On the 22nd December 1850, in a loft of the Lyttelton Immigration Barracks, the most Reverend Henry Jacobs took the first Anglican service on land since the arrival of the Canterbury Association settlers. Three more services followed that day, hundreds taking to the ladder as that was the only access to the loft. Planks resting on barrels of tar served as pews in services that were reported by many as the best they had ever attended.
Henry had been promised work by the Canterbury Association as a Classical Professor (he had been teaching for the two year previous) for the proposed new college of Christchurch. So, with his wife Charlotte, they boarded the ‘Sir George Seymour’ – our third ship from our First Four – and sailed to the end of world. On each of the First Four Ships, there were certain items and professions that were a must and one of those was a Reverend to watch over the spiritual welfare of the passengers. This was Henry’s job those 3 months at sea.
In 1852, Henry became the Headmaster of Christ’s College Grammar School and remained at this post until 1863 when he decided to pursue a life within the Anglican Church. This paid off just 3 years later as he became of the First Dean of Christchurch. A Dean is the Chief Resident within the Anglican Community.
For a more in depth look at Rev. Henry Jacobs, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/the-most-reverend-henry-jacobs-1824-1901/
* Image courtesy of The Alexander Turnbull Library – http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=8832