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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Knox Church

Knox Church , one of the handsomest eccleastical buildings in Dunedin, is the second church of its name, and was opened in 1876, to replace the first church which occupied the site of the present (1904) Knox Church Sunday school. The original church stood on two quarter-acre sections at the corner of Great King and Frederick Streets, presented by the late Mr. John Hyde Harris. It was erected at a cost of £1,997, and contained 578 sittings. The foundation stone was laid in 1859 by Mr. John Hyde Harris at whose suggestion the building was named Knox Church. The late Rev. Dr. Donald MacNaughton Stuart, who had been a minister of the Presbyterian Church, at Falstone, Northumberland, was selected as the first pastor, and came with his wife and three children to Port Chalmers by the ship “Bosworth.” The church was opened for divine service on the 6th of May, 1860, About 1869, owing to the difficulty in providing sittings for the congregation, a general desire arose to enlarge the old or erect a new church, but nothing definite was then done in the matter. However, in 1871, it was decided by the congregation to erect a new church, and the managers soon had promised subscriptions, amounting to £3000, towards the cost. The section on which the present building stands, and which adjoined that of the old manse in George Street, was purchased for £550, and it was decided to use the old church as a Sabbath school, and for other useful purposes. The new building was begun in 1874 from plans drawn by Mr. Lawson, architect. The material used is blue stone from the Water of Leith quarries, and Kakanui stone dressings, and the design is Gothic of the thirteenth century; [gap — reason: illegible] style specially distinguished by its light, lofty, graceful arch, large, lofty arched windows, window heads enriched by beautiful tracery and floreated pinnacles surmounting the buttresses. Knox Church is surmounted by a beautiful lofty, and graceful spire, of the white stone which is used to relieve the blue walls. The church was opened for divine service in November, 1876, and the total expenditure on the building was £17,757. There is seating accommodation for 1500 persons. The organ was built by Messrs Lewis and Son, London, at a cost of £1,110, and the cost of its erection, and consequent alterations to the building, amounted to an additional £664. The interior of the church is in keeping with its noble exterior, and presents a picture which is at once impressive and beautiful. The money raised by the Knox Church congregation from the year 1859 till the year 1901 inclusive, by means of ordinary and special collections and seat rents, amounted to £80,000. For the year 1902 the gross revenue was £3,493. The manse, which adjoins the church, cost £2,930. Up to the present the church has had only two pastors in full charge; namely, the Rev. Donald MacNaughton Stuart, D.D., 1860–1894 and the Rev. William Hewitson, B.A., who took up duty in 1895, in succession to Dr. Stuart's colleague, the Rev. A. P. Davidson, M.A.

Knox Church, Dunedin.

Knox Church, Dunedin.