New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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A History of the Durham Street Methodist Church, Christchurch

A House Not Made With Hands


The Beginnings of Canterbury 
The Beginnings of Canterbury Methodism 
1853-1854 William Kirk 
1854-1859 John Aldred 
1859-1866 James Buller 
1866-1869 Thomas Buddle 
1870 William Kirk 
1871-1872 Alfred R. Fitchett 
1873-1875 James Buller 
1876-1878 William Morley 
1879-1881 Alexander Reid 
1882-1884 Edward Best 
1885-1887 John James Lewis 
1888-1891 William Morley 
1892-1895 Henry R. Dewsbury 
1896-1899 David McNicholl 
1899-1903 William Baumber 
1904-1908 Henry R.Dewsbury 
1909-1911 Charles H. Garland 
1912-1913 Charles H. Laws 
1914-1919 Percy N. Knight 
1920-1922 William Ready 
1923-1927 William Arthur Hay 
1928-1930 William T. Blight 
1931-1932 Percy N. Knight 
1933-1938 Clarence Eaton 
1939-1952 Raymond Dudley 
1952-1962 Ashleigh K. Petch 
1962 - W. Selwyn Dawson 
The Young People 
Women's Work 
Men's Fellowship 
The Deaconesses 
The Choir 
We Close


In writing this account of the Durham Street, Christchurch, Methodist Church during its hundred years, 1864-1964, I have used freely Dr. Wm. Morley's "History of Methodism in New Zealand"; the Rev. W. J. Williams's "Centenary Sketches of New Zealand Methodism"; the Rev. W. A. Chambers's "Our Yesteryears"; files of the Lyttelton Times and other Christchurch newspapers in the Public Library; the brochures written by the Rev. Dr. C. H. Laws, B.A., on the occasion of the Church's Jubilee and by the Rev. M. A. Rugby Pratt, when the Church celebrated its 80th Anniversary; the relevant Minutes of the Methodist Conferences; the Circuit Schedule Books, and what Minute Books I could secure of various Church Groups. Also Bruce's "The Early Days of Canterbury" and "The Evolution of a City," a thesis by an unnamed writer, now in the Public Library. Had the records been properly kept through the years, and had the books been preserved, my task would have been comparatively simple: but there are gaps when no records were made, and many old Minute Books have been lost: so that the story is not as complete in its detail as one would have wished.

However, as here presented, it is full of inspiration, being a story of vision and courage in building the Church; of devotion and sacrifice on the part of ministers and laymen alike; of the crowds who have worshipped in the old Church or who have passed through its Sunday School and Bible Classes; of evangelistic fervour and of the harvest reaped for Christ; of a salutary influence upon the life of the City and Province; and of a weighty contribution to New Zealand Methodism and to the community!

It has been unavoidable that the names of only a few have been mentioned; but a complete list of officers is not available, and if it were it would be far too long to publish.