New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
 Go to Index

                                  
 Centenary of the Wesley Church, Wellington
1840-1940 


The local natives promised to build a native church immediately. This they did, and by the end of June 1839 a raupo church was built, at Te Aro on the side of the Te Aro stream which separated it from the Pa.

One cannot speak too highly of these native teachers who were left behind. Some of them had been slaves, but their message was received, and the hearts of many of their fellow natives were changed through their faithful work. Minarapa, who was apparently their leader, lived to be a very old man and in his later years related the story of the beginnings of the mission here.

The impact of these Christian teachers on their fellow natives was such that the ground was well prepared for the arrival of the emigrants. The effect of the spread of the Gospel amongst the natives of this land was truly wonderful. The more so when one realises that so many, on hearing the good news, immediately turned from the cruel, revengeful and barbarous habits that had been ingrained in them.

Rev. Richard Davies relates that when the members of the Tory landed at Petone on Sunday, 20th September, 1839, instead of being received by the natives with the war dance, they were met quietly on the beach by a deputation of natives, and were conducted into the Pa, where they sat down until Divine service was concluded, which was conducted with great decorum by a native.

The surgeon of the Tory stated that "the natives are the best behaved we have yet seen; they have prayers night and morning, which are read by a native instructed by the English missionaries."

This is the start of the Settlement in Wellington. This booklet tells the rest of the story of the Methodist work in Wellington up to 1941.