Sunday schools have played an important part in the life of St Thomas’ Parish.

We read that during the opening service in 1844, Reverend Cotton gave notice that he was establishing a Sunday School, to commence on the 29th December at 9 am and he and Mr Hutton of St John’s College took a long parochial walk beating up prospective pupils around the district, going as far as the Tamaki River. Cotton notes in the journal on the 29th ” I was at St Thomas’ at the appointed time nine o’clock – was delighted by the group of clean looking children who were waiting for me at the church door. Many of them brought their fathers and elder brothers in to the church with them and looked with no little interest at the proceedings (we had 20 in all)”

After St Thomas’ was abandoned, worship and Sunday School continued at St John’s College.

However, when the new church was built, for a time the Sunday Schools were held in the private homes of Mr and Mrs Putt and Mrs Postles and even in the loft of the Church. it was evident that a Hall was required and under the supervision of Mr Trevor Townsend it was completed, and dedicated by Bishop Caulton in 1963.

Top: Junior Sunday School pupils in the private residence of Mr and Mrs C Putt.
Bottom: Another class of Sunday School pupils in the residence of Mr and Mrs AJ Postles.

The numbers continued to grow until the Hall was overflowing and an extension was built.

Many children were involved in Nativity presentations and other worship during the year. Confirmation camps were held at Camp Morley and Reverend Simmonds encouraged families to join in picnics, horseriding outings and boat trips.

As with all parishes, these young people grew up and the Sunday School numbers dwindled. Now, as young families move back into the area, the roll is growing again. Many dedicated people have been involved with the Sunday Schools over the years including our former Superintendent is Christine Muller.

The Sunday School is not currently meeting, but any interested parents are encouraged to contact the Priest-in-Charge.