Albury's Churches - There were three churches at Albury, one is closed. Photo study 25th April 2014

Presbyterian Parish was built in 1902. Union Church Albury. 2 photos Auckland City Libraries
St Paul's Catholic Church was built in 1903. another photo.
St Martin's Anglican Church was built 1909.

Anglican Church of Saint Martin

St. Martin, easy to spot, on the corner of High St. and the main road Albury -Fairlie Rd south of the tavern. Built in 1909.

Otago Witness, 17 July 1901, Page 37
Church. — At last a decided move has been made in the determination to build a church for the combined Episcopalian and Presbyterian congregations, the latter not waiting for a final agreement ; and being by far the more substantial contributors — in ratio of about 5 to 1 have have let the contract for the erection of the walls; to be of. local limestone, which is of very fair building quality. I hear the English Church folk are hardly prepared to fall in with the wishes of the other party, in which case the church will be established, wholly by the Presbyterians. The total cost is estimated at £300. The Presbytery have granted our parish the use of a student to assist the Rev. Mr Lawrie in his labours for the spiritual wellbeing of the district — help that was greatly required, for undoubtedly the increased settlement in a large part of the parish, which is of very large area, has placed it beyond the power of one minister to attend to it adequately.

The former Albury Presbyterian Church (built in 1908) 8 Duke St. Albury now a private residence. photo 1 2 3 1940s. It had a belfry.

Otago Witness, 5 February 1902, Page 31
The erection of a new Presbyterian church at Albury has to be recorded. The little edifice is of local limestone and diagonally-laid ceiling, the whole finished and diagonally-laid ceiling, the whole finished in capital style, with seating accommodation for 103 to 120 persons. It was opened on the 19th ult., on which occasion the Rev. Wm. Gillies, long of Trinity Church, Timaru, officiated, the building being packed. On Thursday evening following a very successful soiree was held. The Rev. Messrs Wm. Gillies, George Barclay, Todd, Watts, Morrison, and Lawrie took part in the proceedings. The revenue derived from this function was utilised in paying for an organ, a first-class instrument having been bought and fully paid for. Our recent pastor having accepted a call from St. Andrew's, the charge of Mackenzie is now empty, and at present the pulpit is occupied by candidates. Five are promised so far, two hailing from Southland— viz., Messrs M'Laren and M'Culley so the congregation should have no difficulty in securing a suitable minister to shepherd the spiritual wants of the parish. The congregation took the opportunity of Mr Lawrie's presence at the social to present him with a token of esteem, in the form of a purse of sovereigns.

St. Martin, front door and windows.

Otago Witness, 4 March 1903, Page 32
Following the commendable example of the Presbyterians of the district, the Roman Catholics are erecting a chapel. The stone has been carted, and the building contractor, Mr Walker, has prepared most of the material. The ceremony of laying the foundation stone is to take place on Sunday next, when, given a fine day, a. large concourse of church sympathisers will attend. I understand the necessary funds to defray the cost of the erection have already been subscribed, and it is anticipated the edifice will open for divine worship free of debt in about three months. In connection with the new Presbyterian Church, on which remains some £70 or £80 of a mortgage, the committee of management is organising a bazaar and sale of work to be held towards end of May and run concurrent with the local dog trials, when no doubt the wherewithal to unburden the edifice will be easily raised. Our late pastor, the Rev. Mr Lawrie, initiated a move before he left the charge that the services of a missionary student should be secured to assist during the summer months, consequently the Rev. Dr Black and his charge have had the benefit of Mr Calder's services, a fact which .carried with it a source of very considerable satisfaction. The young minister is of considerable promise, and has endeared himself very much to us during his sojourn in our midst and his leave-taking will be generally regretted.  

