'South Canterbury's small churches are unique as they are beautiful' 

The alter window in the Church of the Good Shepherd,  Lake Tekapo.

When we build let us think that we build forever.  Let it not be for the present delight, nor for the present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time will come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touch them, and that men will say as they look upon the labour and wrought substance of them, "See, this our fathers did for us". John Raskin  

'The ten South Canterbury [Anglican] parishes each happily processes a church of unusual interest, some privately built and endowed, others through the united endeavours of responsible and faithful congregations' wrote Gillespie in 1952. Unfortunately there is a need to keep many of the church doors locked.  Many churches have memorial plaques, honour boards, fine stain glass windows, beautiful wood carving and fonts. The most notable churches in South Canterbury are St Mary's in Esk Valley, The Church of the Holy Innocents at Mt. Peel Station, the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo, St David's behind Cave and the Church of St. Thomas at Woodbury with a contemporary stained glass. The Presbyterian churches in South Canterbury do not contain any ninetieth century stained glass windows. Gypsy Poulston's wonderful contemporary stained glass windows are found at St John's Highfield, Woodlands Road Methodist Church, Craighead Chapel and the Wilson St. Baptist Church.

Roy Miller stained glass windows in South Canterbury    book  inspirtation,  he saw the light and his future.
Peel Forest  St Stephen's Anglican Church
Geraldine  St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Raincliff  St David's Anglican Church
Pleasant Point  St John's Presbyterian Church
Cave  All Saints Anglican Church
Timaru  Chalmers Presbyterian Church
Timaru  Craighead Diocesan School
Timaru  St John's Anglican Church
Timaru  Timaru Boys High School
Timaru  Timaru Public Hospital Chapel
Timaru  Trinity Presbyterian Church
Timaru  Wilson Street Baptist Church
Timaru  Woodland's Road Methodist Church
Waimate  Knox Presbyterian Church

It's not the earthquakes that have forced the issue, it's falling numbers. TH

          Church of the Good Shepherd  Lake Tekapo
  Craighead Chapel  Roy Miller window  The light of truth.
        The Church of the Holy Innocents
at Mt Peel Station - cemetery transcription.
        St Alban's Pleasant Point
All Saints Anglican Church, Cave
 Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Arowhenua churchyard cemetery
St Andrews  St Andrews
        St Andrew's Geraldine  

        St Anne's Pioneer Church - cemetery transcription
        St Augustine's Waimate 
St Columba Fairlie  
        St David's
Raincliff  - cemetery transcription Roy Miller window
        St David's Memorial Church
        St John's
Anglican Church, Highfield. Roy Miller window.
        St John's Waihi Boarding School Grounds
        St Joseph Temuka
St Mark Anglican Church, Otipua
        St Mary's
24 Church St., Timaru  windows Closed  2011, reopened June 2015
        St Mary's 
Esk Valley - cemetery transcription
        St Mary's Geraldine -
temporary closed  6 Dec. 2012
        St. Mary's Pleasant Point  - c
losed 2012 awaiting decision. Sept. 2020 the church will be demolished.
        St Michael's Waihao Downs
        St Patrick's
Burke's Pass 
        St. Philip and All Saints Anglican Church, 124 Luxmoore Rd, Marchwiel
        St Stephen's Fairlie
        St Stephen's
Peel Forest village   Roy Miller window
St Thomas Woodbury
Sacred Heart Basilica, 7 Craigie Ave. Timaru and Convent  
        Southburn offsite         
Timaru Hospital Chapel  Roy Miller window.
        Trinity - College Rd    Roy Miller window.
        Wilson Street Baptist Church, 17 Wilson St.  Roy Miller window.
        Woodland 's Rd Methodist Church  Roy Miller window.

Timaru Church Histories up to 1928

A photo study in 2010 by M.T. Additional Timaru Churches

Assembly of God, 22 College Rd
Andrew St. Gospel Chapel
Church St Bible Chapel, 65 Church St.
Elim Church
Gleniti Baptist, 58 Gleniti Rd
Life Church, 134 Morgan's Road
Marchwiel Reformed Baptist
Salvation Army, 206 Wai-iti Road
St. Joseph -Catholic
St Peter's, Anglican Church, 11 Otipua Road (south end), Timaru 
St. Stephen's, Presbyterian, Timaru
St. Thomas, Timaru RC
Trinity West
Jehovahs Witnesses
Latter Day Saints 

Timaru churches of the past           
         Bank St. Methodist Church Timaru  (Funeral Home)
Presbyterian Church, Timaru and the windows Closed 2011, sold and decommissioned in 2014. Roy Miller window.
         St Mary's Makikihi - no longer a church since 2010
         St Paul's
in the Highfield area at 28 Seddon St off Wai-iti Road, was built in 1926-27. Closed  2011 - sold, decommissioned Jan. 2014 and demolished in July 2014
         St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Totara Valley,
sits on hill. Closed  2011. Now a private home.
         Trinity Presbyterian Church - old - College Rd. Timaru


The four Anglican parishes in Timaru in 2012 were (St Mary's, St John's, St Philip and All Saints, and Kensington-Otipua Parish)
Te Ngawai parish
A consolidation of the parishes with one council and minister to use resources effectively: Waihao Co-operating, St Andrews Co-operating and Waimate Anglican parishes
Marchwiel parish.
Waimate has the newly formed Anglican-Presbyterian parish -2010
Timaru Presbyterian Parish - incorporating Chalmers, St. Paul's, St. Stephen's & Trinity congregations. Timaru has 500 Presbyterian members or associates of which about 200 attend church regularly. Chalmers Church and St Paul's Church in Seddon St are to be sold in May 2013. Trinity Church, in College Rd, is likely to be sold later but will be retained for parishioners to use for worship during the building extensions at St Stephen's in Wai-iti Rd, which are expected to start in early 2014. St Paul's Church will sell with its land, car park, office block and youth pavilion. The Chalmers' sale will include the church, playground and friendship centre.

