Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott
Wesley Historical Society (NZ) Publication #5(1) 1946 Page 1 Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott
PROLOGUE This generation can be likened to a motorist, with his foot hard pressed on the accelerator of a high-powered car, speeding ahead. But we would be much happier if we were more like the rower who, while he moves forward, keeps his eye on the point from which he has come. This brochure is but a brief glimpse of the past. It is not a history in the approved style. It is just a simple outline, with a little colouring here and there, of the growth and experience of the people of Karori who found faith and life within the fellowship of the Methodist community. JOHN GROCOTT. 11th. March, 1946.
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THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS The earliest record of Methodism in Karori is that, on the 12th November, 1845, Mary, daughter of Mary and Henry Jones, labourer, Karori, was baptised by the Rev. Samuel Ironside. This was barely five months after the Wairau massacre.
THE REV. SAMUEL IRONSIDE Nothing is written to indicate where this service was held; possibly in some humble shack newly carved out of the bush. The prestige of the minister and the significance of the occasion, the novelty of singing ancient hymns in a new land, combined with the simple solemnity of a baptismal service would give a peculiar and rich sense of worth to the service. Samuel Ironside wrote in the following month: "Our English cause here (Wellington) is fast rising from the cold, heartless state in which it was a few months earlier."
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KARORI IN 1840 The letters of Mr. Justice Chapman give a picture of Karori which make it an unknown land to the suburban dweller. "The valley of the Karori was shut out from the town by mountain ridges and gullies which were almost impassable. The whole was covered with a magnificent forest. It is now rendered easy of access by an excellent road along which I rode in 20 minutes and walked in 45 minutes. The road will vie with that of Napoleon across the Alps. Sometimes it runs along the sides of precipices, at others it cuts a section of the mountain side. ... If you can send me a little furze seed and hawthorne, do so. I have two little furze bushes in my garden." Another letter in November: "The sawyers help to clear and give me a little of the sawn timber for the trees. The land is not too heavily timbered. We have never yet had cows as we had no feed on our own section and I cannot trespass as others do. Cows are worth £11 each, dairy utensils £5, a boy to look after the cows in the bush, 2/6 or 3/- a week." John Yule, who had arrived in 1840, sold section 36 by auction in 1843, after having cut the section into allotments and reserving from the sale a small area 33ft. by 66ft. On this area a chapel was built in 1844 to be used as a community Church. The following advertisement appeared in the "N.Z. Gazette and Wellington Spectator" on September 18th, 1844: "KARORI CHAPEL, SUNDAY, AND DAY SCHOOL "The above, which has been erected by the conjoint labour of the settlers in the district, is intended to be opened for the first time on Tuesday, the 24th instant, on which occasion the parties interested in its success will take tea in the building, at 5 o'clock precisely. They respectfully invite their friends in Wellington to join them. The premises are situated in the section lately belonging to Mr. Yule." The establishing of the preaching place in Karori was only three years after the historic occasion on which the Rev. Jas. Buller preached on board the "Aurora." Henry and Mary Jones had arrived with four children on the 1st May, 1842, on the "London," 700 tons, from Gravesend. Three more Jones children were baptised, James in November, 1845, Henry in 1847, Susannah in 1850, and the father changed from a "shingle dealer" to a "settler." The officiating minister for these later baptisms was the Rev. Jas. Buller. Mr. Jones held cottage services, which were greatly appreciated by the settlers. He was a self-educated man and filled most offices of the Church open to laymen. Later he went to Masterton.