St. Martin's a weatherboard church with a few cobwebs. April 2014

New Zealand Tablet, 19 November 1903, Page 6
Opening of New Church at Albury
One of the prettiest little churches — St. Paul's at Albury— was opened by his Lordship the Right Rev. Dr. Grimes on Sunday, November 15, in the presence of a large concourse of people of all denominations, some of whom came from as far as Temuka. The ceremony of blessing the building took place at 11 o'clock, and was followed by the celebration of High Mass by the Very Rev. Dean Foley. After the Gospel the Rev. Father Le Petit, parish priest, said that when he took charge of the parish some time ago he found the contract for building the church had been let at £649, of which £300 was in hand, and there were extras amounting to £48, which left a debt of about £350. To assist in the liquidation of this it was proposed to hold a bazaar in May next. After paying a deserving tribute to the manner in which both Catholics and Protestants had taken up the building of the church, Father Le Petit expressed his confidence that the church would be free from debt in eighteen months.
    His Lordship the Bishop said that his first pleasing duty was to congratulate the pastor and his parishioners upon the happy results which had been achieved and to praise their non-Catholic friends for the keen interest they had taken in, and the support given to, the building of the church. His Lordship spoke of the hardships entailed through the absence of a church, and expressed pleasure at the fact that it was the privilege of Dean Foley— who was once in charge of the parish— to celebrate the first Mass in the new church. He congratulated the architect on the beautiful design of the church and the contractors on the excellent manner in which they had carried out their work. His Lordship then preached a very able and telling discourse, talking for his text : ' How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts,' etc. His Lordship made a graceful reference to the distinguished ecclesiastic at present visiting the Colony, and, in conclusion, expressed a hope to soon see a Catholic school in the district.
    The Kerrytown choir, assisted by friends from Temuka, rendered Webb's Mass in G, and appropriate hymns, and at the offertory Misses Stevenson and Coughlan sang Aye Sanctissima. Miss Annie Hoare presided at the organ. The choir were kindly taken by Mr. W. Jeffries to Albury in his wagonette, drawn by a pair of greys, for which, and for other services rendered, Mr. Jeffries is deserving of much praise.
    After the service his Lordship, the priests, choir, and friends were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. D. Angland, who hay done all in their power for the good of the parish. At three o'clock devotions were conducted in the church by Very Rev. Dean Foley. Miss Stevenson sang an appropriate hymn. His Lordship again preached a fine discourse, from Apoc., eh. 21. The Rev. Father Le Petit announced that over £50 had been received in donations that day, and, with promises, it amounted to over £60, for which he expressed his gratitude. He thanked his Lordship for coming to open the church, which he did at great inconvenience, and also Dean Foley for his presence. He likewise thanked the choir, some of whom had come from Temuka, Kerrytown, and the Point. After Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, at which St. Mary's Benediction service was rendered by the choir, Miss Maggie Hoare presiding at the organ. His Lordship imparted the customary blessing.
    The church is one of which the people of Albury may well feel proud. It has been built of Albury stone, rough faced, measures 44ft by 26ft, with a neat vestry and porch. It is capable of seating about 300 persons. The sanctuary is partly walled in at each side, with an elegant cove-shaped aperture. The altar rails are of unique design, while the altar, which is in wood, is of a neat and ornamental type. There are fifteen windows in all, with lights in various colours in diamond-shaped small panes. The interior is finely plastered, with dado moulding. The ceiling is in neat panels (wood), nicely moulded, and painted with great taste. The seats are substantial and look well. The architect was Mr. Turnbull, and the contractors — stone work, Mr. Walker, of Pleasant Point ; woodwork, Mr. Riddle, of Fairlie ; plasterers' work, Mr. Guthrie, of Timaru. The building cost about £650, but the good people of Albury, following the good traditions of their fathers in the Old Land, did all the carting and various other services free, otherwise the cost would probably have fallen not much short of £1000. The success which crowned the day must have been a source of great pleasure to the Rev. Father Le Petit, who has greatly endeared himself to the people of this new parish.

Timaru Herald 01/01/2009
The Rev Michael Kerr and Roslyn Peterson were married at the Anglican Church of St Martins at Albury recently. Mr Kerr has been vicar of the Mackenzie co-operative parish in Fairlie and is now ecumenical chaplain for the hospital and Presbyterian support. Roslyn Peterson has been a Kimbell resident and the immediate family had a luncheon get-together at the Kimbell hotel to celebrate. The wedding was the first of an Anglican priest at St Martins in its 100-year history. The first wedding held at this church took place 100 years ago in October 1907, between Mr and Mrs Tom Besley. Besley Lane, where the church stands is named after them. The church was not completed for the Besley wedding and wasn't consecrated until March 1, 1908, by Bishop Churchill Julius. The St Martins congregation celebrate the church's centennial on March 2, 2008.

Thomas Egbert BESLEY married Mary Jane WREFORD in 1907. Thomas died 1952 aged 71, buried in the Albury Cemetery. Children:
1910 Besley Henry Wreford b. 10 March. Died 1999. Married Benjamin Price in 1950.
1912 Besley Elizabeth May. b. 8 May. Died 2003.
1913 Besley William Egbert b. 16 June 1913. Died in 2009.
1917 Besley Florence Joyce. Joyce married Bruce Smith after the war. Bruce farmed up Richardson's Road, and was a Lancaster pilot during the war. Joyce died 2 Aug. 1991 aged 74.
Bruce Edwin Smith R.N.Z.A.F.425947 Fg. Off. DFC died 19 Oct. 2007 aged 92. Both buried at Albury.