"Coming together is the beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success."

Henry Ford.

S.C. Presbyterian Church history    recent
     Canterbury photo study of churches and war memorials and pubs off site   

Stop and take a closer look at a church. Plan your visit first thing in the morning to catch the light shining through the stained glass windows. Stand in the porch and note the carving on the doors and the old hinges, a good subject for a photo study, a hint of things to come. Inside, wait for a minute until your eyes adjust then look at the whole interior. Look out for a self guiding tour pamphlet or a volunteer or a note on the porch covering the history of the church.  Let your eyes travel up the pillars to the arches, the high rafted roof and windows.  Set a plan and walk around reading the memorials below the windows and on the floor. Move down towards the pulpit and note the wood carving and stand and look back along the nave and lift your eyes to the west window, the Rose Window. Visit the chancel and note the organ. There are seven organs in Timaru churches, including two in Chalmers, two in Temuka and three in Waimate. Study the wood carving on the alter and the alter cloth and other tapestries. Visit the chapel and walk back along the aisle. Sources of historical information and church registrars may be obtained from the Parish Office. If there is a bell tower climb it! Check Saturday's Timaru Herald for times for services.  The bells of St Mary's, St Philip's, St Peter's, Chalmers, St John's, St Paul's and Sacred Heart ring.

Anglican churches are always orientated east/west, with the sanctuary at the east end.

Archives & Resources & Repositories

The Blain Collection pdf (large file) pdf 7.85MB Directory of Anglican ministers
Diocese of Dunedin 1852-1919
John Kinder Theological Library

Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives

Archives of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch are housed in the Anglican Centre was red zoned in 2014. They have moved into a new location in Addington. The archives are now open each Wednesday from 1:00pm-4:30pm. Due to restrictions in space and car parks, researchers are asked to either, ring: 03-365-9444 or email:  [email protected] to arrange a time to visit. When you have booked your seat and car park further information will be sent that will include location.
Hours: Wednesday 1.00pm-4.30pm
Holdings:  Archives of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch including Diocesan and Parish organisations, maps and plans and some photographs, baptism, marriage and burial registers from a large number of parishes. Dates c1850 to present. It is advisable to contact the Archivist first before you visit. Some Parishes have chosen to continue to hold their own archives, but more and more are deciding to house them in this central repository including: Fairlie and Temuka.
Anglican Archives - shelves rolled
Clergy of England Database

Catholic Archives, Christchurch - CD
The Catholic Diocese of Christchurch has produced a Baptism Index on CD for the period 1840 to 1904. The diocese covers Canterbury, Westland and the Chatham Islands.
It contains an alphabetical Index including surname, Christian name, date of baptism, parish name and ID code. The purchase of a printed certificate of Baptism for the entry concerned will give the parents names, maiden name of mother, birth date, residence, place and date of baptism, celebrant and sponsors. System requirements to install and run the CD are MS Windows 98 or later. Christchurch Catholic Diocesan Archives produce an occasional emailed newsletter. If you would like to put your name on the list send an email to [email protected]
The cost of the Baptism CD Index is $20.00 (incl. GST and postage), and a certified copy of a certificate is $5.00 per entry.
Available from:
Archives - Baptism Records
PO Box 4544

News from Catholic Archives 2001
Baptism records for the following parishes have now been completed:

      Ashburton                         1881- 1995
Greymouth                         1866 -1999
Kumara                               1870 -1924
Methven                            1912 -1999
Papanui                              1924 -1977

Enquiries through the Diocese Archivist, Administration Office, Barbadoes Street, Christchurch. 
2009: A new updated CD (version 1.2) is now available covering baptisms between 1840 and June 1908. This new updated version includes an additional 2500 names. The cost of the CD is $20.  (These prices include GST but excludes postage).

Baptism index / Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. CD
"This Database contains baptism details for individuals baptised in the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch before 31 December 1904. This CD is an index only and should be used as a finding tool aid." There is a copy in the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Central Library, Christchurch. Call No. 929.3 BAP

The Catholic Diocese of Christchurch stretches from the Conway River in North Canterbury to the Waitaki River in South Canterbury, as well as Westland and the Chatham Islands. In 2006 there was a release of an Index on CD of the baptismal records of the earlier parishes of the Diocese for the period 1840 - 1904. There are only 26 of the mentioned 52 parishes that have records in them, the rest are blank. The alphabetical index includes the individual ID code, surname, Christian name, date of baptism and parish. e.g. Mackenzie - Fairlie, Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Timaru, Timaru North , Waimate.  Further information for a specific record is available by purchasing a print out of a Certificate of Baptism for $5 per sheet. This could include the birth date, mother's maiden name, residence, celebrant and sponsor's names.
The Sacrament of Baptism
Full name:
Son/ Daughter of
born on:
residing at:
was baptised on
by the Rev.
The Sponsors were.

Presbyterian Church 

South Canterbury Museum Presbyterian Archives Collection
Presbytery of South Canterbury

Geraldine Co-Operating Parish
Knox Church, Waimate
Mackenzie Co-operating Parish
Pleasant Point
Pukaki Co-operating Parish
St Andrews

St Paul's, Timaru

St Stephen's Church, Timaru

South Canterbury Presbytery
Trinity Church, Timaru
Waihao Valley Co-operating
Wakanui Church (refer St Paul's, Timaru)

NZ Presbyterian Ministers
      Regional Repositories
Lost Archives Timaru Presbyterian Records
Fire destroyed records and the residence of the Rev. G. Barclay, Geraldine, Timaru Herald, 12 October 1889, Page 3
South Canterbury Museum Collection

The Presbyterian Archive's Photographic Collection
Fairlie - St Columba
Pleasant Point
Timaru - Chalmers
Timaru - St Pauls, Highfield
Waimate - Knox

