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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Religious

page 42

Religious.

Church of England in New Zealand.

The foundation of "The Church of England in New Zealand" in Canterbury is coeval with the foundation of the settlement. To plant it here in all the completeness of arrangement and detail that existed at home was one of the aims of the first settlers, most of whom were enrolled under its banner. Each of the first ships brought out amongst its passengers clergymen of the Church, who may be said to have commenced their duties to their new flock immediately on leaving London.

Early on Sunday, the 22nd December, 1850, six days after the first of the pioneer ships entered Lyttelton harbour, the first ordinance or the Church was held in the new settlement, Early Communion being celebrated in a store used temporarily then and for a few months afterwards as a church. Morning and evening services were also held on the same day, the Rev. H. Jacobs (now the Ven. the Dean of Christchurch) preaching sermons to a crowded and attentive congregation, which included several Maories. The services were choral, several of the new arrivals being well accustomed to church music.

In a very few months the settlers in Christchurch had arranged for Divine worship on the plains, and first a V hut, then a building, still standing near St. Michael's Church, were erected in July, 1851. "St. Michael and All Angels" was subsequently consecrated on September 29th, 1859.

In the mean time the foundation stone of Lyttelton Church had been laid in April, 1852, and in January, 1853, the building was opened for Divine service. It was originally intended that this should have been the Cathedral, but the subsequent growth of Christchurch led to a change of plans. This church, after it had been up a short time had to be pulled down, the timbers having warped and shrunk to such an extent that it was unsafe. It was rebuilt, and the new one, the present "Holy Trinity," was opened in April, 1860.

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In December 1854, the settlement haying considerably grown, it was divided into five parishes, viz:—Lyttelton, Governor's Bay, Akaroa, Kaiapoi and Christchurch, each with its church, parsonage, and school-house.

In November, 1855, the Endowment Fund haring grown sufficiently large, it was decided at a meeting held in Lyttelton to memorialise Her Majesty, beseeching her to nominate a bishop for the settlement. The Rev. Mr. Jackson had some time previously been looked upon as the bishop-designate, and he actually visited the colony, but whether he declined the office, the endowment at the time being small, or whether those here declined to have him to reign over them we cannot say. Certainly he never was appointed. The result of the memorial was that the Rev. H. J. C. Harper, D.D., was consecrated Bishop of Christchurch. He arrived here on the 23rd December, 1856, and was installed on the 25th of the same month.

Christchurch grew so rapidly that the want of increased church accommodation was soon felt. St. Luke's was built in 1859, and was for some time a "Chapel of Ease" to St. Michael's, it not being till 1867 that the separate parish of St. Luke's was formed. St. John the Baptist's was consecrated on the 27th December, 1865 (St. John the Evangelist's day), the first stone having been laid with due masonic rites. The parish was formed towards the end of the year 1865.

In the meantime population in the suburbs had been increasing, and Opawa, Riccarton, Papanui, and Avonside each had their neat little church, capable of seating from 200 to 400 persons. The land for the Avonside Church was presented to the parish by the Rev A. Bradley, and the glebe of six acres adjoining was the gift of the Rev A. Mackie, the first incumbent.

The second great event in the history of the Church in Canterbury was the laying the foundation stone of the Cathedral on the 16th December, 1864, by the Bishop of Christchurch. The day was observed as a public holiday, and the full strength of the clergy, with representatives of all political, friendly, and other bodies, in and about Christchurch, attended, the ceremony. Under the foundation stone, besides the usual papers and coins, were placed two parchments, one containing an English and one a Latin inscription; the Latin one, composed by the Ven. the Dean of Christchurch, is as beautiful a specimen of composition as could be written, and was highly spoken of as a piece of most elegant writing by professors at the University of Oxford when it was seen by them. They were as follows:— page 44