Timaru Herald, 26 August 1907, Page 4
BESLEY—WREFORD — On August 21st, 1907, at the Anglican Church, Albury, by the Rev. Stanley Hinson, Thomas Egbert, youngest son of Mr H. Besley, Cypress House, Devonshire, England, to May, second daughter of Mr W. Wreford, Bro. Vale Ma-Waro.

Tom Besley died 15 March 1952 aged 71 years buried at Albury. Thomas Egbert Besley born 1880 in Stoodleigh, Devon to Henry (b. 1842 in Templeton, Devon) and Elizabeth Besley nee Payne (b. 1841 in Stoodleigh, Devon). Brother Charles Henry Besley came out to St. Andrews.

New Zealand Tablet 19 November 1903 Page 6
One of the prettiest little churches— St. Paul's at Albury— was opened by his Lordship the Right Rev. Dr. Grimes on Sunday, November 15. The church is one of which the people of Albury may well feel proud. It has been built of Albury stone, rough faced, measures 44ft by 26ft, with a neat vestry and porch. It is capable of seating about 300 persons. The sanctuary is partly walled in at each side, with an elegant cove-shaped aperture. The architect was Mr. Turnbull, and the contractors — stone work, Mr. Walker, of Pleasant Point ; woodwork, Mr. Riddle, of Fairlie ; plasterers' work, Mr. Guthrie, of Timaru. The building cost about £650, but the good people of Albury, following the good traditions of their fathers in the Old Land, did all the carting and various other services free, otherwise the cost would probably have fallen not much short of £1000. The success which crowned the day must have been a source of great pleasure to the Rev. Father Le Petit, who has greatly endeared himself to the people of this new parish.
The Sunday School, and St. Paul's and front door.

Otago Witness 5 October 1904, Page 36 Albury
The churches seem to be keeping pace with the increase of settlement in these parts. The Presbyterians are securing the services of an assistant to Dr Black, whose extensive parish is too large to work single handed. The Roman Catholics also contemplate making a start with a presbytery for the parish priest, Father lie Petit.

St. Paul's Catholic Church, Queen St.,  built in 1903, located near the Albury Primary School. The Priest Cottage built soon after 1903 to accommodate the parish priest from Fairlie, now the Sunday School is the little building to the left.

Otago Witness, 17 February 1909, Page 53 Albury
Church. — The Presbyterian Church is now hearing candidates for the newly sanctioned charge. So far only one applicant, a young minister in a southern parish, has preached The Rev. Thos. B. Bannerman and Rev. J. C. Gillies have been supplying with much acceptance. The Land Board has recommended the Minister of Lands to grant the application of the church committee to purchase 6 acres 2 roods 17 poles, being a small reserved block adjoining the Albury Cemetery. The price to be paid is £10 per acre.

Evening Post, 17 August 1912, Page 9
Timaru, 16th August. After attending the induction of the Rev. J. Craig to the Presbyterian Church at Fairlie on Thursday evening, the visiting ministers were driving home when a serious accident befell two of them. The Revs. P. Wilson, of Albury, and C. Macdonald, of Temuka, were in a gig going at a good pace, when the horse shied and upset the vehicle down the embankment approach to a small bridge. The gig was smashed, and the two ministers considerably hurt. The next party, including two other ministers, picked them up and drove back to Fairlie for medical attention. The Rev. Mr. Wilson was seriously hurt about the head and remained at Fairlie. The Rev. Mr. Macdonald sustained cuts and bruises on the face and legs, and suffered from shock, but was able to return home to-day.

Grey River Argus, 30 January 1915, Page 5
Mr. E. G. Wilson, stationmaster at Taihape, has retired from the position, after forty years' service. He first joined the railway service on January 8, 1875, as booking clerk at Rangiora. Later on he became telegraphist, and served in that capacity at Selwyn and Rangitata. At the age 0 19 years he was appointed stationmaster at Ealing. He also occupied the position of superintendent-manager at Washdyke, Burnham, Albury, Fairlie, Leeston, Greymouth, Brunner, Feilding, Woodville (at the opening of Wairarapa through line), Nelson, Invercargill, and Taihape. Mr. Wilson has put up a record of 34 years continuous service as a stationmaster, his resignation having been accepted last week. He will take up his permanent residence in Christchurch in a few days.