Aotearoa NZ Centre, Central City Library, Christchurch
Baptist Archives. Waimate, Timaru and Temuka.
St Andrew's, Geraldine, 1879-1979. Updating of the story of the Geraldine Presbyterian church produced on the occasion of the opening of St Andrews church November 30th, 1950 published Geraldine, St Andrew's, Geraldine, 1950.  27pp

South Canterbury Presbyterianism
Author / compiler:  Len (Leonard Stuart) Home. History of the Presbyterian Church in South Canterbury written by a former Moderator and lay-preacher.
Publication Date: 2012. 149 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm. Contents: Minutes of the constitution of the first Presbytery of Timaru 1873 -- Presbytery -- The beginning -- The establishing of churches -- Moderators since 1979 -- Presbytery clerks -- Rev George Barclay -- Albury Pleasant Point -- Chalmers -- Geraldine -- Mackenzie -- Orari -- St Andrew's - Otaio -- St David's Union Church -- St Paul's -- St Stephens -- Temuka -- Trinity -- Twizel -- Waihao and Morven -- Waimate -- Timaru Presbyterian Parish -- Photographs of ministers.

Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives
Notice of re-opening of the Methodist Church of NZ Archives due to damage from the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011
After seven years with the Methodist Churches archives collection stored in a warehouse as a consequence of the Christchurch earthquakes, it will soon be moving into a purpose-built, environmentally controlled building, located at 54 Langdons Road, Papanui, Christchurch alongside the Methodist Churches Administration Division building. The Methodist Archives in Christchurch has always been the national archive of the Methodist Church and our new repository will also include records from our closed branch in Auckland.

Hours: From September 2018 we will be open Tuesday and Thursday 1 pm-4 pm or by appointment.
Contact [email protected]
website South Canterbury parish collection honour rolls

Administration Division, Methodist Church of New Zealand
Office: 1 Maydell Street, Ilam, Christchurch 8041, NZ
Phone: 03 3666 049 ext 831
Postal: PO Box 931, Christchurch 8040, NZ

Canterbury Methodist Churches PDF needs to be downloaded to open

Methodist Connexional Office in Christchurch, 1 Maydell St., Ilam, Christchurch, e-mail [email protected] have all the early marriage and baptism registers from Temuka. Research fee is $20.00 per half hour  in case where there is one register for the period you are interested in, the fee would be $20.00.  Please note that they do not photocopy from marriage or baptism registers; if we find information it will be supplied to you in the form of a transcript. If you want a facsimile, BDMs can supply these. They do not have a name index to these registers, so to search them for information would mean reading through them. They do not hold any more information than the Registrar of BDMs will prove less expensive. Details of obtaining marriage information can be found on their website www.bdm.govt.nz 
    Collection Connexional Office CHCH has administrative archives, records of national Methodist Conference, national committees, architectural drawings and specifications of buildings and churches, Methodist Deaconess Association.  Also the District, parish and church archives for Taranaki, Wanganui, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast and Canterbury. Personal papers belonging to ministers, deaconesses, home missionaries and lay preachers. Photographs of people and Methodist churches. Personal papers. e.g.  Richardson, John Bell , Rev (1840-1881) A diary kept by John Bell Richardson during his first seven months working in the Timaru Methodist Circuit between 23 April 1865 and 1 November 1865. 1 folder MS152
        Letters to Rev John Bell Richardson's parents and to Mary Ann Hay (Richardson's fiancee), Britain, from Rev John Bell Richardson in Lincoln, Britain and Canterbury, New Zealand 16 October 1861-29 August 1868 (edited?). 1 folder MS153 Mary Ann Richardson (nee Hay), Bull Armitage.
        Sherson, Donald George, Rev (1904-2000)
c 1850-1965 (c1965) Speech notes by Sherson relating to the Canterbury Methodist Church Centennial Celebrations 23 October 1965; notes on the history of Methodism in South Canterbury c 1863-c 1965; pamphlet containing hymns (1938); and records of marriage baptism and funeral ceremonies conducted by Sherson at the Banks St Methodist Church, Timaru 1948-1955. 1 folder MS143 Bank Street Methodist Church, Timaru.

Holdings: History of the Methodist Church in New Zealand and overseas; Information of ministers and all who have worked full time for the Church in New Zealand and overseas since 1817; Church newspapers from 1870 onwards; Records of land, property and trust of the Church; Conference and District Meeting minutes from 1854; Wesley Historical Society publications of people and places; Local histories; Minutes and other record books of groups within local churches and at District and National (Connexional) levels; Baptismal registers; Marriage registers; Member rolls; Photographs, videos, slides and tapes; Microfilm and microfiche.

They hold the following marriage registers for Temuka:

Temuka (Primitive Methodist)

June 1903-January 1910

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume


Temuka (Primitive Methodist to 1912)

February 1910-April 1915

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume


Temuka (Wesleyan)

January 1876-July 1880

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume


Temuka (Wesleyan)

April 1881-April 1892

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume


Temuka (Wesleyan)

July 1892-September 1903

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume



July 1905-May 1914

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume



February 1915-September 1925

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume



September 1926-January 1933

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume



January 1933-December 1939

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume



April 1940-June 1981

Marriage register Temuka

1 volume


They hold the following Baptism Registers for Temuka and the surrounding areas:

Timaru-Temuka Methodist Parish.


Baptism register, Timaru Circuit

1 volume



Timaru -Temuka Methodist Parish


Baptism register, Timaru Circuit.