+ In honorem sanctæ trinitatis +
Patris, Filii, Spibittus Sancti.
Hunc Lapidem Angularem
Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Ædis-christI, in urbe Æde-Christi,
Posuit Vir admodum Reverendus
Henricus J. C. Harper, S.T.P.
Primus Ædis-Christi Episcopus;
Civitatis Cantuariensis Natali Die Quatuordecimo,
Die Decembris XVImo
Anno Victoriæ Reginæ XXVIIIVo
Redemptionis nostrœ
Mdccclxiv:to
Circumstante Clero Populoque
Et grato animo recordante
Quot et quanta beneficia Deus O:M:
Omnium bonorum Auctor,
Britanniæ filiis, hanc novam patriam colentibus, largitus sit,
Et summâ vi nitentium
Alteram ut Angliam matre non indignam condant,
Spes et consilia
Quam prospero usque adhuc eventu secundaverit;
Necnon et precante,
Sicut universa Christi Ecclesia immota manet in Saxo fundata
Et usque ad mundi finem est mansura,
Ita Ædes Christi hoc Lapide Angulari innixa
Invictæ in Christum fidei inconcussæque
In omnes futuros annos
Testis exstet firma, pulchra, nobilis, conspicua.
Ab initio usque ad exitum hujus Operis
Adsit Deus,
Laborique nostro faveat propitius
Amen.
Laus Deo.
+

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

+ To the honour and glory of Almighty God, and in the name and for the advancement of Christ's Holy Catholick and Apostolick Church, on the XVIth day of December, in the year of our Lord Jesus mdccclxiv, this chief corner stone of the Cathedral Church, of the Diocese of Christchurch, is laid by

The Right ReverendHenry J. C. Harper, D.D.

(First Bishop of Christchurch),

assisted by the following persons, appointed by the Synod of the Diocese to serve as a Cathedral Commission, namely, the Venerable Henry Jacobs, M.A., Archdeacon of Christchurch; the Rev. James Wilson, M.A.; His Honor Mr. Justice Gresson; the Honourable Henry John Tancred, M.L.C.; Alfred Charles Barker, Esquire; Charles Robert Blakiston, Esquire; Cyrus Davie, Esquire; Richard James Strachan Harman. Esquire; James George Hawkes, Esquire, M.P.C.; George Holmes, Esquire; Grosvenor Miles, Esquire; George Arthur Æmelius Ross, Esquire, M.P.C.

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This Cathedral Church is to be erected from the Designs and. Drawings of

George Gilbert Scott, Esquire, R.A.,

Architect, London, England,

and

Robert Speechly, Esquire, M.R.I.B.A.,

Resident Architect, Christchurch.

+ Glory to God in the Highest, On Earth Peace, Good will Towards Men.

From one cause or another the erection of the Cathedral was delayed for several years, when a portion was commenced, which was opened with special services, at which the assistance of a choir of seventy voices was obtained, in November, 1881.

Gradually, with the growth of the settlement, the Church has extended the circle of its duties, till it has now in the Diocese (exclusive of Westland) 76 churches, 31 parsonages, 45 Sunday-schools, and about 14,000 Sunday scholars.

Presbyterians.

The first settlers on the plains, the Deans, were Presbyterians, and among those who came here in the first four ships, and who came from other parts of the Colony, were many who belonged to this church. These early commenced to take steps towards the erection of a place in which to hold Divine Service, and formed a Building Committee, with the result that St. Andrew's Free Church of Scotland was opened in February, 1857, with the Rev. Charles Fraser as minister. But even before this Mr. Fraser had, by the kindness of the Wesleyans, had the use of their church for one service for his people each Sunday for some considerable time.

All through the settlement the number of Presbyterians increased, and gradually churches were erected in the various townships, with a minister appointed to each. The Canterbury Presbytery was formed in January, 1864, the Rev. W. Kirton being elected Moderator at the first meeting, which was held in St. Andrew's Church. As the settlement grew, and Timaru and Westland separated from Canterbury, and were formed into counties, a presbytery was formed for each county. In and about Christchurch the Presbyterians are strong, and have, besides St. Andrew's Church (near the Hospital), St. Paul's, in Cashel-street, a church on the North Belt, and others at Sydenham, the Ferry-road, and Papanui. There are also in the Christchurch Presbytery churches at Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Cust, Sefton, Rangiora, Waiau, Halkett, Prebbleton, Leeston, Southbridge, Ashburton, Malvern, Alford Forest, and Akaroa.

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In the presbytery of Timaru they have six churches, and in that of Westland five churches, In these three presbyteries they raise annually for missions, £700; for Sabbath-schools, £400; for congregational purposes, £8100; and for liquidating their debt, £3200. The number of communicants is 2180, of adherents, 3050, of Sabbath-schools, 43, of teachers, 390, of scholars, 3880, and of manses, 20.

