Introducing the Combined Church of Akaroa Banks Peninsula – a partnership between the Anglican and Presbyterian congregations.
We are a lively, inclusive Anglican and Presbyterian partnership and a beautiful sanctuary of peace in the heart of Akaroa. We seek God’s renewal for people through worship, spiritual growth, engagement in the community, and acts of compassion to those in need.
We have two historic church buildings in Akaroa, St Peter’s Church (established 1863) at 10 Rue Balguerie and Trinity Church (established 1885) on Rue Lavaud. St Peter’s Church is generally open every day between 9am and 4.30pm and you are most welcome to visit, to rest, pray or just have a time of reflection. Trinity Church Hall is a very active community resource with a wide range of church or community-led activities taking place there.
The wider parish encompasses churches nearby (Duvauchelle) and in the outer bays (Little Akaloa Bay, Le Bons Bay, Pigeon Bay and Okains Bay). These churches and their communities are vital members of the Akaroa/Banks Peninsula parish and are supported in the summer months with regular church services.
Whatever your faith, background or beliefs, you are welcome in our place.
“He Tāngata, He Tāngata, He Tāngata. It is the people, the people, the people”. In 2014 the two denominations decided to combine their congregations to strengthen and support each other. As partners we are unified by our love of God, and work to share the good news of Jesus Christ in our community. A Combined Parish Council guides us, while both denominations retain independent ownership of their physical resources. In a spirit of unity, Presbyterians and Anglicans each accept the traditions and integrity of the other denomination.
Unfortunately our Priest-in-Charge, James Ullrich, has had to resign for family reasons. Services will continue normally with visiting clergy, until a new Priest-in-Charge can be appointed.
Ken Paulin (Presbyterian Warden)
I came to Banks Peninsula in 1971 with Fiona and two young children, to be the engineer at the local Council. While I have changed, the community has evolved around me. I have been Session Clerk in the Presbyterian Church, and am now a member of the Combined Parish Council. I am keen to see the church move with the times and out into the community, and become relevant in a secular world. My other interests include gardening, the environment and travel.
Rodney Laredo (People’s Warden)
I am the author of six books published in NZ, America and the UK. I have had a career in newspaper marketing, freelance travel writing and photography which has taken me all over the world. My interests embrace reading, the art world, travel, photography, gardening, theatre, period architecture, conservation of the countryside and buildings. At home I enjoy a large country garden, four English classic cars, walking, talking, good coffee and wine, not always in that order. I am married to Alethea. We have two children, Claire who lives in France with her husband Luke, and Andre who is in Auckland.
John McKenzie (Vicar’s Warden)
I am blessed to be living on Banks Peninsula. I enjoy nature, gardening, reading, watching films/TV, catching up with friends and family, and maintaining my commitment to Jesus Christ and His church. My favourite programmes on TV are The Repair Shop and Lost and Found. At the heart of both programmes is the kindness, skill set and camaraderie that takes place in healing brokenness, be it broken people or objects. To me, this is a metaphor of what is at the heart of church life.
Kate Clare (Secretary/Treasurer)
I joined the Anglican team as Parish Secretary in 2000 and as Treasurer in 2011. I am involved with the Pompallier Trust Board currently as Chairperson, and am also on the Trust Board of the Akaroa Resource Collective.
Sue Church (Mainly Music)
I am the coordinator of Akaroa Mainly Music, a fun preschool music group that aims to develop motor skills, language, imagination, mathematical and pre-reading skills, as well as providing a chance to socialise with friends and whānau in a Church friendly setting. I currently work as an administrator for the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and as coordinator for the Banks Peninsula Walking Festival. Having seen my three daughters gain a great deal of pleasure from Mainly Music when they were young I hope that many little ones in our community will experience that same delight.
Knowing the Heart of God at the Heart of the Community.
We believe that everyone is loved and valued by God, and we want to express that love, found in and through Jesus, as part of the community and beyond. That expression is rooted in our worship. We are inspired by the Bible. Our members are involved in the varied life of the village and the Bays.