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John and Mary Sellars arrived in October, 1841, with six children, and George William was baptised on the 20th April, 1845. On the same day Mary Ann, daughter of James and Judith Loader, who arrived in June, 1841, with five children, was also baptised. What we have lately called the ecumenical spirit is not new to Karori and other parts of Wellington. A month after the opening of the Karori Chapel there appeared a similar note in the "Spectator and Guardian." It read:— "THORNDON CHAPEL "The above chapel was opened according to announcement on Sunday last, the 13th instant. Though small, it is neat and commodious, and when completed will be an ornament to that part of the town. The Rev. J. Macfarlane conducted the devotional service of the morning, and Mr. Woodward preached. In the afternoon the Rev. S. Ironside conducted the service and preached, and Mr. Woodward in the evening. It gave us much pleasure to observe, both on that day and on the following evening, the perfect unanimity of feeling that prevails amongst the various ministers, leaving no cause for regret, excepting that there should be one body of Evangelical Protestants who keep aloof, and refuse to unite with their brethren in their efforts to promote the cause of religion and morality." It is a tribute to these pioneers that they sought to preserve the "unanimity of feeling" which must be part of the experience of the family of God. And the pioneers rise in our respect and admiration when we learn that, in the early Church work among the Maori people, there was not even the "cause for regret" referred to in the press quoted above. The opening of the Karori Chapel was accepted as a very important event for the young community. An anniversary was celebrated every year and on April 8th, 1847, the "N.Z. Journal" made a report and paid a great tribute to these people who worshipped as a united congregation:— "KARORI—TEA MEETING "On Friday, the 24th ult. (24th September, 1847), the third anniversary of the opening of the Karori Church was celebrated, as usual, by a social tea meeting. The company was numerous and respectable. A number of friends from Wellington were present. After tea, the arrangements for which reflected great credit on those who had the charge of the preparations, Mr. Woodward was called to the chair. A report was read, stating what had been done for increasing and improving the Church and school accommodation during the past year. Interesting addresses were delivered by the chairman, by the Rev. Messrs. Inglis and Ironside, and Mr. Edwards. The settlers in Karori have shown a praiseworthy desire to secure the blessings of education and the privileges of religion; and the Church is occupied and the gospel preached by the Independent, Wesleyan and Wesley Historical Society (NZ) Publication #5(1) 1946 Page 5 Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott
Presbyterian ministers, who tender their services there in rotation. As a body, the Karori settlers are inferior to none of their neighbours, perhaps superior to most of them in enterprise, industry, perseverance, intelligence, honesty and those moral qualities so essential to' secure success in a new colony, and 'they have been specially favoured by the blessing of a kind and merciful Providence. Amid all the disturbances caused by the natives, they were neither injured nor molested, and in a population of upward of 200 not a death has taken place within the last twelve months." The Chapel consisted of two rooms, totalling 22ft. 6in. by 28ft. 6in. Mr. Woodward was the honoured founder of the Congregational Church in 1842 and its pastor till 1859. The Rev. Mr. Inglis was the Presbyterian minister. Tea meetings were, apparently, in vogue. The following appeared in the "Independent" on the 26th April, 1849: "The Hon. Mr. Bannantyne's whitebait dinner to his brother senators takes place at Karori next Saturday." The cultural side of the work in the community was not neglected. Penny readings and lectures were given. Temperance was promoted and a Band of Hope established. The record of baptisms, which was faithfully kept by the Central Circuit, shows that baptisms were frequent. Six members of the Dixon family were baptised in seven years.
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THE DAILY ROUND But the life within the community was not easy. The struggle to establish farms in the cleared ground; the anxiety about the Maori situation; the problem of education of the children pressed heavily on the settlers. Ministers, preachers and settlers gave their devoted service to the religious life of the community and their loved Chapel, as well as to the welfare of all. They won a gracious tribute from Mr. Justice Chapman who, writing to his father from "Homewood" on August 20th, 1850, made the following eulogy:— "... The Scotch have lately received a minister and have a small church and a congregation. The Methodists muster in force and are emphatically the 'Church of the Poor.' There is an Independent (Congregational) Chapel and congregation with a minister who during the week acts as a Merchant's Clerk. There is also a Chapel belonging to the 'Primitive Methodists' nicknamed 'ranters.' There are a few Baptists and Jews. The good points about many of these sects are that they provide schools, and do in fact provide some sort of education and moral training to the poor. It is no doubt inadequate and faulty, but it is better than none. Their activity in some measure compensates for the unwieldy slowness of 'The Church.' The way they manage is this: Methodists, Independents, Ranters and Baptists will unite and build a Chapel which serves also for a schoolhouse. This is the way the Karori Chapel was built, with some small pecuniary aid from us. One time the Wesleyan will preach, another time the Independent, now and then the Baptist will come up, and as the poor are not very fastidious about doctrine, they go to hear all. These people have educated all the children at Karori. The clergy of the Church will not fraternise with any other sect—they sneer at the efforts of dissenters and they cannot bring themselves to believe that here each Church or congregation must depend on the general opinion of its usefulness. The Bishop thinks that all the aid which persons like myself may choose to afford should go to him to be disposed of according to his discretion; whereas I go on the principle of extending such moderate aid as I can afford to anybody of men who will educate the children of the Industrious Classes. I used the word poor before, but it is an improper word—we have no poor here, except the drunken few." In 1846 the Rev. Samuel Ironside reported to the Wesleyan Missionary Society: "Besides our large town chapel, we have two good weatherboard chapels in the country at five and ten miles distant which we supply as often as other engagements permit. . . . Besides these three chapels we have preaching places in three other villages, in dwelling houses." The Rev. Robt. Ward, of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, visited the district in 1847. His diary reads:
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"Feb. 3rd. At Karori. Visited several families and met with various treatments. At 7 o'clock I had a good congregation, notwithstanding it being harvest. The word of the Lord was spoken and the echo was pleasingly thrown back by the forest."
