service at Geraldine 11 am, the Valley 3-30pm, Waihi Bush 6 pm.
16th, Monday Archdeacon Harper came to hold a meeting at the Wahi Bush in reference to building a Church there. It had to take place in Sir T. Tancred's house owing to Sir Thomas' health, but they were so unpunctual with dinner that

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the people who came (in no. about 20) were kept waiting out in the cold for half an hour (it was freezing very hard). They could not or would not stand it and all decamped leaving the Archdeacon, Mr Tripp, the Tancred's & myself to hold the meeting. (We had no meeting). We agreed to hold another in October - if all is well. It is the last time I will ever attempt to hold a meeting in a private house if I can get a public building. I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Pleasant Point 3-30 pm, Staid all night with Mr Acton.
22nd, Sunday. I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Pleasant Point 3-30pm. Staid all night with Mr Acton.
27th, Friday... I started for Mount Peel. Called upon all the people on the road - Sowerby, Griffin, Evens, Moffat, Heney etc. Staid all night at Mr Cooper's house.
Saturday 28th I called upon all the people in the Bush and at Mount Peel & crossed the river & staid all night with Mrs Moorhouse.
29th, Sunday, I held service at Mount Peel 11 am, at Scotsburn 3—30 pm. Staid the night at Mr Cooper's.
30th, Monday, I returned home. Called upon Sowerby, Thew, Tripp etc.
Sunday, August 5th 1877 I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine 11 am. About 10 staid to the Holy Communion. I baptized two children. At 3-30 I held service in the School House at Winchester. At 6-30 1 held service in St Saviours Church Temuka
Augst 6th.... I called upon a number of people in Temuka.
Augst 12th, Sunday I held service in Temuka at 11 am, in the Schoolhouse Kakahu 3-30, in St Marys Geraldine 6-30.
Augst 19th, Sunday I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine 11 am, in the Valley Church 3-30 pm, in the School house Waihi Bush 6—30 pm. Baptized Wells' baby on my way to the Valley. Had a good talk with Hardcastle in the evening about infidelity, he having imbibed infidel ideas.
Augst 26th, Sunday I held service in Temuka 11 am, Temuka 6—30 pm. Heavy rain. Did not go to the Pointe. Staid with Pilbrow all night. Rain. Next morning returned home after calling upon Ensor, Wood, Colville, & baptized Colville's baby.
Sepr 2nd, Sunday. I  held service in Geraldine 11 am, at Winchester 3—30, at Temuka 6-30. Holy communion administered at Geraldine; present 18 communicants.
Sepr 5th I went up to Four peaks Station to call upon Captain Clogstoun. Made other calls & baptized Whittaker's baby.
Sepr 6th I started for Burkes Pass. Called in at Temuka. for Burkes Pass. Crossed the Waitohi Flat. baptised Goodeve's baby. Staid

99.   1877
all night with Mr J. Pilbrow.
Sepr 7th I called upon various people on my way to Mr  Spenser's, Mt Nessing. Held service in Mr Spenser's house  at night.
Sepr 8th Called upon the Rutherfords & at Alberry Station on my way to Mr Guillingham's. Also called upon Mr McLean. Had a talk with Miss McLean about the new church at Fairlie Creek. Found out that it must be a Joint affair between Church of England and & Presbyterians - Left them to arrange it their own way. Subscribed l pound 1s to the proposed building. Staid all night at Mr Guillingham's.
Sepr 9th I held service in Mr Guillingham's house at 10 o' Clock. Administered the Holy Communion to five communicants. Went on to Mr Kimbell's. Had lunch then went on to the Pass. Held service at 3 pm. Administered the Holy Communion to four communicants. Staid all night at Mr Smith's, Rollesby. Came on a severe snow storm. On Monday morning it was 4 to 5 inches deep on the ground. Owing to the snow did not go over the Pass. Returned to Mr Kimbell Staid all night.
Sepr 10th.... Returned home. Left Mr Kimbell's at abt 10 o' clock & arrived home at about six pm. Staid an hour at Mr Wilson's & had lunch.
Sep 16th, Sunday I held service at Geraldine 11 am, at Pleasant Valley 3-30 pm, at the Waihi Bush 6 pm.
Sep 23d. I held service at Temuka 11 am, at Pleasant Point 3—30 pm. I administered the Holy Communion in St Saviours' Church to about 10 communicants.
Sep 30th, Sunday.... (Mount Peel). I held service in the building at Peel Forest, also at Scotsburn. Staid all night with Mr Cooper. Called upon people both on Saturday & Monday.
October 7th, Sunday I held service in the Church Geraldine 11 am. Administered the Holy Communion to 25 communicants. Held service at Winchester 3—30 pm. Administered the Holy Communion to about 10 communicants. At 6—30 1 held service in St Saviours Church Temuka (church full). Baptized Philips' baby.
8th, Monday Went to Timaru to see Archdeacon Harper. Evening, went to the Point. Staid all night with Mr Acton.
Tuesday. I married Miss Halstead & Killey at Halstead's house. Went after to Howell's to see Wm Watson who was recovering from a severe accident. Called at a number of places on my way home, Wells, Tomey etc.
Wednesday 10th of October.... I went to Temuka to marry George Dyson & Margaret Stewart Looker (very glad when the marriage was performed).
Thursday  11th, Friday & Saturday.... I visited Mrs Grimmer's family.