1 volume



Timaru-Temuka Methodist Parish


Baptism register, Timaru Circuit and Bank Street Church

1 volume



Timaru -Temuka Methodist Parish


Baptism register, Timaru Circuit

1 volume



Bank Street Church


Baptism register, Timaru Circuit and Bank Street Church

1 volume



Waimate  Parish


Baptism register, Waimate Circuit

1 volume



Waimate Parish


Baptism register, Waimate Parish

1 volume



Waimate Parish


Baptism register

1 volume



Waimate Parish/Oamaru Union Parish


Baptism register, Waimate and Oamaru Primitive Methodist Church Circuits

1 volume


8350, 8400

Geraldine Co-operating Parish


Baptism register, Geraldine Parish

1 volume



Geraldine Co-operating Parish


Baptism register, Geraldine Parish

1 volume



Temuka  Parish


Baptism register, Temuka Circuit, including Geraldine

1 volume



Temuka Parish


Baptism register, Temuka Parish

1 volume



Methodist Archives Christchurch has Architectural Plans
1973 Bank Street Church Methodist Sunday School Hall, Sketch Plan for Conversion of Ancillary Rooms to "Open House" 1p Ronald L. Dohig
ca 1970s [Site plan of garage and parsonage], Proposed Dwelling for Bank Street Methodist Church Trust No. 79 Arthur Street Timaru 5p  R. E. Litter part hand drawn
1955 Marchwiel Union Church 1p Hearey coloured in pencil, drawing of subdivision in pencil on reverse
ca 1955 Proposed Extension to Marchwiel Union Church Manse, 24 Tyne Street copy part coloured in pencil, stamped by Timaru City
ca 1955 Proposed Garages for Marchwiel Union Church Manse & J. McCinnachie, Tyne Street - Timaru 1p
Marchwiel Union Church Hall 3p  part coloured in watercolour
1968 St. David's Marchwiel Proposed Additions 3p copy R. E. Littler
1969; 1971 New Manse for Marchwiel Union Church Timaru; St. Davids
Marchwiel New Youth Block; Alterations to St Davids Church, Marchwiel, Timaru 13p 1 copy R. E. Littler
Temuka Church ca 1950- 60s Proposed Alterations to Old Church 1p . Cameron hand drawn in pencil
Timaru-Temuka Methodist Church Architectural Plans 1966 98 North Street, Present Site, 79 Arthur Street, Proposed Site
 1983 Proposed Alterations to St Andrew's Cooperating Parish Hall, Geraldine
1985 Presbyterian Church, Manse-Cox St., Geraldine, Alterations copy Noel H. Welford & Associates
1956 Proposed Alterations & Additions to St Paul's, S. S. Hall Glasgow St, Waimate
1958 St. Paul's Sunday School, Waimate 4p APS1929 8351 copy John S. Arthur

New Zealand Methodist Church newspapers from 1870-1948 are available in digital format.

South Canterbury Museum  have all the original (photocopied) records for St Mary's Church  - marriage, baptism and  burial.  St. Mary's Anglican and Temuka Anglican church records are on computer at the Museum.  St. Mary's records start from about 1860. 

Macmillan Brown Library
In the Acland papers are b
urial records:
a. Church of the Holy Innocents register 1864-1887
b. Church of the Holy Innocents register 1869-1994
c. Burial plots and certificates
d. Marriages 1877 - 1993


School Roll birthdates are terribly unreliable, best to get a baptism record if you can.


Held firm by faith : a history of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, 1840-1987 / by Michael O'Meeghan.
Publisher: Christchurch, N.Z. : Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, c1988.
Central Library 282.9317 OME Book First Floor
Central Library 282.938 OME Reference Aotearoa New Zealand Centre
Description: 368 p. : ill., facsims, maps, ports. ; 21 cm.
At head of cover title: Diocese of Christchurch, 1887 - 1987.
Includes bibliographies and index.  ISBN: 0473006774 (pbk.) :  The history of the Roman Catholic diocese of Christchurch. The index names many priests whose names appear in baptisms, marriages and burial registers.


Canterbury Church Histories source
Joy for Ever: St Mary's Parish Church, Timaru
St Peters Anglican Church, Otipua Rd, Timaru - 75th Jubilee 1914-1989
St Stephen's Anglican Church, Fairlie. One hundred years 1896-1996
Timaru Methodist Centenary, 1865-1965, Wesley church, Bank Street
Winds of Change, Methodist Church in North & South Canterbury 1950-1975
Saints of Temuka, Stained Glass windows at St Joseph's Catholic church

Bain, Michael. Biographical Directory of Anglican clergy who served in Otago and Southland. 2003

History of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand - Page 493 by John Dickson - 1899 - 532 pages. online

Hopkins, Rev. H. I. History of the Parish of Temuka June 1949.  31 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.

Hopkins, H.I. Centennial history of the Parish of Temuka and Winchester, 1878-1978. Temuka Parish Centennial Committee, [c1978]  "First 70 years edited by Rev. Canon H.I. Hopkins ; the last 30 years edited by A.H. Carlton"

Cartridge, L.E. George. The Anglican Church in Waimate 1844-1972: A History of St Augustine's  Parish to Celebrate One Hundred Years of Worship in the Church. Co-author and editor Lloyd D. Kenyon. Waimate: St Augustine's Parish Centennial Committee, 1972  110p Abstract: A solid and impressive parish history, well researched from parish records.

Columba-St Stephens Centenary Committee, 1979 Journeying Together: a Brief History of St Columba Presbyterian and St Stephen's Anglican Churches, Fairlie; St  (Timaru Pope Print1979). Munro, Marjory (Ed)  16pp. Illust. Card covers.

Crawford, Juliet Laures  Crawford, Noel Norman. Marshall, Winston The Centennial History, Albury-Pleasant Point Parish, 1879-1979. Pleasant Point: Albury-Pleasant Point Parish Centennial Committee, Timaru; Pope Print for the Parish, 1979

A Centennial History 1880 -1980, The Parochial District of Otaio and Blue Cliffs. 32pp booklet, published by the Vestry.

Drake, D. E. (Douglas Edward), 1927- St John the Baptist, 1937-1987 : a brief history to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of a parochial district / compiled and written by D.E. Drake. April 1987. 23pp  ill. Available from Jubilee Committee of Highfield-Marchwiel Parish, 125 Wai-iti Rd, Timaru (N.Z.)

