I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
The first was St John the Evangelist at Te Karaka, a small town that has been cast aside by re-alignment of the highway. The church is unexceptional except for its nicely proportioned belfry.
Well beyond Te Karaka I took the road that turns north at Matawai and followed the course of the Motu River until, well into the slopes of the Raukumara Ranges, I found St Paul’s, a four-square handsome church picturesquely placed against a forest backdrop.
It was built about 1922 by ‘The Fisher Boys’ and painted by local men. It was the first of a number of churches in this book to have been designed by the notable architect, Frederick de Jersey Clere. The son of an Anglican clergyman, he was born in Lancashire in 1856. He came to New Zealand in 1877 and in 1883 was appointed Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church. Pre-eminent in church design, he died in 1952.
© DON DONOVAN