Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thames (NZ): Church at Kirikiri

On 30 November 1874, a new church was opened at Kirikiri.
Anglican Church Kopu
Source: The Ohinemuri Journal
"The new church, which has been built at the Kirikiri native settlement, Thames River; was formally opened for service yesterday. The building is weatherboard, carefully lined and finished, has Gothic windows, and is in every respect a very neat ecclesiastical structure. At the west end there is a belfry, on which there is a good bell suspended, and over the porch there is a neat cross erected. Over the chancel there are beautifully illuminated texts in the Maori language, which were sent from England by Miss Weald, a lady who takes a very great interest in the Maori mission, particularly in this diocese." Thames Star 1 December 1874

 We know exactly what the church looked like even today, thanks to a report in the Thames Advertiser 30 January 1886. When the Maori Mission Church was replaced at Parawai, the church was replicated.  "The dimensions will be the same as those of the Kirikiri Church, and the plans for that building will also be adhered to."

Further details are in the Ohinemuri Journal:
By Rev. GORDON KAA
The old Anglican Church at Kopu, demolished in recent years, stood near the Hikuai road turn off. The details of its building is recorded in the diary of the late Mr Tiki Reihana:-
Te Whare Karakaia kei Kirikiri
 
The translation reads -
  • 28/3/1874. The timber was milled for the Church.
  • 19/5/1874. The foundation blocks arrived. It was built during: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
  • 27/11/1874. They finished painting.
  • 28/11/1874. The pews were bought.
  • 29/11/1874. The Rev’s Wirema Tepea and Wiremu Pomare were ordained to priesthood.
  • 30/11/1874. The Church was opened and dedicated.

In the Auckland Weekly News I July 1909, is the photo of a wedding at Kerikeri, Thames, with what looks like the church on the left. Was there another building next to it that was used by the Mormon Church? Is Kerikeri - Kirikiri?
DO YOU RECOGNISE ANY OF THESE PEOPLE?
 
The description reads: THE SPREAD OF MORMONISM AMONGST THE MAORIS: A MAORI WEDDING WHICH WAS CONDUCTED RECENTLY IN THE MORMON CHURCH AT KERIKERI, THAMES, AUCKLAND.
Source: Auckland Weekly News 01 JULY 1909 p005 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19090701-5-4 .
Do you have any photos of the Church before it was demolished?

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