Wesleyan.

The second religious body to thoroughly establish themselves in Canterbury was the Wesleyan. Towards the middle of 1853 the Rev. Mr Kirk visited Lyttelton on his way to Otago, to which district he was appointed, and in response to the earnest solicitations of members of the Wesleyans here he consented to remain for a short time and act as their minister, which he did for some time. In April, 1854, the Rev. John Aldred, the first minister appointed to this station, arrived. It is significant of the strong feeling of the Church of England founders of the settlement, that the arrival of a minister of another denomination was looked upon, at that time, almost in the light of an encroachment; indeed, a special sermon was preached in Lyttelton, warning the congregation of the advent of a wolf in sheep's clothing, who would seek to draw the flock from the proper fold. This narrow-mindedness was happily of but short duration, the several sects subsequently working together harmoniously in their religious work.

Mr Aldred's first sermons, in the new settlement, were preached on the 3rd of April, 1854; in the morning in Christchurch, to a congregation of fourteen or fifteen persons, in a carpenter's shop, somewhere near where the Working Men's Club now stands; and in the evening in Lyttelton, to a congregation of forty persons, in the Oddfellows' Hall.

But neither Mr Aldred nor his congregations were content to be without churches of their own any longer than was absolutely necessary. A very few weeks saw the Christchurch. members having service in their own building—small, primitive, and plainly weather-boarded though it was—on the site in High-street, where May and Co's drapery shop now stands. It was an inexpensive building, all the requisite labour being given voluntarily. In Lyttelton they also built themselves a church, which was opened on the 6th of March, 1855, when the collections amounted to £14 2s 0½d. Thus housed they worked steadily on. The Christchurch building was several times lengthened and enlarged, till, being found too small, it was replaced in 1859 by a very pretty wooden building, accommodating 400 persons, on the same site, given to the body by Mr. J. Broughton, which was for a long time one of page 47the handsomest erections in Christchurch, the spire being a landmark for miles around. This was opened on the 26th December, the Rev. T. R. Fisher conducting the morning service, the Rev. C. Fraser the afternoon one, and the Rev. J. Aldred that in the evening. The collections in the church that day amounted to upwards of £80. This church was used till 1865, when the handsome stone church and schoolrooms in Durham-street, so well known to all residents in, and visitors to, Christchurch, was opened—the first stone church erected in this city.

Members of the Wesleyan body were pretty numerous, even in the early days, throughout Canterbury, and Mr Aldred held services so far back as 1854 in Kaiapoi at private houses—Mr. Jones's, Mr. Sidey's, and others; at Riccarton, in Mr. Ellis's cottage; and at Papanui. His first visit to Kaiapoi was one to be remembered. There was a fearful snowstorm at the time— the worst Canterbury has ever experienced—and if we mistake not, three men lost their lives in it. Mr. Aldred's horse liked it no better than the settlers, and breaking away from its tether it wandered down towards the river, and took shelter in the kitchen of a cottage.

In April, 1861, a church was opened in Kaiapoi, the opening services being conducted by the Revs T. R. Fisher and J. Aldred.

Mr. Aldred—who, among other duties, conducted the first burial service in the Wesleyan cemetery, Barbadoes street, over a Mrs. Philpot—continued in charge of the station for five or six years, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Buller.

The growth of the Wesleyan body in Canterbury has from the first been steady and rapid. In Christchurch they have two handsome churches, one of stone and one of brick, besides another at Sydenham, on the Colombo-road. Throughout Canterbury 46 others are planted in various localities, not including 30 places where services are held. They have 19 ministers, 2 catechists, 81 local preachers, 467 Sunday-school teachers, 68 class leaders, 1755 full and accredited church members, besides 161 on trial for membership. They have 51 Sunday-schools, with 4709 scholars, 12 school rooms, and 14 parsonages. The average attendance at services on Sundays is 12,126; the first cost of the buildings belonging to the Church is £41,449 5s 6d; and the cost of school management for the year is £514.

Baptists.

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.

Congregationalists.

