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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Wesleyan Church

Wesleyan Church, St. Albans. As early as 1854 a little group of Wesleyans, meeting at Mr. Philpott's house, St. Albans, were instrumental in establishing the Church in Christchurch. After Mr. Aldred's arrival a sod schoolroom and small wooden church were erected in St. Albans Lane. As the congregation grew, larger quarters became necessary, and eventually a church about 55 feet by 35 feet was placed alongside the original building. In 1869 the Hon. J. T. Peacock gave a site at the end of his property in St. Albans Lane, and on that an attractive church was built at a cost of £1350. Owing to the growth of the borough in later years it was felt desirable that a new building should be erected on the Papanui Road. Plans for a brick church were prepared by Mr. R. W. England, junior, and the Hon. J. T. Peacock gave considerable financial assistance. The present building, constructed of brick, with white stone facings, and ornamented with a lofty spire, presents a handsome appearance. It is in a conspicuous position, Opposite St. Albans Lane, and the ivy climbing up its walls makes it an ornament to the neighbourhood. The foundation stone was laid by the Hon. J. T. Peacock on All Saints' Day, 1894, and the church was opened by the Rev. Dr Morley on the 5th of May, 1895. After that the old church was used as a Sunday schoolroom until January, 1902, when it was totally destroyed by fire. A new schoolroom, adjoining the church in Papanui Road, was afterwards built from plans prepared by Messrs England Bros. The building is in brick, and contains, beside the central auditorium, twelve large class-rooms. with kitchen, etc., at the rear. It is one of the handsomest and best equipped schoolrooms in the colony. The St. Albans Circuit —of which this church is the headquarters— was created in 1891, and it now comprises six churches, and an equal number of Sunday schools.