Rev. Robert Ward The population of Wellington at this time was 4,074: 214 resided at Karori; 109 under 14 years; 32 couples with families: 17 bachelors; 12 spinsters: 25 boys and girls partly supported by the Wesleyan Missionary Society attended day and Sunday schools. One hundred and thirty-two acres of land had been cleared. The road makers had to travel by an old Maori path and live, for days together, in the bush. The fears and anxieties occasioned by the Maori wars unsettled the community. Mr. Justice Chapman, who had lived on part of section 36, purchased "Homewood," of 123¼ acres, for £325. The dwellings of the labouring settlers gathered round his home, which became a stockade, and gave a strong sense of security to the troubled community. The Wesleyan Preachers' Plans, Wellington Circuit, for December quarter, 1848, and March, 1849, have been preserved, and they reveal that services were held once a month on Sunday afternoon at 3, and fortnightly at 6.30. These services were conducted usually by local preachers and "Exhorters and Prayer Leaders." On every Tuesday at 7 p.m. a meeting would be held conducted by either the Rev. fames Watkin or the Rev. Samuel Ironside. The chapel was used alternately by the "Independents" and the "Wesleyans" and used as a school on week-days. Dr. Wm. Morley states that the chapel had clay walls and was called the "Union Chapel."
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By 1848 Wakefield was able to say that a great many labouring families owned or lived on small patches of Karori, keeping 40 or 50 cows among them and sawing the timber. The N.Z. Company spent £1,557 on less than five miles of road. The road went via what is today Hawkestone Street and Tinakori Road, climbing over the Rigi and over Baker's Hill, down into the gully and across the Devil's bridge, up what is known as Old Karori Road, joining the present main road at the Cemetery. Over this road, in all weather, Sundays and weekdays, the founders of Methodism in Karori travelled on foot. They were determined men. Wherever there were settlers to meet they went. The cause that had captured their hearts led them on. No one can tell what comfort and confidence they brought to the isolated settlement amid the strain and tension of the pioneering years. No one knows what physical weariness they endured, or what fears they had of a night in the wintry bush or of a chance meeting with restless Maoris. Karori is almost 600ft. above sea level. Most of it is on steep acclivities. It was forest country. Rough beginnings, long hours, hard work was the lot of the pioneer, and religion, under those circumstances, was known to be strong, deep and sound.
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EARTHQUAKES Added to the struggle for a home in the clearing, the earthquake of October 14th, 1848, was a major calamity. The brick Methodist Church in Manners Street was destroyed. The Lieut.-Governor called the colony to "a day of public fast, prayer and humiliation." The Karori Chapel shared in the special day. But the quality of the early ministers was shown by the immediate arrangements to meet the emergency. The Rev. Samuel Ironside preached in the open air near the ruined Church in the city the following Sunday, and, within two weeks, the Rev. Mr. Watkin was out at Karori continuing the regular work. In spite of the dislocation of activities in the city and the consequent disappointment, the work in the country was well maintained and in good heart. But in the next decade the cause suffered a serious set-back. Dr. Wm. Morley said the decline was the result of the departure of the Jones family for Masterton. Possibly a contributing cause was the earthquake of February 23rd, 1855, which caused grave damage in the city. A few weeks after the earthquake the Rev. Mr. Watkin left the Circuit and the Rev. Jas. Buller arrived.