Ciaran Fiona, Stained Glass Windows of Canterbury, New Zealand, University of Otago Press 1998 review 240pages. This book is the world's first scholarly account of any region's nineteenth and twentieth-century stained glass, and is written by one of the few specialists trained in the field. The author presents a comprehensive catalogue of the 711 ecclesiastical stained glass windows in Canterbury, many of which are of international significance. She shows the shift from imported to local work, the development of New Zealand imagery, and how stained glass windows can be powerful social indicators. She argues that stained glass in Canterbury not only represents the most important regional collection of windows in New Zealand, but that the exportation of nineteenth and twentieth-century stained glass from Britain is represented in microcosm in Canterbury, thus necessitating a reappraisal of the history of British stained glass. The book also presents much new information about British stained glass artists, and is of great relevance to any country with glass from Britain. Thesis

Gillespie, Oliver A. (Oliver Arthur) South Canterbury A Record of Settlement; The South Canterbury Centennial History Committee 1958. Chapter 20 Churches page 374-390.

St Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass
Archdeacon Harper, Vicar of Timaru 1875-1911
Rev. George Barclay, first Presbyterian minister in South Canterbury
St Mary's, Geraldine in 1866
Church of the Holy Innocents 1872
At Anne's Pleasant valley 1956
Drawing  by Whateley Eliot 1874 showing St Mary's Timaru
St Mary's, Timaru 1957
Church of the Good Shepherd with snow low on the hills 1958
First Presbyterian Church, Geraldine
Trinity Church, Timaru
St David's, Cave
Second Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Timaru
Wesleyan Church 1875 showing old wooden church in the background
Church of the Holy Trinity, Arowhenua 1932 showing old wooden church in the background
Church of the Sacred Heart,
St Joseph's, Temuka
Bramwell Booth Boy's Home, Temuka opened 1916

Greenwood, William, 1910-1985 A Cloud of Witnesses : the Wesleyans of Pighunting Creek and Pareora. [Timaru : Trustees of the Pareora West Methodist Church], April 1971. Church history. Pamphlet. 64 pages  and printed by The Herald Printing Works, Sophia St, Timaru. Compiled just after the centenary when the new church was being built and a commemorative stone was laid on the spot where the church had been. A limited printing.

Greenwood, William. For All The Saints: An Account of the Primitive Methodists of Waimate; 1980 Waimate Publishing. Circulated by Wesley Historical Society, 1981; Stapled Card Covers.  21pp.

Greenwood, William. Woodlands Street: The Story of a Timaru Church. Timaru: Woodlands Street Methodist Church, 1984. Barnards Rd Primitive Methodist Church was opened in 1874 (first pastor Rev Josiah Ward) and moved to Woodlands Road in 1912. There is a great deal of detail on ministers and lay leaders.

Griffiths, Barbara, 1908-1984 Do nought without a Bishop : life of Henry John Chitty Harper, Timaru, N.Z. : The Timaru Herald Company limited, 1956.

Stack, J. W. (James West), 1835-1919. Through Canterbury and Otago with Bishop Harper in 1859-60 [Akaroa, N.Z.] : Printed at the Akaroa Mail Office, [1906]

Haslam, Rev. J. The First Hundred Years WAIMATE METHODIST CHURCH 1863-1963

Harper, Barbara The Harvest : Timaru Catholic Chronicle  1869-1969. History of the Catholic Church in Timaru, Printed by the Timaru Herald, 1969  published Centennial Committee, Timaru,
150 pages with dj, & green cloth, bw photographs. Account of early church in the region, settlement etc. Harper, a local historian, personalises the story around the activities of priests.

Harper, Henry William, 1833-1922 Letters from New Zealand, 1857-1911 : being some account of life and work in the Province of Canterbury, South Island. London : H. Rees, 1914.

Henderson, Mary. From Glory to Glory: A History of the Timaru New Life Centre 1960-1980. Timaru: Dove Print, 1980.  A history of one of the earliest churches in the "Neo-Pentecostal" era, which had roots in the Separatist tradition.

            Lawrence, Averille. Strangers and Pilgrims: A Hundred Years at St. Mary's, Timaru, N.Z. Timaru Herald Ltd print, 1962.  Detailed parish history of a very large and elaborate Anglican church. 148 p., [9] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 22 cm.  

New Zealand Historic Places, no 47 1994. "Rugged Beauty" (St David's at Cave) by Don Donovan & "Caring for a Legacy" (St. Mary's, Geraldine stained glass windows) by John Wilson.

Nicholas, T. Greene. The Ecumenical Chaplaincy in Twizel, 1969-1976. University of Otago B.D. Thesis, 1977

Olds, Norman William. Timaru Methodist Centenary 1865-1965; Wesley Church, Bank Street. 48p The Church, 1965

Oliver, O. P. Mrs. (Olwyn Pearl), 1926 Centennial History of the Parish of Te Ngawai 1883-1983. Timaru; The Parish 1983

Pike, Alistair J.  An Unfinished Story: A History of Church Street Chapel 1935-1985. Timaru: Church St. Chapel, 1985. A Brethren assembly in Timaru. 34 p., [18] p. of plates : ill., ports ; 21 cm.
Available from Church Street Chapel, Church St., Timaru, N.Z. Bibliography: p. 34.

Trower, S. The Anglican Church in South Timaru: Union of the Kensington-Otipua Districts. University of Canterbury M.A. Dissertation in History, 1981.

St Andrew's Pareora Presbyterian Church, 1881-1981 [Pareora, N.Z. : The Church, 1981]. Pamphlet. 32 pages.

