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Akaroa’s Presbyterian Church is a restrained example of the Gothic Revival style executed in timber.

Category: Public Buildings
Date: 1886
Street Address: 39 Rue Lavaud
HPT registered? Yes
District Plan Listed? Yes

The first Presbyterian services were held in Akaroa in 1856 in a private home. In 1860, the young congregation built a small church for its worship (see 63 Rue Lavaud). The church was repaired in the mid 1870s, but by the mid 1880s was too small for its growing congregation. It was moved down the street and a new church, designed by a Christchurch architect, John Whitelaw, was built in its place. The new church opened on 13 June 1886. It remains the town’s Presbyterian Church.

The simple rectangular building, with a suitably steep roof, has restrained Gothic Revival detailing – windows with triangular pointed heads, a string course and an attractive entrance porch. Inside the building is an open preaching space. Both interior and exterior reflect Presbyterian austerity. The hall, at right angles to the church, was added after a decision had been made in 1912 to build a hall.


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