Rev. J Watkin Rev James Buller The Primitive Methodist record is not easily followed. There are records of baptisms until 1861. The Rev. Henry Green, from Sydney Street, watched over the flock early in the 'fifties, and was followed by the Rev. Joshua Smith. But from 1861 to 1869 there are no records readily available, and after 1872 there is a further silence. The Rev. Robt. Ward referred to the district as Upper Kaiwarra, and the Rev. W. J. Dean designated it "Karori, near Wellington." From this date also the spelling Karore changed to the present form Karori. The names of Revs. W. J. Watkin, Alex Reid, Wm. Kirk and Thos. Buddle appear as preachers from 1865 onwards.
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KARORI WEST In 1865 Mr. Northend Gooder, who had been a member of the Circuit Quarterly Meeting of 1864, purchased a block of land on the Main Road to the west and immediately adjoining what is now known as Karori Park. He formed a class and established a Sunday School in his own house, which was nearly a mile from the old Chapel. The attendance grew till the little cottage was too small for all who came. At the September Quarterly Meeting in 1867 it was decided, because of the splendid development in Mr. Gooder's house, to erect a Church nearby. At the following Quarterly Meeting Mr. W. Tonks reported that the new Church at Karori had been erected, the debt remaining being £55. The Church was opened on Sunday, December 1st, when the Rev. Wm. Morley preached in the afternoon. It was a very neat place of worship. On the Monday evening fully 200 people met for a substantial tea which was followed by a public meeting. The meeting was presided over by Mr. Reading, of Karori, and inspirational addresses were given by Revs. Wm. Kirk and Wm. Morley and Messrs. Moxham, Waters, Tonks, Dixon and Gooder. The proceeds of the opening services were a little over £15. Other subscriptions reduced the debt to £25. The land had been given by Mr. Gooder, the plans by Mr. Tringham (who superintended the building operations), the timber by Mr. Tonks, Jun., and the painting and glazing by Mr. Tustin. Harriet Gooder was baptised in this Church in 1868. But the membership was never more than two. Therefore, in 1870, the Church was sold to a well-known Methodist of Wainui-o- mata, Mr. Richard Prouse, and was possibly used as a Church for a few further years. Evangeline Gooder was baptised in 1872. But by 1874 the Church records ceased. By 1882 the building had become a music-hall, but later was altered to serve as a dwelling and shop and, as such, is still in use at the tram terminus at Karori West.
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THE FAITHFUL MOTHER CHURCH During these years the Mother Church in the city was very active. She had a double responsibility. The oversight of her field extended as far as Greytown in 1867 and the colony was being settled at a very rapid rate. Collecting, planning and all the manifold responsibilities of erecting a new Church had to be faced. At last, in 1868, the people had the profound joy of worshipping in "the last and handsomest of the Manners Street Churches." But 11 years later came the disastrous fire with the complete destruction of the beautiful Church. Once again the members of the Central Church had to turn to collecting, planning and erecting a place of worship. Yet again the tribute must be made that the Mother Church, in spite of her local problems, faithfully served her outlying causes. Karori had languished somewhat, but the preachers continued to give their best to the community. Services were conducted in the old Chapel and ministers, whose names are known still in every Methodist home in New Zealand, served the Chapel congregation regularly. The Revs. W. J. Williams, Rainsford, Barren, Wm. Lee and L. M. Isitt came out to Karori in the 80's and, in the next decade, the Rev. J. J. Lewis. The financial returns were small. In one winter quarter the total collections were 2/3. In the Quarterly Meeting of December, 1881, a discussion relating to Karori, Kaiwarra and Johnsonville took place, and it was resolved to leave the matter of the discussion in the hands of the Circuit ministers. After that a period followed in which services were discontinued until in April, 1891, the Quarterly Meeting decided, after a long conversation, that it be a recommendation for the favourable consideration of the next Local Preachers' Meeting that Karori be replaced on the plan.