St David's Pioneer Memorial Church, Cave, South Canterbury; 1967. A revised edition of a booklet of the same name originally published in 1930 by "D.F." Apparently published by the church trustees and printed by Herald Print. 1967 notes contributed by Mrs A.E. Woodhouse of Blue Cliffs Station

St. Mary's Catholic Church Centennial Committee, 1988 St. Mary's Church, Pleasant Point : the first 100 years, 1888-1988; Pleasant Point :  (Timaru : Print Lines) Available from P. Scannell, 36 Harris St., Pleasant Point,  $11.00 (pbk.) pamphlet. 28pp. Aotearoa NZ Centre ChCh.

Jubilee Souvenir 1873-1951 Trinity Presbyterian Parish, Temuka. Printed by the New Century Press. Christchurch 1953

Warren Doreen.  Some Canterbury Churches with illustrations specially drawn by Fanny Buss. Published by Christchurch's The Pegasus Press in the mid-'50s Historical notes and line illustrations, significant churches in the Canterbury Province. Soft cover features a coloured landscape painting of The Good Shepherd Church at Lake Tekapo, and inside featured churches are St Paul's Tai Tapu; St Peter's Akaroa; Holy Trinity Avonside; St Thomas's Woodbury; St Luke's Little Akaloa; St Mary's Timaru; St Mark's Opawa; St Mary's Halswell; Holy Trinity Lyttelton; Christchurch Cathedral; St John's Hororata; St John the Baptist Rangiora; The Holy Innocents Mount Peel; St Michael and All Angels Christchurch; The Holy Innocents Amberley; St Stephen's Shirley; All Saints Hokitika; Holy Trinity Arowhenua; St Peter's Riccarton; St Barnabas's Woodend; St John the Baptist Christchurch; St John the Baptist Highfield and St Barnabas's Fendalton. The author's introductory note explains that the Christchurch Diocese contains more than 170 churches and the 25 chosen for the book were selected for a variety of style, age and building materials and ranged over a century of building.

Wells, Rodney.  Bowman, Glenys. In a southern churchyard / drawings by Rodney Wells ; text by Glenys Bowman. Christchurch, NZ : Caxton Press, c1997.  Limited ed. Church buildings Canterbury Region. "The collection encompasses fifty country churches located in Otago and other Southern provinces". St John's Presbyterian, Pleasant Point, Canterbury - St Patrick's Church, Burke's Pass  - St Peter's Church, Temuka - St Alban's Anglican Church, Pleasant Point - All Saints' Church, Cave - St Michael's Anglican Church, Waihao, South Canterbury ISBN:  090856368X

Williamson, Eulla Hearts, Hands and Voices 1978 1st Edition. Hb, Dj, Timaru Herald printers. History of Geraldine, South Canterbury Parish of St Mary's Anglican Church.  Illustrated. The Timaru Herald. Hardback First Edition. 126 pages. b/w photographs. The centenary history of the formation of the Geraldine Parish. In 1863 first settlers in the Geraldine district Canterbury, built the Church of St Ann at Pleasant Valley to serve the families who were pit sawing timber from the indigenous forest or breaking in farms from the tussock. This book records changes & challenges that took place over the years, an excellent insight into life, events and community. A detailed local history with much of local interest beyond the church.

Wilson, John. Timaru's Collection of Fine Old Churches. Historic Places, no. 25 (1989): 7-10.

Woodhouse, A. E. (Airini Elizabeth), 1896-1989 The History of the Parish of Otaio and Blue Cliffs;  Timaru Herald Print, 1930. 

Elworthy, Gertrude A Centennial History 1880-1980 : the Parochial District of Otaio and Blue Cliffs compiled by Gertrude Elworthy. Publisher : St. Andrews : Otaio-Blue Cliffs Parochial District Centennial Committee, 1980 Timaru :Priest Printers 33 p. : ill. 

Sunday Star Times, Auckland 12 June 1998
The Stains in the Plains.  Stained Glass Windows of Canterbury, New Zealand

FHL*Parish of St Albans, Anglican Church at Pleasant Point Church Records 1881-1929.   Marriages  1883-1929 and burials 1881-1929.  Includes entries from St. Stephen's Church, Fairlie, St. Martain's Church at Albury, St. David's Church at Raincliff and All Saints Church at Cave.  Includes surname index.

Evening Post, 13 January 1912, Page 9 MINISTERS STATIONS.
Christchurch, 12th January. At the Primitive Methodist Conference the first draft of stations was read as follows:
Geraldine, George H. Mann
Waimate and Oamaru, James Guy
Timaru, Jacob Featherston
Temuka, John Harris

South Canterbury Branch NZSG library  at the S.C. Museum holdings include:
South Canterbury Churches and Religious Congregations - Past and Present (copy 2)
History of the Parish of Temuka by the Rev H I Hopkins (June 1949)
St Josephs Parish Temuka, South Canterbury (1876-1951) an account of 75 years development of the parish

Parish Registers in New
Zealand by Bruce Le Grange Garner

Canterbury and South Canterbury Parishes of the Blessed Sacrament 1860
Some Canterbury Churches by Doreen Warren 
Parish Registers in New Zealand
CD - Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism Index: 1840-1904


