Not all of our built heritage has been written off by the earthquakes. Some of our very old wooden churches still stand firm, or reasonably so. One such is St Andrew’s at Rangi Ruru. We hadn’t visited it for some years, so, yesterday, we went by and I took this photo. There was something very comforting about seeing it there, “ever faithful, ever sure”, so unchanged, so firmly grounded and ever lovely in its simplicity.
Part of the church dates from around 1856 -1857. There have been additions and modifications over the years. It was originally sited in the central city. Over the years, the city congregation dwindled and the future of the church was in doubt. However, in 1986 the church was transported across town where it found a new purpose and a new home at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, as the school chapel and parish church.
St Andrew’s was the first Presbyterian church to be built in Christchurch and has close links with the first permanent Pakeha settlers on the Canterbury Plains, the Deans family at Riccarton Bush.
No doubt, those early Presbyterians would be quietly satisfied to know that their church, in all its sensible simplicity, has endured .
Mother and Sister! Remember when we thought we would have to spend the night in the church because the doors jammed and we couldn’t get out or raise the alarm. I wonder if the earthquakes realigned the doors. I wasn’t game to find out!