The Congregationalists have been established as a Church in Christchurch since 1864. In May 1862 about a dozen persons belonging to this denomination met for the first celebration in Christchurch of Divine service according to its form in the old Oddfellows' Hall, Lichfield-street. The building was then in an incomplete state, and contained neither chairs nor tables, and only two wooden forms. One of these forms served those early Congregationalists as a table, in the middle of which a candle stood up between two bricks was their only light. On the other form the congregation sat. In this primitive manner they first met. Gradually they established matters on a better basis, and in 1864, Mr. Habens having arrived from England to be their pastor, a church of 40 members was formed, which met for Divine service in what was known as Bonnington's Hall. In 1873-4 their present stone church at the corner of Manchester and Worcester-streets was built, the contract for the building only being £3173. Previous to this page 49they had used what is now their schoolhouse, next the church. A Sunday-school in connection with this church has been successfully carried on since 1864. A branch church has been established in Linwood, one of the Christchurch suburbs, and another has been formed at Timaru. The present Christchurch members and adherents number between 400 and 500, Linwood about 300, and Timaru 300. The ministers are:—Christchurch, the Rev. Seth Smith (temporarily); Linwood, the Rev. John Hoatson; and Timaru, the Rev. Mr. Sharp. The Linwood congregation are preparing to build a church on a site belonging to them in the Ferry-road, but at present they are working temporarily in the Oddfellows' Hall, East Belt.

The Roman Catholics.

Long before the Canterbury settlement was formed, before the pilgrims had landed, and while yet even Akaroa was in its infancy, priests of the Roman Catholic Church traversed the country, visiting the whaling settlers, and, amid a life of much toil and hardship, pursuing their missionary work almost without reward, except such as they received in the shape of the friendship and kind offices of those to whom they ministered. In those very early days Otago and Canterbury, including then Westland, were one district, and those who can remember the difficulties of travelling then can fully appreciate the toil which the fulfilment of a priest's duty involved.

Twenty years ago, or rather more, Canterbury was formed into one district, under the charge of two priests, the Revs Father Seon and Chataignier, and the work involved in visiting their people from the Hurunui to the Waitaki, taking in Akaroa and the Peninsula, must have been arduous. In 1861 the Rev Father Chervier replaced Father Chataignier as head of the mission. At that time it consisted, in Christchurch, of about twenty souls, the only church being a small shell of a building, till recently used as the St. Leo Schoolroom. It was a mere shell, the middle room being used as a church or chapel on Sundays. The congregation being small the income was also very small, and yet by dint of great economy, and of assistance in the shape of labour, it was gradually finished, and afterwards a room was added, built at the expense of Mr Sheath, as a thank-offering for his and his family's safe arrival in New Zealand.

After a time, the congregation increasing, the accommodation was found too small, and it was decided to build a church. Designs were prepared by Mr Mountfort, and the contract was placed in the hands of Mr. Dithier. The contributions to the church were subsidised by the Provincial Government, which, page 50at that time, gave pound for pound to all denominations on funds raised for church building. The church was called "The Church of the Blessed Sacrament," and was opened on the 22nd of May, 1864.

About this time steps were taken to build a church in Lyttelton, the Provincial Government giving pound for pound as before. It was opened on the 29th of June, 1865, and a little afterwards churches at Brackenbridge, near Amberley, and at Akaroa were also opened.

The following churches have also been opened—Leeston, in December, 1869; Rangiora, in July, 1870; Shand's Track (now changed into a school), in June, 1871; Loburn, in May, 1875; Ashburton (now a school), in July, 1876; Southbridge, in September, 1878; Oxford, in 1879; Shand's Track, new church, in September, 1880; Darfield Church, in October, 1880; and Kaiapoi, in 1882.

In 1877, the Rev Father Ginaty took charge of the Christchurch mission. Since then the church has been enlarged, giving an increased accommodation of 500 sittings, costing £1800. A school-church at Papanui has been established at a cost of £600. A school-church at Halswell was opened in 1880, which cost over £300, and the same year £500 was spent on the boys' parish school in Christchurch. In the same year was also built the Presbytery, which, with furnishing, cost £2000, and the Convent grounds were fenced at a cost of £300.

From time to time the district—originally one for all Canterbury—has been divided and sub-divided as congregations increased. Twenty years have indeed wrought a change. No church in the province then, now how many! Then two priests, now thirteen; then no schools, now many, largely attended; then no convents, now a few.

In Christchurch between 700 and 800 boys attend at the parish school. This number is exclusive of the children of the Select school, and the High School for both boys and girls, the latter under the Sisters and the former (the boys) carried on in the old Presbytery, known as the St. Leo's High School.

