New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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Oruaiti Chapel in Mangonui Circuit, North Auckland


In March 1859 there arrived, at Doubtless Bay, from England, a party of immigrants who were to become renowned for their pioneering spirit and their religious zeal. Their number included many whose family names are still honoured in the Mangonui County. True to the God of their fathers, in his new land, their first thought after providing rough dwellings for themselves was to build a chapel for Bible Study and Worship.

Accordingly, after building their homes, these settlers, led by Mr. J. Ball, turned their attention to the erection of a small place of worship. The timber was donated by Mr, Ball, pit-sawn by the settlers, and in due course the chapel took its place among the other buildings nestling around the farm homestead. This chapel was octagonal in shape, the roof being carried up from each side to a point, and surmounted by a spire. The roof was thatched with rushes, and in less than two years from their arrival in the country the settlers opened their House of Worship, in l86l. Wooden seats were built around the walls and moveable forms made for the floor space. A reading desk was placed before a slightly raised platform at the back. Indicative of the spirit of these early builders are the facts that the door lock was fashioned from heart oak brought from England, and the lead used for flashing was a jealously guarded piece brought by one of the settlers fur his own future home: a piece which he gladly gave to the Lord's House.