1844 – 1994 – The first 150 years
This page has been compiled to commemorate
Sesqui – Centennial of the
Parish of St. Thomas’ Tamaki
It is my great pleasure to be the incumbent Vicar during the Sesqui Centennial Year.
A privilege one will never experience again.
This publication, therefore, stands as a firm reminder to all, that the Christian faith was first professed in this area 150 years ago.
Time escapes our human understanding and as we stand in 1994, one can only ponder the passage of time, to the current age we now live. A world dominated by global trade, science and technology and its social impact on the lives of people.
My hope is, that as we celebrate and look back, we can continue to capture the vision of those gone before us and move into a further 150 years, with hope, to the life and witness of the Gospel in this place, in what is and what will be, a very different age.
The Parish Centre stands as a symbol for us as a 150 year achievement, may it and the Church be used well.
Congratulations from Diocese of Auckland
Letter from Bruce Gilberd, Bishop of Auckland:
150 years is a long time, and worth noting in the life of a parish. By publishing a booklet and having special events to recall and revision, we can gain a sense of history and destiny.
St Thomas’s Church, Tamaki has evoked diocesan and community leaders from its members -and has been a beacon on a hill through its worship and life. There have been, as with all faith communities, times of difficulty, times of triumph.
St Thomas himself is a great reminder that doubt is not the enemy of faith. Fear corodes faith, not healthy doubt. So I trust that in all your exploring and being the church on the hill, you will be fearless and faithful, and reach across to other nearby communities and join in their struggles of faith and justice.
Go well, as you claim the next years and on your journey forward, fulfilling God’s purpose for you.
With every good wish, and my blessing.
BISHOP OF AUCKLAND
Timeline of the new St Thomas’
|1957||Feast of St Thomas’ 2Ist December foundation stone laid.|
Bishop Simkin and W.A. Stevenson (Donor)
|1958||December 21 – St Thomas’ consecrated by Bishop Simkin|
|1959||May – Tree planting on site. 16 young trees planted|
24 May – Service to acknowledge
First stage of work on church surrounds. Further work to be done when new vicarage constructed
|1963||Dedication of the hall at St Thomas’ 25th August. Right Rev. S.G. Caulton|
After Evensong congregation proceeded to the hall for afternoon tea, after a short dedication service
|1966||1 January – St Thomas’ constituted as a separate parish|
New Vicar: Reverend Charles Walter Kent-Johnston. Instituted by Bishop Right Reverend E.A. Gowing
|I967||Working bee to clear debris from ruins. Lions Club and Reverend|
Kent-Johnston. Stone given to Selwyn College for a rockery, to Home Chapel in Papatoetoe and some was used to form the Altar in the new church
|1969||21 December – 125th anniversary of the first services in St Thomas|
9.30am – Festival Eucharist: Archbishop N.Z. Most Reverend N.A. Lesser, D.D.
7.00pm – Festival evensong. Bishop Auckland Right Reverend E.A. Gowing M.A. Ecumenical representation. Archbishop Lesser, Bishop Gowing and Sir William Stevenson each presented with copies of Selwyn College notes on history.
|1970||Recital series May until November, 16 evening recitals, on Tuesday|
nights. Geoffrey Skerrett, Peter Averi, Douglas Mews, Peter Godfrey and Ronald Dellow. School Choirs, Lectures. Organ, gift of Mr Jack Butland.
|1973||Reverend Kent-Johnston died February 27th. Large ecumenical|
attendance at the funeral service.
Reverend H. Simmonds inducted
|1979||St Mary’s Church, Glen Innes and St Thomas formed a joint|
committee to sponsor an Indo Chinese refugee family resettling in New Zealand
|1987||15 March – Collation of Archdeacon of Tamaki, Herbert John|
27 November – Farewell Parish Luncheon for Herbert and Margaret Simmonds
|1989||21 May – Jonathan Deacon inducted|
|1990||Bell Tower, dedicated Sunday 2 September. Given by Mrs Barbara|
and Trevor Cook
|1992||September – Arson attacks on St Thomas’ Hall|
Mid October – Another arson attack. Sir Paul Reeves became patron of the Restoration Fund.
|1993||25 April – Deconsecration of Parish Hall|
May – Various plans proposed for new hall. Decided on wrap around concept proposed by Savory Construction.
19 May – Hall demolished over two days and construction began on new building
Ann Deacon died
17 December – Hall handed over
2I December – Service to mark beginning of Sesqui Centennial Year. Bishop Bruce Moore
|1994||Sesqui Centennial dinner held on 23 July at Auckland Bridge Club –|
speaker Lady Beverley Reeves.
18 September – Thanksgiving service – speaker John Taylor, Headmaster King’s College
23 October – Confirmation – Bishop Bruce Moore
6 November – Sesqui Centennial Service – Archbishop Davis
Memorabilia display – dedication of tree planted in the Ruins
19 November – Fair
21 December – Special Evensong to mark the end of the Sesqui Centennial
- Mark Hanson
- Janet Foster – Diocesan Archives
- Dr. Alan Curnow – for permission to print his poem
- Newspaper articles from NZ Herald, Auckland Star.
- Eastern Courier, Church Gazette, St. Thomas’ Church files
Compiled by Cavell Morgan and Rob Hicks