The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
The Durham Street Wesleyan Church
The Durham Street Wesleyan Church. The circuit of which this church is the centre, is the premier circuit of New Zealand Methodism, and has more churches, members, Sunday scholars, and adherents than any other. Durham Street Church, which is the Methodist Cathedral of Canterbury, is a handsome stone building, at the corner of Durham and Chester Streets. Two large towers surmount the front, and the sides are protected by heavy balustrades. The foundation, stone was laid early in 1864, by Mr. Samuel Bealey, then Superintendent of the Province, and the opening services were held on the 25th of December, of the same year. The land and building cost about £12,000. A few years later galleries were erected in the church, at a cost of over £1000, and an organ—at the time one of the best instruments in the colony—was introduced. Subsequently the stone schoolroom adjoining the church was erected at a cost of £2000. The parsonage stands on the church grounds, facing Chester Street, and was erected, together with a caretaker's residence, in 1889. A year later the interior of the church was renovated, the rostrum brought forward, and the choir gallery enlarged; and altogether over £20,000 have been spent on the property.