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Sunday 14th Octr.... I held service at Temuka 11 am, at the Kakahu 3—30 pm, at Geraldine 6—30 pm.
Monday 15th.... I went up to see Mrs Burtram & Mrs Fifield's child. Saw Grimmer Outside my gate. He told me they were doing well. It was the last time I ever saw him. he died of the following week of scarlet fever.
Monday.... I went to Ch:ch to the Synod. Staid at Bishop Harper's house. Mrs Harper was very kind. Was at the Synod every night but Friday when I made some calls upon friends.
Sunday the 21st I drove the Bishop up to Kaiapoi. A. norwester was blowing as we went up. There was a dreadful dust. Found Kaiapoi much changed. Left my surplice at the stables as the Bishop told me he did not require any assistance with the service. But just as the service commenced I was told the Bishop wanted me to assist with the service as there was going to be a large number of communicants. Had to put on a dirty surplice belonging to the Choir. Sat with in the communion rails but did not feel very ritualistic. Was astonished at the number of.... (?) given by some of the Choir & others when they faced the Communion Table. Mr Carlyon was not present, but heard that he sat in the Choir seats the  the previous Sunday. About seventy communicants ( 70) partook of the Sacrament.
I was ashamed to assist in such a dirty surplice. In the afternoon the Bishop preached to the Sunday School children. The offertories at both service were for the Indian Famine fund. I took a funeral of a small child on the Island. Read the service during a very cold souwester. Wm Whitefoot drove me to the cemetery. Drove the Bishop back to Ch;ch & went in the evening down to Avonside Church to assist Mr Glasson. Preached the sermon on the Indian Famine. The Offertory was for the same purpose as the morning, viz. "Indian Famine".  Attended the Synod until Wednesday night. Went away by early train on Thursday morning for I had to get to Geraldine to read the Burial service over poor Mr Grimmer who died suddenly of scarlet fever. It was large funeral. The body was carried to the Church, from the Church to the Cemetery.  His death is a loss to Geraldine.
Sunday 28th. I held service in Temuka in the afternoon at  the Point. I administered the Holy Communion in St Saviours Church to about 14 people.
Sunday 4th of Novr.... I held service at Geraldine; administered the Holy Communion to about 16 people. Preached upon Grimmer's death text "Here we nave no continuing city" . It 3-30 I held service at Winchester. At 6-30 1 held service at Temuka; baptism.
Sunday 11th.... I hold service et Temuka 11 an, at the School Kakahu 3-50, at Geraldine 6—30 pr.
Sunday 18th.... I held service at Geraldine at Pleasant Valley 3-30, at Walhi Bush 6-30 pm.

101.   1877
Sunday 25 Novr. I held service at Temuka 1 1 am, at Pleasant Point 3.30 pm. I held service in St Marys Church Geraldine 1 1 am, at Winchester 3.30 pm, at Temuka 6.30 pm.
December 2nd 1877.... I started for Burkes Pass from Mr Slack's.
Thursday 6th Decr.... Came on rain. Called upon some people. Got to Four Peaks Station about 1 o'clock. Started over the Pass in the afternoon. Got to Clayton at night. The rivers near Clayton much flooded. Got up to the saddle flaps.
Friday 7th....I got to Mr Raine's station. Held service at night, Present a good congregation.
Saturday 8th  I got to Mr Guillingham's house.  Heavy rain with large hailstones sometimes & loud thunder. Called in at all the houses on my way.
Sunday 9th, 1877 I held service at Mr Guillingham' s. Administered the Holy Communion to 7 communicants. Started for for Burkes Pass. Lunched at Mr Kimbell's. Held service in the Church at the Pass. Present about 30 people. Returned to Mr Kimbell's. Called 
On Monday the 10th at Mr McPherson's. As it rained I staid all night.
Tuesday the 11th I arrived home calling on my way at Fairlie Creek & Mr Wigley's.
Wednesday 12th.... I attended a service of song in the Church at Temuka. It was got up & conducted by Mr Rutland.
Sunday 16th....I held service at Geraldine 1 1 am, Valley 3—30 pm, Waihi Bush 6.30 pm.
Sunday 23rd of Decr I held service at Temuka 11 am, at the Point 3.30 pm.
Monday Returned home by Waitohi Flat. The Opihi over which I crossed was high.
Tuesday, Xmas Day I held service at Geraldine; a large congregation. Administered the Holy Communion to 22 communicants.
Saturday 29th of December I went to Mount Peel on the Saturday. Called upon the people at Creek Station.  Staid all night at Mr Acland's. On my way I called upon Newman the blacksmith at Peel Forest.
On Sunday the 30th I held service at Mount Peel 11 am. Present a good congregation. Administered the Holy Communion to about 8 communicants. At 3.30 I held service at the School House Scotsburn; present about 20 people. Mr Acland held service at the Forest.
Monday I returned home by Mr Tripp's & Sir T. Tancred's.

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