Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Church of England
Church of England
The first wooden church in Gisborne was erected on Kaiti by Anglican natives in 1864. White pine was used, and the building was in a very dilapidated state when it was taken down in 1901. The Matawhero Church (which has been the property of the Presbyterian authorities since 1872) is now the oldest place of worship in Poverty Bay. It was built of kauri by Captain Read in 1866 for the Anglicans. Although all the other buildings in the locality were burnt by the Te Kooti rebels in 1868 no harm befell it.
Prior to the erection of the first Holy Trinity Church (which was built of wood, had seating for 250, and was consecrated on 11 April, 1875, by Bishop W. Williams) Anglican residents of Gisborne worshipped in Read's courthouse until the first public school (erected in 1872) became available first to members of their faith, and, afterwards, also to members of other denominations. W. Dean Lysnar conducted the services from 1872 till 1874. The present Holy Trinity Church cost about £7,000. It was consecrated by the Right Rev. Dr. Averill (Bishop of Waiapu) on 29 June, 1913.
Anglican churches in the country districts were dedicated as under: St. Luke's, Waerenga-a-Hika, 11 October, 1903, but destroyed by fire in February, 1910, and replaced on 9 October, 1910; St. George's, Patutahi, 18 June, 1907; and St. John's, Te Karaka, 31 January, 1909. St. Paul's, Kaiti, was opened on 29 September, 1912, and the Church of the Resurrection, Te Hapara, on 16 April, 1917. There are also churches at Motu and Matawai.
Vicars: Rev. J. Murphy (July, 1874, till February, 1875); Rev. E. Williams (September, 1875, till April, 1882); Rev. H. H. S. Hamilton, B.A., who was in his 99th year when he died at Gisborne on 19 October, 1946 (January till June, 1883); Rev. W. Cocks (relieving in latter portion of 1883); Canon John Elliott Fox, M.A., who subsequently served at Waerenga-a-Hika (June, 1884, till January, 1892); Canon Anthony Webb, M.A. (1892 till 1902); Rev. W. Welsh (1902 till 1904); Rev. Dawson Thomas (1904 till 1914); Canon Horace Packe, M.A. (1905 till his death in 1932) Canon Alfred F. Hall, M.A., who became Archdeacon of Waiapu in March, 1949 (1932—).