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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Trinity Congregational Church

Trinity Congregational Church, Christchurch. This church, the parent church of the Congregationalists in Canterbury, dates its establishment from 1861, when a few persons who had been members of the church in the Old Country requisitioned the Colonial Missionary Society for a pastor. Some delay ensued, and the Rev. W. J. Habens, who was appointed, arrived in Lyttelton on the 10th of January, 1864. Prior to his arrival a Sunday school had been started, and services were held by the late Mr. Easton in a small hall in Lichfield Street. The Rev. Mr. Habens held his first services on Sunday, the 17th of January. At a meeting held shortly afterwards the Christchurch Congregational Church was constituted, with thirty-seven members. The present Sunday school in Manchester Street, erected at a total cost of £1,900, was opened as a church on the 26th of November, 1864. As the congregation grew it became necessary to provide a larger place of worship. Accordingly the present handsome stone church, which adorns the corner of Worcester and Manchester Streets, was opened in January, 1875. In the latter part of 1876, Mr. Habens became Secretary to the Canterbury Board of Education, but he continued to act as pastor till early in 1877, when he was appointed Inspector-General of Schools, and removed to Wellington. The Rev. Edward Walker acted as minister for about eighteen months, and was followed by the Rev. H. Williams, who retired in January, 1884. The Rev. John Hoaston then succeeded to the pastorate, but left for Melbourne in 1892, when his place was filled by the Rev. Sydney J. Baker. The present pastor, the Rev. David Hird, M.A., succeeded to the charge in February, 1902.