The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
St. Matthew's Anglican Church, at Hastings, is situated in King Street, on a section two acres in extent, and is a wooden building with seating accommodation for 250 persons. There is an excellent Sunday school in connection with the church.
The Rev. John Hobbs, Vicar of St. Matthew's Anglican Church, was born in India, completed his education in England, and in the year 1876 came to New Zealand. He was stationed in Otago for fourteen years, in January, 1890, became curate at Hastings, and was afterwards appointed vicar.
The Presbyterian Church, Hastings, is situated at the corner of Market Street and Lyndon Road. The original church was replaced by the present building in the year 1906, the foundation stone being laid by the Rt. Hon. R. J. Seddon, late Premier of New Zealand. It is a wooden building with a concrete foundation and tiled roof, and has a large square tower with a tall spire. The old church, which is now used as a Sunday school, occupies with the manse a half-acre section on the opposite corner, and is a wooden building with seating accommodation for about 250 persons.
The Church of the Sacred Heart is a beautiful building, erected in the year 1895, by Dean Smyth, at a cost of £3,300. It is of Gothic architecture, and has a noble spire, and a peal of bells equal to any in New Zealand. The interior of the church is artistic and well finished, and has seating accommodation for about 600 persons. The original church, which is now the boys' school, was erected by the late Father Regnier in 1880. Adjoining the church is the convent, a handome building, erected by Dean Smyth in 1901, at a cost of about £2,000; and the schools of the Sisters of St. Joseph, with about 250 pupils, who receive instruction in all the branches of education, including music, painting, and art needlework. The church and presbytery are surrounded by charmingly-laid-out grounds.
The Very Rev. Dean Smyth was born in Limerick, Ireland, educated at the Limerick Seminary, and completed his theological studies at St. Mary's Marist College, Belley, Province of Ain, in France. He was ordained priest at St. Mary's, Dundalk, Ireland, in the year 1878, and immediately afterwards went to America, as a professor in the Jefferson College, near New Orleans, Louisiana. Subsequently Dean Smyth went on a mission for two years, and then took atrip Home in 1884. In 1885 he came to New Zealand, and was placed in charge of the Roman Catholic Church at Hastings, Through Catholic Church at Hastings. Through his efforts the sum of £3,300 was raised to build the Church of the Sacred Heart. In addition to services at Hastings, Dean Smyth holds fortnightly services at Clive, where he also procured the erection of a fine church.
The Hastings Wesleyan Church has a trongtage to Heretaunga Street, and stands on a section of half an acre. The building is of wood, and has seating accommodation for 200 persons. In connection with the church there is a Young Men's Hall. The Rev. Tinsley is the minister-in-charge.