St Mary's Church, Auckland, New Zealand.
Posted by: willbuild
S 36° 51.576 E 174° 46.997
60H E 302389 N 5918408
Quick Description: St Mary's Church.
448 Parnell Road
Location: North Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 2/23/2010 12:51:13 PM
Waymark Code: WM89RP
In 1982 St Mary's Church was moved into the precinct of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, a major feat of engineering when the church was transported across the road and turned through 90o onto its present site. A move of about 100 metres. (visit link
A church dedicated to St Mary has served the parish since 1860. A Selwyn-Thatcher church, now known as "Old" St Mary's, was consecrated on land which is opposite the Cathedral, beside Cathedral Close.
Christchurch architect, Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort, was asked to design a new church of brick and stone to seat 800 people with plans from 1883 to replace the original church. Fund raising began, and on Feb 6 1886, the foundation stone was laid by the Primate, Bishop Harper of Christchurch, and attended by all the Bishops of the Province, who were in Auckland at the time to attend General Synod. In 1887 Bishop Cowie of Auckland wrote to the Vestry proposing that the new St Mary’s would probably have to serve as the Cathedral, for he could not envisage a building of a Cathedral as well for many years. So on the 15 November 1887 St Mary’s became the Cathedral Church, this being the third building declared to be the official seat of the Bishop.
Tenders were received for the building of St Mary’s, but the estimates were so high for just the choir and transepts, (£5,200) it was realised that the new structure could not be built of stone or brick. Mr. Mountfort promptly redesigned the whole building, this time proposing that the choir and first three bays of the nave be built of timber. A tender was accepted (£2,252) and within two years the first part of the building was opened for worship of June 7 1888, by Archdeacon Dudley. Completion of the remaining four bays and Baptistry and Clergy and Choir vestries was achieved by 1898. The service of consecration was held on 25 August 1898, when Bishop Cowie, accompanied by his chaplain the Reverend EM Cowie and Bishop Wallis of Wellington, knocked on the doors saying “Open Ye the Gates”.
If a list of important wooden churches of the world were made, St Mary’s would find worthy mention. The nave, including the choir and the sanctuary is 158 feet (48.6m) long, 57 feet (17.5m) wide, including side aisles, and 46 feet (14.1m) high. It is roofed in a single length, the side aisles are roofed with a series of out looking gables instead of continuing the main roof down. The sense of space is enhanced by the absence of trusses in the roof, which serve as a precautionary measure to counteract any tendency to roof movement. The Church is covered with vertical boards and battens in the Selwyn style
St Mary’s was relocated as part of the Cathedral complex on Saturday 6 March 1982. It was moved in one piece, on one day, by a system of rollers across the road to its present position where it now forms part of the Cathedral cloister with Holy Trinity and including the Bishop Monteith Visitors’ Centre and the ancillary buildings.