Churches of the Past

As the Catholic Church developed in Canterbury, Westland and the Chatham Islands the first thought of the pioneer priests and people was to build a church. As towns and parishes grew, many of the early churches were replaced by more substantial buildings. Often the older churches were converted to other uses. In other areas towns failed to develop to the extent that had been planned. Other towns faded as the sources of livelihood of their inhabitants changed. In many of these centres churches were closed as their populations diminished. In other areas the advent of modern transport meant one church could serve centres that formerly had several churches.

This page is an attempt to record all the churches that have served congregations in the diocese over the years. In many areas more information is obviously required. In particular, photos of many of the churches have not been found. Anyone who is able to offer additional information or photos or who can correct existing information is asked to contact Michael Hanrahan at