Country Church

A gorgeous spring day, I couldn't help but imagine a spring bride walking alongside these flowering cherry trees on her wedding day, a gentle flutter of her veil, her joy and emotion..........

Reverend John Raven of Kaiapoi owned a substantial farm at Woodend. When his Kaiapoi home burned down in December 1853 he built a house on his Woodend property and not long afterwards donated enough land for a church and a Sunday school to be built. Reverend Raven became the first priest of North Canterbury. The wooden Church of St Barnabas was opened in 1860, consecrated in 1877 and demolished in 1929.

Cecil Wood designed the new church and until it was built, the parishioners worshipped in the Sunday school. It was a small white concrete church with a shingle roof. Bishop Julius laid the foundation stone in October 1932 and when the construction was complete the furniture and furnishings of the old church were all reset in the new church ready for opening day in 1933. Consecration day was on St Barnabas' Day 1938. Christchurch carver Frederick Gurney sculpted the stone figure of St Barnabas set in a niche over the main entrance. Inside the church, the font, given in memory of John and Susan Pope, rests on a mill stone from Archers old flour mill at Woodend. There is a beautifully kept cemetery which sits beside the church. Fortunately the church survived the earthquakes and is still in use today.

Grocery and shopping day with my mum, walkingS, it was so hot we had to have a long cooling lunch - super day!

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