25 September 2012

Bay of Islands Churches

christchurchrussell-2 christchurchrussell

Christ Anglican Church
Bay of Islands
Photos taken 23 Oct 1997

Russell, then known by its original Maori name of ‘Kororareka’ was a rough seaport, popular with Pacific whalers, with the nickname ‘The Hellhole of the Pacific’.

The missionaries purchased land in 1834 from Kororareka chiefs Rewa, Wharerahi and Moka and agreed that Maori and Pakeha (Europeans) should have equal rights of burial.

The fundraising subscription list for the church survives with names of missionaries, settlers, traders and ships’ captains including ‘Captain Fitzroy, Mr. Charles Darwin and officers of HMS Beagle’. The building began in 1835 and a simple rectangular chapel with hipped roof was constructed.

According to official records, the first service was on 3 January 1836 when William Williams from Paihia mentions taking one in the ‘new chapel’. Services were conducted in both English and Maori languages.

Dr Broughton consecrated the burial ground around the church in 1839.

Quoted from this website here where more about the history of this lovely old church can be found.

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