Apse:  A semicircular or polygonal termination or recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a choir in a church. Sacred Heart has a good example.
: A part of a church or a separate building used for baptizing.
: A bell tower
Cathedral glass: name given commercially to monochromatic (having one colour) sheet glass, which is thin and may be coloured and is textured on one side.
Chalice: A communion cup
Chancel: The east part of the church. where the alter is placed, originally shut off by a screen of lattice work from  from the nave
Chapel: A division of the church with its own alter
Charge: A clergyman's parish or the people of that parish 
Cinquefoil: A design having five sides composed of converging arcs, usually used as a frame for glass or a panel.
Clerestory: The upper part of the central nave of a church and has its own windows
Consecrated: To dedicate
Cooperating Parish: In some area in South Canterbury the Anglicans and Presbyterians have come to an agreement in organising church matters. The Vestry and Parish Council cease to exist and there becomes one governing body with one treasurer, secretary and envelope secretary with church services alternating between the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches and alternating ministers / vicars appointed.
Decorated Gothic: St Mary's, Timaru. Covers the period 1280-1380, elaborately curved tracery,  wider windows, better lighting, richly-coloured stained glass and curved carvings
Cure: Congregation by a clergyman
Desecrated: To violate the sanctity of
Eucharist: The offering of praise and thanksgiving in the Christian Church; the Holy Communion
Frontals: Decorative panels attached to the front of an alter, often an embroidered cloth in different colours for the various church seasons.
Glebe: Land belonging to a parish church
Gothic Revival: An architectural style imitating elements of Gothic design characterized by pointed arches, rib vaulting, and a developing emphasis on verticality and the impression of height.
Lancet window: Tall and pointed window occurring usually in groups of two or three.
Lych Gate: A roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a coffin before burial while waiting on the clergyman to arrive
Lectern: Reading desk in a church
Liturgy: The established ritual for public worship, esp. the Mass
Nave: The middle or body of a church from the choir or chancel to the main entrance, so called because of its resembles in shale to an inverted ship. [L. navis, a ship]
Parish: An ecclesiastical district.  
Parochial District: Received grants from the Diocese toward stipend and clergy and clergy were appointed by the Bishop. A Parish is more independent.
Patten: The plate on which the consecrated bread in the Eucharist is placed
Presbytery: Roman Catholic Church. The residence of a priest. 
Reredos: An elaborately carved screen or wall panelling at the back of an altar
Rose window: A large stained glass circular window with plate or stone tracery diverging from the centre.
: The part of a church around the altar; the chancel., at the east end of the building.   
: - a building connected with a church or a religious house, in which the sacred vessels, vestments, etc., are kept.
: Salary of a clergyman.
Tracery: Ornamental work of interlaced and branching lines, especially the lacy openwork in a Gothic window.
Transepts: Transverse portion of church at right angles to nave. Can be east, west , SE, etc.
Trifoil: The trifoil stained glass window above the altar at Holy Trinity Lyttelton - which is on the verge of falling out after the 4 Set. 2010 earthquake.
Vestment: Ceremonial or official garment
Vestry: Assembly of parishioners to deal with parochial affairs
Vestry: A room attached to a church for holding ecclesiastical vestments, prayer meetings, etc. 

Religious affiliation in New Zealand
  1986 1996 2006
Anglican 24% 18.8% 14.7
Presbyterian 18% 14% 10.6
Roman Catholic 15% 14.1% 13.4
 unspecified or none 33% 6.1%  5.3%
Methodist 5% 3.6% 3.2
Baptist 2%   1.6% 1.5
other Protestant   3% 6.5 5.02%

The following particulars regarding the strength of religious denominations in New Zealand are compiled from the census returns of 1891-
Total churches and chapels for the colony 1,197
Accommodation in same for 278,114 persons
Actual attendance at all churches 177,055

Presbyterian 40,758        Anglican 37,252     Roman Catholic 30,525
Wesleyan 27,106             Salvationist 14,442

Today 2001 the Geraldine Anglican Parish roll lists about 350 households spread over a number of small worshipping communities in Geraldine (St Mary's), Woodbury (St Thomas'), Peel Forest (St Stephen's), Pleasant Valley (St Anne's) and Orari (Holy Trinity).  On 29th May 20011 Holy Trinity, Orari had it final service.

Otago Witness 18 March 1908
Presbyterians in South Canterbury 1906 compared to 1901. 
Borough		Total pop.	Presb's   Increase or decrease
Timaru 		7,687 		1,913 		 629
Temuka 		1,661 		  414 		 155
Geraldine 	  942 		  149
Waimate 	1,637 		  390 		  73

Geraldine 	5,027 		1,344 		-123
Levels 		6,584 		1,934 		 450
Mackenzie 	1,939 		  833 		 138
Waimate 	6,510 		2,040 		 292

NZ Parish Life.
In 2013 the average Presbyterian parish had 83 people at worship. In 1951 it had 308. One reason for smaller parishes is that the number at worship has dropped significantly, but the number of parishes has not fallen by anywhere near as much. Parishes with over 150 at worship are more likely than not to have a healthy balance, but almost two-thirds of parishes have under 75 at worship. These parishes could be thought of as family parishes with a long term future, rather than greying parishes. There has been a significant increase in the number of younger ministers in recent years.

Funeral songs less sombre
11 October 2006
Timaru Herald

No longer will you hear Walk With Thee in a South Canterbury funeral but you may well have The Time Of My Life. A recent survey of the top 20 British funeral songs showed hymns are out and pop songs in and it's no different in Timaru. The Crusaders theme song ["Conquest of Paradise"], The Rose, Wind Beneath My Wings and A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts and tunes by Johnny Cash, INXS, James Blunt and Sarah Brightman have been popular of late. But it is not just the music that is changing. South Canterbury Funeral Services manager Wayne Phillips said as people didn't go to church as much these days, there were now more non-church funerals and people increasingly used funeral homes, rest homes, chapels and the crematorium. The British survey showed 51 per cent of people requested a specific song and 79 per cent discussed the songs they would like to be remembered by. Modern songs made a funeral much more personal Mr Phillips said, recalling Jail House Rock playing at one funeral. A woman who was terminally ill with cancer, sent him a tape with her chosen songs ready to be played. Mr Phillips has prepared his music Born to be Wild to open, and Mull of Kintyre "to tone things down a bit" at the end of the service. Aoraki Funeral Home owner/manager Marie Lockyer said it often depended on the person's age where the funeral was held, with older people preferring traditional church services and younger people going for an outside venue, a hall or chapel. Mrs Lockyer said churches were accepting more kinds of music but every funeral was unique. "The music is chosen to portray the aspects of what that person is like." Celebrant Kath Wills said some hymns like the 23rd Psalm were still popular but people chose modern songs because they were more meaningful. The trend towards using CDs has seen organist Terry Kennedy playing less often. He said funeral costs have risen and an organist was another added fee. Funerals have changed from the sombre and sad occasions they used to be and were now more of a celebration of the person's life, he said. Mr Kennedy believed it was most important to plan your funeral who you would like to conduct the service, where it should take place and who should speak should be organised beforehand. "I've got three people booked in to speak at mine."

