New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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THE DECISIVE DECADE (Auckland Central Mission 1927-37)


Chapter 1 : 'The Scrimgeour Period'
Chapter 2 : 'The Orr Period'
Chapter 3 : 'Sister Ivy Jones and the Maori Mission'


At the beginning of 1927 the Alexandra Street Church slumbered and decayed in the heart of Auckland City. A young and energetic Home Missionary was appointed to this Church as a social officer to facilitate mission and social work. By the conclusion of a decade, the church, known as the Methodist Central Mission, was the centre of a vital and important social and evangelical outreach into the whole of greater Auckland.

What had brought about this change? Its birth pangs are obviously to be found in the depression, and the efforts of the Methodist Church to become involved in the enormous problem of providing relief for the unemployed. But its development through childhood and into the adolescence of the 'institutional era' can be attributed to the two Missioners, Reverends C.G. Scrimgeour and A.E. Orr.

The study which follows is subtitled: Some aspects of the development and character of the 'Methodist Central Mission' 1927-1937.

It cannot purport to be a complete study of the work conducted from what is now known as the Methodist Central Mission. Rather it is a comment on aspects which have caught my imagination and for which sufficient information is available for comment to be made. It is hoped that what is written adds to the understanding, and allows for a reassessment, of some of the impressions that exist regarding what occurred.

I could have chosen to comment on such sensational aspects as the help given by Mr. Scrimgeour to Mr. Jim Edwards, a well known communist orator fleeing from the police following the 1932 riots, or on the more mundane activities conducted at the Mission, which one would expect to find as part of the regular life of any Methodist Church. Aspects such as these have not been commented on because they are covered in other publications.

Finally, while I am indebted to those who provided much of the information on which this study is based, the responsibility for what is written and the emphasis given in it is entirely my own.

Ian. F. Faulkner