The Māori Church at Taumutu, with members of the Māori and European congregation. The Rev. Philip J. Cocks from Southbridge, the Rev. H. E. Ensor from Leeston, and the Rev. C. Griffin, the Wesleyan minister at Leeston, all hold periodical services in this church, which is largely attended by the fishermen from Taumutu Point. The Māori girls receive special teaching in the English language.
The church (Hone Wetere Church) was built for the Māori on the site of Te Rauhikihiki's pā at Taumutu and was opened on Easter Tuesday, 7th April 1885 by the Reverend W. Rowse assisted by Te Koti Te Rato. The Hon. H. K. Taiaroa, Ngāi Tahu chief, Legislative Councillor and Member of Parliament was the prime mover for a church at Taumutu and through his efforts raised all the funds required to build a church and it opened debt free. The church was designed by the architect, T. S. Lambert and built by the German, Herman, who also built Awhitu House for H. K. Taiaroa.Two services were held on the opening day and during the evening service a document was read stating that the building was to be named John Wesley Church and was to be given to the Wesleyan Conference of New Zealand together with the 21/2 acres on which the church was standing.
A. C. Mills, Christchurch (photographer).
Source: The Weekly Press, 19 July 1899, p. 5.
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