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Some Interesting Occurrences in Early Auckland: City and Provinces

Chapter 18 — Church Architecture

Chapter 18
Church Architecture

In the days of its youth Auckland was not by any means rich in ecclesiastical architecture. Some small churches designed by Bishop Selwyn were quite good, but were not large enough to be impressive. About the same period attempts were made by the Church of England, and by the Baptists to remedy this state of affairs. St. Matthew' vestry hit on the idea of starting a trust fund to provide a stone church for the parish by charging the current expenses account with the salaries for such offices as verger, whereas the services were really rendered gratuitously, and the nominal salaries paid into the stone church building fund. Cash subscriptions also were received. Interest was then high. Eight per cent was easily obtainable, and at that rate money doubles itself in only nine years. So the present substantial and handsome building was erected at a cost of over £25,000, and without leaving a load of debt on the parish.

The Baptist Tabernacle was erected by funds subscribed privately, and gained by enterprises including a great bazaar. The Rev. Thos. Spurgeon (son of the great preacher) was then pastor, and he collected some contributions in England.

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