Christchurch’s First Church Opened – 1851

After a long 13 years of restoration and upgrading, Christchurch’s first church, St Michael’s and All Angels reopened in 1872.  The foundation stone had been laid on the 29th September 1870.

The church had faced the same problem as most of the buildings – including the Christchurch Cathedral – had during the 1860′s – lack of funds! Even the planned Bell Tower and Spire were scrubbed to save money.

This simple place of worship – known then as Christ’s Church – opened in 1851 in a simple V hut on its current Oxford Street site. With many walking through tussock and swamp to attend church and school, the need for a bigger building was in dire need. A simple wooden structure was erected. In 1859 the church was renamed St Michael and all Angels and plans for further enlargement started. This ambitious upgrade gave us the church we know today.

In 1901, the vestry was remodelled into what is now the Pilgrims Chapel – in celebration of the first 50 years of settlement in Christchurch. In 1976, the Belfry was moved to its current position due to construction requirements, namely road widening.

For a more in depth look at St Michael and All Angels, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/st-michaels-all-angels-christchurchs-1st-church/

* Image courtesy http:/www.aucklandcity.govt.n – ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-6747’

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