Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
The old Oddfellows' Hall in Lichfield-street, which saw the first services of several religious bodies in Canterbury, was the building where the Baptists in Christchurch first met for page 48public worship. That was in 1862, and the congregation numbered about 50. In the same year the Rev. D. Dolamore arrived and formed the Church, which continued to meet for several months in the hall, after which they removed to the old Town Hall during the erection of the Baptist church in Lichfield-street. This latter building was subsequently sold for the use of the Fire Brigade (who occupy it at present), on the erection of a new church in Hereford-street, opposite the library. This church was after some time removed to Oxford Terrace near the Madras-street bridge, enlarged, and continued to be used for public worship by the Baptists till the completion of the present handsome brick and stone building on the same section, which took place about one and a half years ago. The cost of this building was about £3,700. The old church still stands, and is used for the Sunday-school, which is a flourishing institution, with between 300 and 400 scholars. The congregation numbers between 400 and 500, and has a very good choir of 50 members, which was formed by Mr. H. Corrick, the present organist and choir master, a position he has held for several years. The Rev. Mr. Dallaston is the present clergyman.
A Baptist Church was formed in Rangiora in 1865, and has progressed well. Churches have also been opened in Sydenham, Lincoln-road, Greendale, Kirwee, South Malvern, Ashburton, Lincoln, Oxford and Timaru. It is estimated that the total strength of the congregations throughout the Canterbury District is about 2000.