The door handle at St. Martin's showing wear.


Timaru Herald, 5 May 1908, Page 4
WEAVERS—ROBERTS. At St. Martin's Church, Albury, April 22nd, by the Rev. Stanley Hinson, Robert James Weavers, second son of Robert Weavers, Opawa, to Beatrice Williams, elder daughter of Sidney Roberts, Penrhyn, Cave.

1909 Weavers Stella Roberta
1910 Weavers George Sydney
1912 Weavers Beatrice Rita
1914 Weavers Robert Clarence

Otago Witness 6 May 1908, Page 74
A very pretty wedding took place at Si Martin's Church, Albury on Wednesday, April 22, when Miss Beatrice Roberts was married to Mr Robert Weavers. The bride, who entered the church on her father's arm, wore her travelling costume of grey tweed, with smart hat of white chiffon. The bridesmaids—Miss Minnie Roberts and Miss Ethel Weavers also wore tweed costumes. Both bride and bridesmaids carried lovely bouquet of snowberries, clematis, and autumn leaves .and wore pretty gold brooches, the gift of the bridegroom. Mr Weavers was attended by Mr Alfred Weavers as best man, and the groomsman was Mr Edwin Robertson. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Stanley Hinson, while Miss Foster presided at the organ. After the ceremony the wedding party drove to the schoolroom at Cave, where tea was served to about 65 guests. The table was decorated with white chrysanthemums, scarlet geraniums, and autumn leaves. The usual toasts were duly honoured, the Rev. Mr Hinson proposing that of the newly wedded couple. The happy pair left by the 4.20 p.m. train amidst a deluge of rice. The schoolroom was then cleared and a dance held in the evening, about thirty couples taking part in the Grand March. The bride was the recipient of many handsome and valuable presents.

Timaru Herald, 26 July 1909, Page 4 Marriage
MACDONALD - CUTHBERTSON On June 28th, 1909, at St. Paul's Church, Albury, by Rev. Father Le Petit, John Patrick, eldest son of Mr A. W. Macdonald, Greenlands, Albury, to Margaret, eldest daughter of Mr Daniel Cuthbertson, Silverstream.  

Child born
1917 Macdonald Audrey Elizabeth

Timaru Herald, 8 May 1911, Page 4
WREFORD - DALE. On April 1911, at the Presbyterian Church, Albury, by the Rev. P. Wilson, Samuel Sylvanus, only son of William Wreford, Ma-Waro to Linda, second daughter of Joseph Dale, Manahune, Albury.

1912 Wreford William Stanley Dale
1915 Wreford Linda Mildred
1917 Wreford Norman Sylvanus
1919 Wreford Samuel Ivan

Timaru Herald, 11 January 1913, Page 3
A very pretty wedding took place on December 18th at the Church of England, Albury, the contracting parties being Miss Evelyn V. Watts, youngest daughter of the late Thomas Watts, of Timaru, and Mr John Higgs [Albert John Higgs], eldest son of Mr W. Higgs, of Albury. The bride, who was given away by her brother-in-law, Mr F. Adams, wore a very pretty cream radianta dress, and the usual wreath and veil. She was attended by Miss Davison as bridesmaid, who wore a pretty cream costume and hat to match. The bridegroom was attended by his brother, Mr F. Higgs, as best man. After the ceremony the wedding breakfast was held at the residence of Mr F. Adams, and a large number of guests partook of a sumptuous repast. The presents were numerous. and both useful and ornamental. The bride's travelling; dress was a navy tailor-made costume, with black straw hat trimmed with roses. After the breakfast the happy pair motored to Timaru en route for the south.

William (1852-1942) came out on the ship Lancashire Witch with his parents, John Higgs and wife, Hannah, 10 Oct. 1863. He worked on farms at Gleniti and in 1875 started contract cropping in the district with his father. In 1878 he bought 150 acres at Albury. He was a member of the local school committee. A shareholder in the Albury Saleyards, the "Timaru Post," and the South Canterbury Dairy Company.

