What was the Order of St Stephen?
The Order of St Stephen was established to provide opportunity for the expression of the spirit of devotion and service on the part of young people who desired to offer their services, without remuneration, to Christ and the Church.
The Church believes that an opportunity should be provided for the sacrificial service to be offered and accepted, thus making a real contribution to its life and work. The Order consisted of all those who have given a year of special service in one of the ways provided by the Church and approved by the Board of Christian Education. The avenues of service were arranged where necessary in consultation with other departments of the Church.
Conditions of the Order
- The Order of St Stephen shall consist of members of the Christian Youth Movement Methodist who have given at least one year of full-time service to the Church in an approved sphere. Admission to the Order shall be conferred by the Board in consultation with the authority concerned on completion of the term of service.
- Members of the Christian Youth Movement Methodist who have attained the age of 18 years, and who are members of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, shall be eligible to apply for service in the Order.
- All avenues and conditions of service shall be investigated thoroughly and approved by the Board. The appointments, however, shall be made and oversight exercised by the section of the Church under whose direction the service is rendered. The Board shall be kept informed concerning the work of the Candidate.
- A Dedication Service shall be arranged at the commencement of the period of service, and a ceremony of Reception into the Order when membership is conferred. The Board shall be responsible for arranging these services through the District Youth Council and that section of the Church concerned.
- The Badge of the Order shall be issued by the Board of Christian Education to each Member of the Order.
- A roll of Members shall be kept by the Board of Christian Education.
- Interested persons may secure the official Application form from the Methodist Department of Christian Education, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington, C 3.
- If you are considering applying for service in the Order, first consult your own Minister and write to the Director, Methodist Department of Christian Education, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington, C 3.
Spheres of Service
A year’s service with one of our local churches, assisting with organisation of youth work such as Bible Classes, Sunday School, Youth Clubs, teaching, visiting, community work, district organising.
General assistance to Circuit Minister including secretarial and youth work and perhaps some visiting.
Enterprises which may be sponsored giving opportunity for use of special gifts, eg a qualified carpenter giving a year travelling to directed Churches, doing maintenance and other work; organizing groups of workers for work projects.
Church Institutions and City Missions
Work on staff of Church Schools, Children’s or Eventide Homes, Trinity College, Hostels, or in one of the Church offices, will provide a field of opportunity for many different types of service to be rendered. Domestic help, gardeners, farmers, tradesmen, nurses, typists, stenographers, and others are sometimes required.
Other Fields of Service
These may from time to time open up and will be made known to the Church and its youth.
Introduction to this List
In 2005, Rev Marcia Baker wrote an article for Touchstone about the Order of St Stephen. She noted in the article, that the membership register had been lost, and re-constructed a list of members. Her list was published on the Methodist Church website in 2011.
It has been replaced by the list below, which is compiled from the original membership roll. This roll, part of the Methodist Department of Christian Education records, was not lost, but located in the Auckland Methodist Archives. It is now held in the Methodist Church of New Zealand Archives national repository in Christchurch.
The roll is a large bound volume and consists of a page for each person, usually with a photograph, and information about what work they undertook. Later entries are sparse, and a different format was used.
Spelling of names has been recorded as written in the register. Any additional information, compiled by Rev Marcia Baker, has been included in square brackets, or noted where the information came from. From number 124 onwards, most entries in the register consist only of a person’s name.
A 2014 gift of research and information about the Order of St Stephen compiled by Dianne Claughton, which contains information about individuals who were members, is also available at the Methodist Archives, Christchurch in the Personal Papers and Historical Records Collection.