The other article on that page (not relating to pipe organs at all!) has a photo of Michael Wilkinson inside the organ at Chalmers Presbyterian. That photo was taken recently in relation to an interview about the proposed interior restoration of the church, which was reported in the Timaru Herald on Saturday 30 Sept. 2006.

The Times, Monday, Jan 29, 1894 pg7
The Rev. G. Williams, of Hindmarsh, has accepted the pastorate of the church at Timaru, NZ.

Timaru Herald Nov. 4 1865 page 3
Opening of the New Wesleyan Chapel
On Sunday last services were conducted for the first time in this place of worship, by the Rev. William Cannell of Oamaru. 

Timaru Herald, 10 August 1882, Page 7
Congregational Church. The pastorate of this church, rendered vacant by the resignation of the Rev. B. T. Hallowes (who is returning to England), will be filled by the Her. G. W. Sharp, who arrived in Timaru on Tuesday, having been a passenger by the Austral, via Melbourne. Mr Sharp studied at the Lancashire Independent College, and has been for come years minister of the Congregational Church at Dawlish, Devonshire. He will enter upon his duties at once. We understand that the Rev. Mr Hallowes, who is leaving on a visit to Otago, will return and preach his valedictory sermon early in August.

Star, 24 September 1906 REV B. T. HALLOWES.
(Received September 24, 8.35 a.m.) LONDON, September 23. The death is announced of the Rev Brabazon Tooke Hallowes, at one time a Congregational minister at Timaru, New Zealand.

The Times, Saturday, Dec 27, 1902; pg. 7; Issue 36962; col F 
The Rev. Archibald E. Hunt, formerly of Hackney College, has accepted the pastorate of the Congregational Church, Timaru, New Zealand. Mr Hunt laboured for some years in New Guinea, and was one of the first to visit Goaribari after the massacre of the Rev. James Chalmers and the Rev. Oliver Tomkins.

Timaru Herald Friday 15 April 1887
Rev. W. B. Martin, the newly appointed minister, for the Wesleyan Church, Timaru.

Otago Witness, 2 January 1907, Page 36 SOUTHBURN (Canterbury),
December 22. The weather has been very dry, but still we seem to get a little rain just in time to prevent the crops becoming parched. On the whole the crops appear to be going well and there is every prospect of a good harvest. The sowing of the main turnip crop is now in full swing, but those sown earlier seem to be doing very well. Shearing is now completed, and farmers seem to be very- well satisfied with the results of the clip.
    Church Affairs. We have just completed and opened our new Presbyterian Church, which is credit to the people of the district. The opening services, which were largely attended, were conducted by the Rev. Messrs Barclay (of Waimate) in the morning and Rev. Mackie (of South Dunedin) in the evening. The choir, under the conductorship of Mr Ellis (of Otaio), lent valuable assistance.    
    Soiree -A soiree was held in the new church on the l1th inst., and was largely attended. After a sumptuous supper, speeches were delivered by the Rev. Mr Jackson (Timaru) our local minister (the Rev. Mr J.H.G. Chapple), interspersed by solos, a duet, and some anthems by the choir.

1940 Census. Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois;
Roll: T627_1018; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 103-3085A
Name: Eller L Williams   Respondent: Yes  Age: 51
Estimated birth year: abt 1889
Gender: Male. Race: White  Birthplace: Wales Bri
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Street: North Sheridan Road
Inferred Residence in 1935:Timaru, New Zealand.  Residence in 1935:Timaru, New Zealand
Resident on farm in 1935:No 
Citizenship: Alien
Sheet Number:10A    Number of Household in Order of Visitation:326
Occupation: Minister
House Owned or Rented: Rented  Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented:45.00
Attended School or College: No. Highest Grade Completed: College, 5th or subsequent year
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census:48  Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939: 47  Income: 2100   Income Other Sources: No
Household Members: Name Age   Eller L Williams 51  Blouwes Williams 51

To: Olwyn Whitehouse

Which is your favourite church in South Canterbury from the historic view? Why? Please email me with your comments. 

In January 1859, the Strathallan "arrived in the roadstead direct from England, and deposited on our beach over 100 souls; with true Anglo-Saxon go-a-headism, these people set to work and soon built for themselves comfortable habitations, though some of them were bitterly disappointed in their expectations of what they would find in the colony, and one old lady especially, was sadly grieved as she stated, as her private opinion, she would be well satisfied if Timaru was but a quarter of the size of London". Within two months the colonists had built about 45 houses and the town had doubled its population. "Our church commenced in April of last year, was opened for service in December, and consecrated by the Bishop of Christchurch last April." But it was not religion that made Timaru. It was the port. It may be as well to mention, for the information of an intending settler, that he will find in Timaru every tradesman he is likely to require: for we boast of a couple of blacksmiths, a good cabinet-maker, a painter, two or three good carpenters, a tailor, couple of shoe- makers, and a butcher and baker of course; we can readily procure labourers, whose wages per man are 8s a day. There are a couple of hotels in the town - the Royal and the Timaru." - Timaru's workforce in 1861.

J Andersen, in A Jubilee History of South Canterbury, lists 48 churches and chapels and 16 other buildings being used as places of worship in 1891. By 1906 this had peaked to 69 churches and 32 other places of worship.

St. Mary's, Timaru and Archdeacon Harper.

Who was responsible for these wonderful designs? 
Hall, Hope and Harper's
Parsons, parishes, parishioners and publicans,
the children of the pioneers 
and landed gentry.

South CanterburyGenWeb Project Home Page

The church used to be the centre of the community but people have become more mobile since then.