Burwood Anglican Cemetery

Brief History

Originally the Avonside Parish was very large and included the Burwood and New Brighton areas. In 1877 wealthy landowner and farmer, Richard May Morten, donated land for a church and graveyard next to the New Brighton School (now the Burwood School). The property was on New Brighton Road and just to the west of where Bassett Street meets the roundabout by the Avondale bridge. A church was built to a design by architect Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort, called All Saints’ Church, New Brighton, and dedicated by Bishop H. J. C. Harper at 3 p.m. on 9 September 1877.

The Parochial District of New Brighton was established in 1889 with the Rev Frederick Richard Inwood being the vicar. Inwood was in charge of Burwood and also the modern day New Brighton area. A church there, on the site of the modern St Faith’s, was known as the ‘Beach Church’. In 1906 the New Brighton Parish was established, the vicar being the Rev Henry Thomas Purchas, Inwood’s brother-in-law. Inwood remained in charge of the smaller Parochial District of Burwood.

Inwood retired in 1910 and the Rev Cecil Alexander Tobin took over. He was vicar from 1910-37. He died at 82, a year after his retirement. When he had arrived in Burwood, Inwood had built himself a vicarage - he never lived in a house provided by the diocese. Tobin had bought the house and, after him, the house remained in his family’s hands and ceased to be a vicarage.

From 1937-48 Burwood was controlled by the parishes of Shirley, Avonside and Belfast. After 1948 there has been either a priest-in-charge or vicar. The Tobin house was bought as a vicarage but later sold. The minister lives in what was, for several years, the curate’s house. The original All Saints’ Church was deconsecrated and demolished in the 1990s. The present church was already standing, having been built in 1973.

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