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KAIAPOI PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

The erection of a new and handsome Presbyterian Church here affords a subject for congratulation. For some time the want has existed among the members for a more commodious place of worship, but by a creditable perseverance the want has been supplied. On the arrival of the present minister, it may be said, a revival took place in Presbyterianism, which was indeed cheering, and as a consequence, on the accession of adherents, the limited church accommodation became more and more apparent. About last summer the question of erecting a larger building was mooted and very heartily entered iuto. The first step was to obtain promises of support by voluntary donations, then a large sum by a bazaar, which was a successful affair, so that up to the present, as Explained at the soiree last evening, a sum of nearly £400 had been raised, of which, however, £100 has been applied to reduce the sum advanced on the manse property. The cost of the new church is about £700 inclusive of extras, therefore a round sum has still to be raised, but there should be no difficulty in doiDg so, if one and all come heartily forward as they did yesterday. The proceedings of the day were favored by brilliant weather and passed off in a highly pleasing way. Having disposed of the former building by sale it was removed, and the new church ' stands in its fitcad near the manse fronting on Sewell street. The exterior has a bold if not an imposing appearance, plainly without being superfluously decorated. The front presents a double entrance door with fan light.the weatherboard ed walls on each side of which are pierced by Gothic headed windows, the one to the right lighting the vestry, and the other to the left the book depot. Rising from this end of the building is a neat bell turret, with fiuial, the bell contained therein being the gift of Mr John Anderson. The bell was rung during the evening, and has a musical tone. Entrance by the principal doors is gained up three or four cement steps, so that the building is placed sufficiently high to be clear of the damp ground. Inside is a vestibule about 6 x 10 feet, with doors to the vestry, and book depot, as well as entrances to the main part of tie church through two blue baize-covered self closing doors. The interior strikes one as pleasing, possessing as it does an air of comfort with everything in mode6t taste. The floor space is 30 x 60ft. The walls are 12ft in the clear before the roof springs up. The walls are done with dadoing to the height of the seats, then plastered, as well as the ceiling. In the latter the four principle timbers of the roof are left exposed, and being varnished, give a desirable contrast. A flood of light is admitted by eight gothic-headed windows, four on each side of the church, the architraves of which are formed of plaster. Two side windows also light tbe vestry and bookroom. Ventilation is rendered complete by several air ducts made by piercing the walls on a level with the window sills, and four circular ventilators in the ceiling. With regard to the seats, arranged to form two aisles as it were, they are made on a very comfortable pattern, with book rests attached, and are adequate to accommodate 240 bearers. The pulpit is a somewhat elaborate one, the design good. It is octagon or John Enox shape. The building was commenced on October 2lst, 1874. Ceremonies connected with laying the commemoration stone in front of the church commenced at 2 p.m., when about seventy or eighty members of congregation were present, by singing the 100 th psalm. Rev W. H.- Homer then offered prayer. Rev addressing those present, said they were met that day to celebrate the opening of a church for divine worship, in the way of their forefathers. There had existed a necessity for making more room to accommodate their own congregation and others who desired to worship with them. For some time it was a perplexing question how to do this. Eighteen months ago, however, it was decided to build a new church, after concluding it would be better to do this than enlarge the old church as the time appeared certain to come when a new church would be rendered necessary, and as the extensions which were wanted were estimated to cost very little under the price of a new building, it was determined to take the matter in hand. An effort was made, and the debt, £100, on the manse Daid off. A sum of £350 had been realised towards the manse debt, and the cost of the church, which was estimated before the close of that day to reach £400. The cost of the building was about £700, therefore they opened it with a debt of £400, a sum which, however, would only have been equal to the debt on the manpe, and the cost of enlarging the former church. That day reminded them of passing time. In 1859 the former church was built, the site for which, as well as for the manse, was presented by Mr R. L. Higgins. The Rev C Fraser "at that time was the moderator, and held that position till 1863 ; the Rev W. Kirton from 1859 till his decease in 1872 took the oversight of the congregation, since which time he (the speaker) had the oversight. During these years the sum of £800 had been raised by the congregation towards the support of their church. On that day he felt sure they wonld all feel thankful to the Almighty for his goodness, and he trusted His blessing would rest on the work of that day in laying the Ebenezer stone. It bore the date of 1874, which was accounted for by the fact of these proceedings being intended to be held last year, but bad been postponed owing to his illness. He invited Mr Anderson to lay the stone, and Mr Farr to read the roll of parchment to be placed in the flask in the cavity under it. Mr S. C. Farr read the document containing tbe following particulars :— The commemoration stone of St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Kaiapoi, was laid on January 7th, 1875, by John Anderson, Esq., of Christchurch. This church is in connection with the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, holding the Westminster standards. The congregation is the Presbytery of Christchurch, whose ministerial members at present are Revs C Fraser, A. F. Douglas. W. S. McGowan, W. Mc Gregor, W. Douglas, H. Homer, W. R. Campbell, and J. W. Cree. Bey. W. McGregor, minister; Messrs Young, Kidd, Brough, Lambie, and Ross, elders ; Messrs Forrest, Clark, Thompson, Edwards, Norrie, J.Stevensqn, Heeney, and A. McDonald, members of committee ; C. S. Farr, architect; Tillman and Ponsford, contractors. ! Here followed a description of the building, stating it would accommodate 220 persons, and cost £668; that contained in the bottle were copies of Press and Lyttelton Times of that day, and one coin struck in the year 1874; that the Marquis of Normanby was Governor, and his Honor W. Rolleston was Superintendent. Mr John Anderson having spread the mortar, set the stone, and tried it by plumb and rale, declared the same well and truly laid. Addressing those present, he said he had to thank the officers of the Church for the honor of being invited to lay the stone. To him it was always a pleasing duty to assist in raising another temple to the worship of the Almighty; but when that church waa intended for His worship after the manner of their forefathers, who held the true and holy doctrines of the

