Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 37, September 1993

Although Anglicans have worshipped in Paeroa since 1883, construction of the first St Paul's Church did not commence until May 1892. It was built of kauri, kahikatea and puriri and it was named and dedicated by the then Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Cowie, on 17 December 1892.

The Centennial of the Naming and Dedication was celebrated during the weekend of 11 - 13 December 1992 when past and present parishioners and clergy gathered together and enjoyed meeting and reminiscing with old friends.

On Friday evening a short re-enactment of the Vestry meeting held on 17 December 1892 was performed prior to a traditional Evensong with singing led by St Peter's Cathedral Choir, Hamilton. The sermon was preached by Rev. Gerald Baker who had been Vicar 1961 - 1965.

On Saturday a Garden Party was held in the church grounds. A number of parishioners dressed in period costume and the Bishop of Waikato. Right Reverend Roger Herft and the present Vicar, Rev. Florence Chambers, arrived as passengers in Murray Greens horse-drawn gig, accompanied by Miss Cathryn Fisher riding side-saddle. Rain during the afternoon kept visitors and local parishioners indoors but it was an opportunity for all to sit around sharing anecdotes and memories of former parishioners.

A Centennial Cake was cut by Mrs Irene Hughes.

The first St. Paul's Church 1927

The first St. Paul's Church (Photographed in 1927)

St Paul's Anglican Church, Paeroa, 100 Years
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 37, September 1993
The first St. Paul's Church 1927

A dinner was held on Saturday evening in the Memorial Hall and the after-dinner speech was delivered by Venerable Archdeacon Reg Nicholson. He gave an interesting talk on the former Bishops of Waikato, Bishop Cherrington and his trials during the Depression and years of the Second World War, Bishop John Holland, Bishop Alan Johnston and Archbishop Brian Davis, who preceded Bishop Roger Herft.

The Centennial Celebrations culminated in a Service of Thanksgiving and Praise on Sunday morning. The Service commenced with a Maori welcome given by Canon Gordon Kaa and the sermon was preached by Bishop Herft. Four former clergy assisted during the service. Rev. Peter Munton, Rev. Gerald Baker, Ven. Archdeacon Kem Baigent and Rev. Graeme Brown.

All who attended the functions agreed that it had been a weekend of joyful celebration.

A book entitled "OUR FIRST 100", detailing the history of 100 years of St Paul's Parish has been written by Elaine Staples and this provides a very readable account of its activities of the past. Research for the book has resulted in material which will be the subject of future Journal articles.