We welcome everyone and anyone to join in worship and the activities of the church, whatever their beliefs. We have members who live in the village of Akaroa and in the Bays, and those who live elsewhere but at times worship here. We enjoy working with members of St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Akaroa, when possible.
Please feel free to make contact about anything – when services are, a pastoral concern, to discuss the Christian faith. We look forward to meeting you, if we haven’t already.
Our mission is to make Christ known by:
- Proclaiming the gospel
- Teaching and nurturing people in Christian faith
- Loving service responding to human need
- Seeking to transform society
- Caring for God’s creation
We do this through:
- Pastoral care and community ministries
- Children and families ministry
- Church services
- Bringing the churches together
- ‘Following Jesus and Extending God’s Love.’
In the Combined Church our vision is very much centred on following our Lord Jesus Christ – finding out about Him, being inspired by Him and learning about human life through Him. Following Jesus also involves putting into practice all that we learn about Jesus – extending God’s love as he did to people in all kinds of need.
St Peter’s Church, Akaroa
St. Peter’s, Akaroa is an attractive and historic wooden church, notable for its totara interior. It is located in the centre of the township. Built in 1863, it has a Historic Places Trust Category 1 listing. It is a popular wedding venue for couples from beyond the parish and overseas. It has a small pipe organ, and is set up for digital projection with an automatic screen. The church is adjoined by a small lounge, equipped with kitchen and toilets. The lounge is wired into the sound system and can be used as an overflow for the church when necessary (e.g. for funerals).The church underwent extensive repairs and maintenance both inside and outside in 2015, including a complete repainting of its exterior.
Trinity Church, Akaroa
Trinity Presbyterian Church, Akaroa was built in 1885. It was designed by architect John Whitelaw. Close to the recreation ground and located on the main street of Akaroa, it is a well known feature of the township, particularly at weekends during the summer, when its grounds play host to the local craft market.
It has a large and attractive hall with kitchen and toilet, which is extensively used by local groups. The buildings are complemented by beautiful tree plantings. The adjoining more modern manse buildings are home to the Heartlands Community Service Hub and the grounds also include a community garden. The interior of the church is a simple and flexible space, well equipped for audio visual presentations and easily used for a variety of worship and mission activities.
Knox Church, Pigeon Bay
Knox Presbyterian Church, Pigeon Bay was built in 1899 to a design by Christchurch architect Samuel Hurst Seagar. As a young man Seagar had worked for B W Mountford and absorbed from him the principles of Gothic Revival style, but later in life came under the influence of the English Arts and Crafts movement. Although owned by the Presbyterian Church, Knox Church has been used by the Anglicans for many years for monthly services, attended by local residents as well as holiday home owners.
St Andrew's Church, Le Bons Bay
St. Andrew’s, Le Bons Bay, built in 1959, was designed by Christchurch architect Allan Mitchener. It is a concrete-built church with a simple, pleasing interior and is included in Worship: A History of New Zealand Church Design, a book on the 70 best examples of church architecture in New Zealand, published in 2015 by Auckland University’s Bill McKay. It is an excellent example of Modernism applied to Christian worship.
St Luke’s Church, Little Akaloa
St Luke’s Church, Little Akaloa was built in 1906 by local farmer and craftsman John Menzies, assisted by Frank A’Court. Notable for its prominent location on a wooded knoll above the bay, it is well-known for its stunning carvings in timber and Mt Somers stone, incorporating Maori designs. After significant damage in the 2010 earthquake, it was restored and reopened in 2014.
St John the Evangelist Church, Okains Bay
St. John the Evangelist Church, Okains Bay was built in 1863. It was built of boulders from the nearby creek and locally fired bricks, with white stone facings. The Gothic building is the third oldest stone church in the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and has a Historic Places Trust Category 2 listing. It was badly damaged in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, but a committee of local residents was formed to reinstate it. The church has now been expertly repaired by local builders and craftspeople and it is hoped that services may resume soon.
St John the Evangelist Church, Duvauchelle
St. John the Evangelist Church, Duvauchelle was built in 1876. It is a simple wooden church located at the head of Akaroa Harbour.