St John the Baptist Church

Location: Corner of High and Church Streets, Rangiora

Early worship was conducted by lay-readers in private homes. From 1856 until 1860 the lay-reader at Rangiora was Mr George Thompson.

A Church of England Schoolroom, about 1857, was provided for services but two years later the churchgoers decided to build a church.

Land was given by Mr Ingram Shrimpton and the erection of the church commenced on St Peters Day, 29 June 1859. As the timber had to be pit-sawn and hauled from the bush close by, it was not completed until early 1860.

The Reverend Dudley (afterwards Archdeacon Dudley), one of the pilgrim clergy who was doing duty at Lyttelton, was appointed to the Parish and was instituted on the day the Church was consecrated on 25 April 1860.

The Church grew in numbers and it was recorded from a ‘minute’ book that the Church needed enlarging again. Messrs Mountfort and Luck’s offer was accepted to weatherboard the south-west side, that the aisle be made 1ft. 8in. wider, and that calico be put under the shingles. On 23 May 1864, the contract for the work was signed by Mr J Barker, the builder of the Church, the contract price being £271 and 5 shillings. This piece of work was completed in 1864.

Eleven years later, the chancel and transepts were removed and the present ones erected, the nave and the aisles, however, not being altered.

Final extensions were completed by Pollock & Thompson in 1882 which included removing the north and south aisles of the Church piecemeal, weatherboarding the nave, placing the choir in the chancel, and filling up the transepts with benches. The work completed gives the Church the appearance it now presents.

This building has a Historic Place Category II registration. It was given Landmarks status at a ceremony held on 30 March 2008.

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