The European Church in the Common Era 1840-1913
Out of the Common Way
I Under the Maori Mission
II The Pioneers 1855-1874
III Chapel to Church 1874-1896
IV The New Century 1896-1913 Index
Someone has said that if you wish to master a subject that interests you, don't read a book about it, write one. The preparation of this small volume required research which has been its own reward.
Morley's monumental History of Methodism in New Zealand will never be rivalled or brought up to date. The cost would be prohibitive. For detailed studies of circuits and con-gregations with photos and tributes to individuals we must be content with local brochures commemorating jubilees and centenaries, of which the Connexional Office possesses a unique collection. Most of these are adequately researched and all are valuable. We also have some admirable regional surveys, such as Wesley Chambers' careful and detailed treatment of Canter-bury Methodism, the volume on Marlborough issued in 1965, and John R. Grigg's recent book on Methodism in the Mana-watu. We would like to see all the principal districts written up in this way.
The Wesley Historical Society planned the present series of four small volumes as part of its celebration of the 150th anniversary of our Church in New Zealand. It seems inevitable in this ecumenical age that "the people called Methodists" will soon be merged in a larger unity. Whatever our regrets ai losing familiar landmarks and whatever the problems that follow, we may hardly doubt that God calls us in this direction.
"Names, and sects, and parties fall:
Thou, O Christ, art all in all."
Yes, indeed. But "fine words butter no parsnips". The coming generation is likely to be a testing time for all Christians. If Methodists are to contribute something positive to the united church, as our partners would hope and wish, we should be anxious to know ourselves a little better.