Bible Christians.

This body numbers, in the Christchurch circuit, 100 church, members, adult members of congregations, 350, and Sunday-scholars, 200. They have three churches in the circuit, one at the corner of Lower High and Wilson-streets, one at Addington, and one at Templeton. The Rev J. Wilson is the minister.

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Primitite Methodist Connexion.

This body has five ministers in the Canterbury District: the Rev J. Sharp, Timaru; the Rev P. W. Jones for Greendale, Waddington, and Sheffield; the Rev J. Nixon for Ashburton and Newland Forks; the Rev J. Ward for Christchurch, Phillipstown, and Kaiapoi; and the Rev J. H. Luke for Geraldine and Temuka.

The Brethren

Meet at their room in Worcester-street (next the Orange Hall), Christchurch, every Sunday. For breaking of bread at 11 a.m., preaching the Gospel at 6 30 p.m.; also for prayer on Monday at 7.30 p.m., and Bible reading on Thursday at 7.30 p.m.

Jewish.

The Jews in Christchurch held their first meeting about twenty years ago, when it was decided to form a congregation, Mr. L. E. Nathan being chosen president, and Mr. J. M. Harris treasurer. Subscription lists were opened to defray the cost of building a synagogue, and were liberally supported by both Jews and Christians, the result being the erection of a synagogue about seventeen years ago on the site of the present building in Gloucester-street. About seven years ago that building was found to be too small, and the present handsome stone one was erected, at a cost of £2500. The Rev. I. Zachariah is the present clergyman, and has been so for fifteen years. The congregation numbers about forty. Mr. D. Caro and Mr. Charles Louisson are the present officers of the congregation.

Freethought.

The Canterbury Freethought Association was founded in Christchurch, September 4th, 1881. A number of Christchurch residents objecting to the exclusion of a duly elected member from the British House of Commons, sympathising with Mr. C. Bradlaugh in his struggles, and desiring to help the fund his friends were raising for defending his cause in a costly lawsuit promoted by Mr. Newdegate, subscribed the sum of £35, and at a meeting of the subscribers to arrange for its remittance to England, it was resolved by those present to form the nucleus of a Freethought Association, forty names being at once enrolled. In a few days a room was hired for holding weekly meetings, and the first meeting held Sunday evening, September 4th, 1881, when the name was fixed which it now bears, and officers and an executive committee elected for the ensuing year Wm. Pratt being chosen, as president.

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In the course of a few weeks, from the increase of members, the room was found too small, and a hall was rented and fitted up in Worcester-street, and opened in November—the Cathedral and the Jewish Synagogue being opened the same week.

This hall fairly answered the purpose for about twelve months, though it was often inconveniently crowded, when overtures were made to the trustees for the tenancy of the German church, which were accepted, and it was taken possession of February, 1883.

The association consists of a president, secretary, treasurer, musical director, librarian, and a committee of twelve, with 120 subscribing members, the subscription being 2s 6d per quarter. Connected with the hall, which will seat 250, is the nucleus of a circulating library of nearly 300 volumes, chiefly upon Freethought and scientific subjects.

On Sunday mornings there is a Lyceum for children, with 61 on the roll, and an average attendance of 50, under a lady superintendent, and several class leaders, the programme of instruction being singing, marching, calisthenics, short selected readings, an address or suitable moral story by one of the leaders, and lessons in singing and musical notation, with the aid of a blackboard, by a competent music-master.

A small but very efficient band and choir forms an attractive feature of the evening meetings, which are held in the hall every Sunday evening from 7 to 9 o'clock, the time being occupied with readings, lectures, and free discussions upon all subjects relating to human welfare and improvement, the prime object of the association being to disseminate rational views of life and its obligations here.

Young Men's Christian Association.

This Association, which was established in October 1875, has recently taken possession of handsome premises (of which we give an illustration) on its own freehold m Cambridge Terrace, between Cashel and Hereford-streets. It numbers 110 members and 36 associates, and has been largely assisted by valuable contributions from several Christchurch firms, including a donation of 100 volumes by Mr. Gould, towards replacing a library lost in a fire in the Associations' old premises. It has a President, vice-President, Hon. Treasurer, Board of Management, and a Secretary, elected annually. The subscription is 10s. a year for members under twenty-one years of age, and 20s. a year for older ones.