Presbyterian faitb, the pleasure of that duty was i icreaaed. He loved this truly catholic w -y of wt, .ship, because they took for their rule and guide the word of G<*l, and that only, believing that, through its teachings, man may reach eternal life. It was trusted that many would reach it through the preaching of the Gospel within the wall* t.f that church, and even in this land of their adoption, they would not ot.ly enjoy the means but disposition to maintain tbat temple. It was gratifying that in Kaiapoi, as in other parts of the provinew, it was necessary to increase the places for Divine worship ; that in leaving their native land they did not forget their duties, maintaining them as a birthright. It was a matter of great satisfaction to see such a church erected ; he wished it every success. He hoped the Presbyterians of this province, who had all prospered more than they could have done in the home country, wonld assist in a like noble manner to establish churches in other districts. Here they had a hard working pastor who would be willing to hold out his hand to minister to their spiritual wants and worldly comforts so far as he was able. In every way therefore be trusted the Kaiapoi congregation would go on and prosper. He had again to thank them.

The Rev A. F. Douglas gave an exposition of Presbyterianisro, after which he pronounced the benediction, and that part of the proceedings ended. A move was made into the church, when the Bey Charles Fraser preached the opening service from the text Phillipians chapter ii. 16th verse. Tbe amount contributed to the collection was £15. At five p.m. a soiree was held in the old church, which was very numerously attended. The tea tables quite groaned under the supply of good things kindly provided by Mesdames J. Stevenson, Kidd, Yonng, Kilgour, Brough, Edwards. Norrie, Clark, Jeffry, Moody, Lorrimer, Stevens and Miss Brodrick. The public meeting was-held at half-past seven in the new church, which was filled in every part, several being unable to obtain seats. On motion of Rev W. McGregor, Mr Anderson was voted to the chair. Psalm 23 was surg. The Chairman, in opening, said as the Rev W. McGregor had been ill, he was glad to do anything to lighten his burthen by .taking the chair. Referring to the new church, he considered the congregation had come forward manfully to carry on the work, and now they had secured a new building they had obtained a substantial one. As there were speakers to follow and a choir to furnish them with music, he would not detain them. Choir—Anthem, "The Earth is the Lord's." Rev W. H. Homer, introduced by the chairman, said he felt happy in the assurance of addressing such a happy meeting. There were some errors which had become fossilised in our language. There was that word " clergy," which he held to be a heresy, as it led the people to think that they were not partners in the work of the church. While glad to see such a nice church, be trusted the people would attend it well. The children ought to urge their parents to attend, and the latter ought to bring their children. He wanted to see the good work of evangelising the world carried on. He did not care which church accomplibhcd it, though he would be glad to see their grand Presbyterian Church taking the lead. In the same way that the province would be supplied with regular rain if there were more trees, so they wanted praying people in the churches to invite the divine blessing on the inhabitants of the pleasant plains of Canterbury. On the beginning of a new year it might be remembered they had a new work to perform in extending the Divine cause, so that at its close they might be thankful at having formed such a noble resolution. Choir : Anthem, " Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." Rev A. F. Douglas, rising to speak, congratulated the chairman—who was looked on as the father of Presbyters in this province—on having the privilege of laying the memorial stone, He hoped that other places would follow the Kaiapoi example, Some said they could worship in a barn, but when able to afford it they should have a decent building. When he first saw the old church, it was the humblest looking place of the kind he had seen, and this was the neatest in the province l the congregation being fairly entitled to sincere congratulation in their efforts. As in the " Pilgrim's Progress," this was a new spring at the hill of difficulty, at which spring he trusted many Christians would come and go away refreshed. —" Sing unto God." Mr S. C. Farr, President Sunday-school Union, addressed his remarks chiefly to the children, urging parents also to encourage their little ones to attend tbe Sunday-school. Choir—Anthem, " Praise ye the Lord." Mr J. Callendar, in a complimentary speech, referrsd to the success of the congregation in erecting that church. Choir—Anthem, " Praise ye the Lord." Mr W. Johnston gave an address on the necessity for Sabbath-schools, as well as tbe usefulness of that nursery of the Church. The Rev W. McGregor Btated tbe offerings tbat evening had amounted to £6, and the tea meeting would realise from £25 to £30, so that the opening services might be expected to bring in between £40 and £50, showing what could be done by the energies of tbe congregation. In regard to the babbath school, while he regretted that Mr Woodford had lately resigned as superintendent, Mr S.Johnston had consented to assume oversight of same in future. Choir—Anthem, "Great and marvellous." Votes of thanks to Mr Clark, Mrs Long, and other members of the choir, the speakers, the ladies, and tbe chairman, were proposed. Ihe meeting closed witb sitting the 100 th psalm, ther|tbe Rev W. H. Homer pronounced the benediction.

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Bibliographic details

KAIAPOI PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH., Press, Volume XXIII, Issue 2928, 8 January 1875

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KAIAPOI PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. Press, Volume XXIII, Issue 2928, 8 January 1875

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