December 2012

St Pauls 1924-2006

Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish

St Paul’s 1924 – 2006

In 1922, Mr Troup, a staunch Presbyterian, and Mr Moore offered a site in Cluny Road Karehana Bay to the Wellington Presbyterians for a Presbyterian church. This offer was accepted in April 1922 and in June 1923 the Presbytery approved plans for a church room. Mrs Cameron* (from what became Cameron’s Guest House, currently Moana Lodge) and Mr Morris commenced collection funds for the building programme. The building was erected with voluntary labour and listed as contributors where: Mr John Wright, Mr Randall, Mr Peter Oag*, Mr Bennett*, Mr Amon, Mr Morris, Mr Cameron.  ‘…and last, but certainly not least it was noted that throughout the proceedings Mrs (Elizabeth) Oag without fail, attended to the needs of the inner man with morning and afternoon teas for the workers.’[1]

Photo 1922 Karehana Bay, Cluny Road prior to St Paul’s being built. (Reference)
On Sunday 2nd November 1924, St Paul’s was officially opened with Mrs Burd listed as playing the organ, an instrument donated by her husband.

Evening Post 4 November 1924.

1925 St Paul’s from Gordon Road.

In 1926, a vestry was added to the building, the funds for this having been raised at a bazaar held by the ladies [2]. It should be noted that at this time the entrance to the church was at the front Cluny Road-facing aspect of the building.

1950 St Paul’s Sunday school.
Note: at left behind fence is the ‘long drop toilet,’ and the Cluny Road window does not have ‘St Pauls’ etched on it.

1952 Baptismal Certificate.

The baby boom of the 1950’s saw a large number of children being baptised at the church. There was an active Sunday school, as can be seen in this photo of a children’s day at St Pauls. At one time the Sunday School listed 120 children and 9 teachers [3]. There is a strong Scottish connection with a piper standing by the entry to the church.

1956 Children’s day at St Paul’s. 
In 1957-58 St Pauls was enlarged and the Sanctuary refurbished. A magnificent communion table was donated by Mr A D Brash in memory of his late wife [4].

1960 St Paul’s Sanctuary at Airlie Road end.

1960 St Paul’s entrance with Rita & Ron Ewen’s wedding photo.
Note: by 1960 the large St Paul’s frosted window had been added to the Cluny Road end of the building as can be seen in this photo.
1962 saw further alterations at St Paul’s; a new sanctuary was added at the eastern end of the building and a vestibule and Sunday school built on the north side [5].

1972 St Paul’s looking towards Cluny Raod showing new sanctuary.

1972 St Paul’s showing the new vestibule and Sunday school area.

In 1974 St Paul’s celebrated 50 years. The photograph below shows a large congregation but over the ensuing years numbers declined as the neighbourhood changed. By 1999 the parish noted ‘it was a church mainly attended by retired folks’ [6].

1974 St Paul’s 50 years celebration.

2000 St Paul’s at the start of the new millennium.

In the new millennium, the continuing decrease in numbers at St Paul’s forced the Presbyterian parish to review the viability of the church. The decision was made to close St Paul’s and on 24 December 2006 the final service at St Paul’s was held. The congregation amalgamated with the St Barnabas congregation in Mana.

2006 The final farewell from the community.

St Paul’s was sold 2010 and now is a private residence but the new owners have retained many of the external features.

For more background on St Paul’s, read 75 Years in the Son: The Story of the Plimmerton Parish


Thanks to Rita & Ron Ewen and Helen Pearson for material used in this article.

Allan Dodson December 2012.

[1] 1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
[2] 1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
[3] Personal recollections: Rita Ewen
[4] 1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
[5] 1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
[6] 75 Years in the Son: The story of the Plimmerton Parish 1924 – 1999
1922 Cluny Road from Gordon Road, Pataka C-4-32
1925 Cluny Road showing rear of St Pauls, Pataka C-4-31
1950 Sunday school, St Pauls: 1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
1952 Baptism certificate: Private collection
1956 Children’s Day at St Pauls: Private collection
1960 St Pauls sanctuary & altar: Private collection
1960 St Pauls Cluny Road entrance: Rita & Ron Ewen
1972 St Pauls sanctuary, Cluny Road: Private collection
1972 St Pauls vestibule & Sunday school entrance: Private collection
1974 St Pauls 50 Years Celebration: Private collection
2000 St Pauls Millennium: PRA Millennium collection
2006 St Pauls The Final Farewell: Private collection
1924 – 1974 Plimmerton Presbyterian Parish
75 Years in the Son: The story of the Plimmerton Presbyterians Parish 1924 – 1999
*Cameron family – Cameron’s Guest House cnr Cluny & Moana Road, article to be prepared.
*Peter & Elizabeth Oag – 7 Cluny Road, article to be prepared.
*Bennett – possibly WH Bennett, see ANZAC article on Bennett family.
3 Cluny Road, Karehana Bay, Plimmerton.

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