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The building has a spacious entrance 34ft. x 13ft., in which is the main staircase 5 ft. in width. Under this is the lavatory. Proceeding past the staircase the reading room is reached. It is 32ft. x 23 ft., and 16ft. in height. It is very handsome, well-lighted, and very inviting. On the same floor are also a library 16ft. x lift., a chess room 16ft. x 12ft., and a secretary's room 15ft. x 10ft., all well lit and with fireplaces. Immediately in the rear of the main building is the coffee room, 24ft. x 14ft., having a fireplace fitted with a gas stove. The room is fitted up with cupboards, shelving, delivery counter, &c. The whole of the upper part of the main building is devoted to a lecture hall land two class-rooms, 14ft. x 8ft., and 11ft. x 9ft. The hall is 50ft. x 30ft., and 20ft. high from floor to ceiling, with a central dome coved ventilator 24ft. from the floor. It is lighted from the front and rear by four double arched windows, as well as an eight-branch chandelier in brass, with triplex burners, and has a platform at one end 30ft. x 8ft. The floor is deadened, so that people in the rooms below cannot be annoyed by those in the lecture hall. The front elevation, as seen from Oxford and Cambridge terraces, is specially attractive from its highly ornate character. The front is divided into three bays, with pilasters below, and above these latter, ornamented with richly carved composite capitals, surmounted by a frieze are the words—"Young Men's Christian Association." Above this again is a bold corbelled cornice and substantial blocking, the centre, having pedestals to a higher level and curved pediment, the sides being supported by bold curved trusses, and acroteria surmounting the whole. The panel bears an open Bible, on which is cut words from Psalm cxix., verse 9, the book being backed by a radiation of the light of the Word. The first floor windows are of an especially enriched character, the circular heads having conch shells, and richly carved capitals to the circular columns dividing them, the sides being panelled; the lower portion of each window has deeply sunk panels. The plinth and steps are from the quarry of Mr. R. M. Morten, and the limestone front of two tints from those of Mr. W. Wilson. The bricks used are steam pressed by Mr. W. Neighbours, thus in every matter of construction local materials have been used where possible. Mr. T. S. Lambert is the architect.

At the rear of the premises, occupying nearly the whole of the remaining portion of the section (with the exception of a yard 30ft x 15ft), is a gymnasium, 45ft x 35ft, of timber framing, covered with iron on three of its sides, the remaining side being a brick wall. The walls are 15ft in height from floor to the under part of the beam of the principals, the latter being composed of kauri, trussed with diagonal struts and king and queen bolts, strongly framed with angle knees to all, to carry page 54the swings and gymnastic apparatus. The entrance is by a spacious door 8ft x 6ft. In both gables there is an upper circular-headed light, 14ft wide by 6ft in height. The roof is of corrugated iron. In the interior is a lavatory with water laid on, and the whole room is brilliantly lighted with triplex burners; the floor is composed of tan 8in in depth. The apparatus and other various appliances for gymnastics are not yet erected.

The Salvation Army.

This body, which has become an institution in Christchurch, was established on the 20th May, 1883. It has now stations in Christchurch, Sydenham, Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Ashburton, and Rangiora. Its head-quarters in this colony are now in Christchurch, under the command of Major Pollard. It is supported entirely by voluntary contributions, payments being made into one fund for the whole of New Zealand. So far it has been more than self-supporting, and as the funds increase it carries the war into fresh towns. Should it at any future time be in want of funds it is empowered to draw on the Home body for sufficient to cover the bare expenses of the officers. The attendance at its meetings, which in each place average from eighteen to twenty per week, is very numerous; but the actual membership is, in Christchurch, 235, in Sydenham 150, and in the other towns from 40 to 150. It publishes weekly its own paper—the War Cry—which has a very large circulation. It is about eighteen years ago that the Army was first formed, in the Old Country, but it is within the last three years that it. has fought its way into popularity, not only there, but in America and the colonies, and has attracted a very large number of adherents.

Other Bodies.

Besides the above bodies, there are the following, each engaged in their special work:—Canterbury Auxiliary of the British and foreign Bible Society; Canterbury Baptist Association; Canterbury Sunday School Union; Cathedral Guild; Cathedral Union; Christchurch Ministers' Association; Christchurch Wesleyan Mutual Improvement Association; and the Church Work Society (Church of England).