Sarah Major Smith married William Higgs in 1881. Sarah is buried at Albury d. Sept. 14th 1935 aged 77yrs. William died 9th Oct. 1942 aged 90yrs.
1882 Higgs Alice married Robert Wilson of Hillend, Balclutha, farmer
1883 Higgs William [named after father] [died at 11 weeks, buried 28 Nov 1883 in Timaru Cemetery, no headstone.]
1884 Higgs Albert John d. Sept. 14th 1965 aged 80yrs. [Named after grandfathers.] of Burnham Farm, labourer
1886 Higgs Sarah [named after mother] married Alfred Herbert Bolton of Otaio, farmer
1888 Higgs Rose Hannah [named after grandmother] married William Stewart Bateman of Halfway Bush, Dunedin, farmer.
1889 Higgs Alfred of Raurekau, Milton, farmer.
1893 Higgs Frank [named after Uncle Frank Edwin Smith] [Francis] of Goodwood Farm, labourer
1895 Higgs William [named after father and brother] of Albury, farmer
1899 Higgs Raymond Smith d 13 Feb. 1953 aged 54 yrs. [named after Uncle Raymond Albert Smith] of Albury

Timaru Herald, 29 December 1913, Page 7
There was a very pretty wedding in the Albury Presbyterian Church on Tuesday last. The bridegroom was Mr Isaac Smith, farmer, Albury, and the bride Miss Vida Anderson, also of Albury. The bride was charmingly dressed in white silk. Misses Mabel and Ivy Anderson, sisters of the bride, were the bridesmaids, who were tastefully dressed in deep cream, voile over silk with blue sashes. The hats were of tagel straw, with lancer plumes. A very large number of friends were present. The Rev. P. Wilson was officiating clergyman. After the ceremony, the Rev. P. Wilson, in the name of members and adherents of the Albury Presbyterian Church presented the bride with a silver tea and coffee service, also with an oak tray. The presents were given to express the great feeling of the Albury congregation for her long and faithful services as organist in the church. Mr Smith made a suitable reply on behalf of his wife.

Children of Elizabeth Vida Isaac Hairsine SMITH:
1915 Smith Bruce Edwin
1916 Smith Allan Beattie
1918 Smith Muriel Doreen

Press, 20 July 1921, Page 1
CAMPBELL—SIMPSON On June 22nd, at the Presbyterian Church, Albury by the Rev. J.B. Hall, Robert Thomas Campbell, of Hadlow, youngest son of Mr and Mrs S. Campbell, Preston street, Timaru, to Sadie, second daughter of Mrs Mary Simpson "Mount Nessing," Albury, and the late Donald Simpson, of Otiake, N. Otago.

Press, 19 June 1924, Page 2
BAKER- AMYES. A quiet wedding took place at St. Martin's Church, Albury, recently, when Miss Constance Sylvia Amyes, younger daughter of Mr and Mrs Alfred Amyes, Motukaika, was married by the Rev. D. K. McPherson to Arthur Bartrum Baker, younger son of Mr and Mrs G. T. Baker, Cave. The little church had been prettily decorated by friends with white and gold chrysanthemums, berries and greenery. The bride, who entered of the arm of her father, wore a lovely frock of white satin and georgette with draped panels of hand-made lace. She wore her mother's veil with touches of orange blossom, held in place by a wreath of silver leaves and carried a sheaf of white chrysanthemums and asparagus fern. Her little bridesmaid, Miss Maisie Amyes, wore a pretty frock of rose taffeta and carried a basket of chrysanthemums and autumn leaves. The bridegroom was attended by Mr James McKeown as best man, and the Wedding March and hymns were played by Miss Foster. After the service a reception was held by Mr and Mrs Amyes at their home, which was prettily decorated with spring flowers, ferns and yellow and gold chrysanthemums. Mrs Amyes wore a smart navy costume with a black panne velvet hat with touches of white, and Mrs Baker wore a frock of amethyst velvet and a black and white hat. Others present, beside the parents of the bride and bridegroom, were: Miss R. Amyes, Mr Mrs Arthur Amyes, Mr R. Amyes, Miss Baker, Mrs and Mrs Bartrum Baker, Mr and Mr Vernon Bowker. Mrs James Scott Misses Scott (2 Mr and Mrs Eric Anderson, Mrs C. S. Verity, Miss Hancock. Mr N. Hanock, Mr and Mrs A. Kerr, Mr and Mrs Tasman Smith, Misses Foster (2 and Mrs Turner. Later, when Mr and Mrs Baker left for the en route for their future home at the bride wore a very smart grey gabardine costume trimmed with braid, a grey velvet hat with touches of colour, and a handsome fur stole.

The outhouse behind St. Paul's Church, Albury

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project