Rev. J. J. Lewis Rev. W. J. Williams Rev. W. Lee
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REVIVAL In June, 1891, Mr. Herbert announced that the Mission Band had decided to take up the work at Karori. It was still a long journey to the Chapel. Spier's coaches laboriously climbed three or four times daily over the hilltop to the isolated hamlet. But ten or a dozen young men would, with a local preacher, walk out to Karori on a Sunday evening and all would take part in the service in the old Chapel. With a dozen strong male voices to assist the local folk, the singing went with a swing. A congregation of 20 or 30, seated on the backless forms in the musty old building, captured something of the genius and tradition of Methodism and, above all, created a living Christian faith in the now growing suburb. The Chapel remained until the 'nineties. Two surveyors located its position. Mr. Roy in 1852 called it the "Chapel." Mr. Brown in 1874 showed it as the "Old School." A small burying ground was attached, and caused some difficulty when the site was taken over by the Borough Council. In 1891 Karori was constituted a borough. The residents had great confidence in its future, and Mr. Stephen Lancaster was the first Mayor. There were five councillors. It was those years that Katherine Mansfield recalled as she wrote of her residence in Karori. With her sisters she came to Karori from Thorndon on the first occasion in a big-dray. "When they reached the top of the hill and began to go down the other side of the hill, the harbour disappeared. . . . Now the big dray rattled into unknown country, along-new roads with high clay banks on either side, up steep, steep hills, down into bushy valleys, through wide, shallow rivers. Further and further." That was fifty years ago! Karori is not what it used to be!
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THE SECOND FIFTY YEARS Evidence accumulated during the 'nineties that Karori would become a very popular suburb. The 1896 census revealed a population of 1,024 within the borough. In the previous 50 years the increase was only 800, but the future held a different story. By 1916 the population was 1,647; by 1936 it increased to 6,359. In 1945 the estimate of population within the borough boundaries was 7,841. In 1896 the religious census revealed 592 members of the Church of England, 89 Methodists, 50 Presbyterians, 23 Baptists, 9 Congregationalists and 202 members of the Roman Catholic communion. At the September Quarterly Meeting in 1892 at Central Circuit, the Rev. W. H. Beck, in discussing a recommendation from the Local Preachers' Meeting, stated that he had made enquiries and that he believed a site could be secured for a Church in Karori. A year later the recommendation that the site be bought was carried, and the Wesleyan Educational Trustees asked to assist. As an indication of the political state of that period, it is noted that at this Quarterly Meeting a message of congratulation at the granting of the Franchise to women was forwarded to Sir John Hall. The Circuit income increased immediately the decision to purchase the property was made. In 1894 the Karori Trustees were given fifty per cent. of the Sunday's collections throughout the year for the new Church building fund, and the arrangement was continued for two years.
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BEGINNING OF THE PRESENT CHURCH On the 20th October, 1893, the purchase was made of the section, on which the Church now stands, for £60 by the Wesleyan Educational Trustees. On the 7th September, 1895, the property was trans-ferred to the Karori Methodist Trustees, registered under the Methodist Model Deed of 1887. The foundation Trustees were: Richard Croft Bulkeley, Dentist; Chas. Cathie, Tailor; W. J. Harland, Accountant; Joshua Henry Helliwell, Clerk; Thos. Lewer, Dairyman; Ed. Willis, Grocer; Thos. Andrew Field, Ironmonger; Henry Crump, Builder. Of these, Mr. Henry Crump is the only surviving member. In 1895 a Church to seat 150 persons was erected. The building cost £176. The Church was opened on Sunday, 26th May, 1895. The Rev. W. Baumber conducted the morning service and the Rev. T. G. Carr the evening. A soiree and public meeting was held on Wednesday, the 5th June. Large numbers attended, visitors coming from Newtown, Taranaki Street and Kaiwarra. The Taranaki Street choir, under the conductorship of Mr. Billman, rendered several anthems. The Mayor of Karori (Mr. R. C. Buckley) occupied the chair. The financial report was read by the treasurer, Mr. J. H. Helliwell, who reported that the building had been completed with only a small debt. The total cost of section and building was £265, and £263 had been raised. Thanks were extended to the architect, Mr. W. E. Petherick, who had greatly assisted the building committee; to Mr. J. A. Chisholm, for a clock; to Mr. G. Tiller, for a table; and to Mr. Gibson, for a donation of hymn books. The Revs. Wm. Baumber and Josiah Ward gave short addresses in which they urged the people to put the same energy and initiative into the life of the Church that they had given to the building campaign. The collection totalled £4. Services were announced for mornings and evenings, and the report made that the Christian Endeavour Societies (Junior and Senior), which had done such splendid work, would also meet in the Church.'
Rev. William Baumber Rev. Josiah Ward Wesley Historical Society (NZ) Publication #5(1) 1946 Page 16 Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott
In the same year two services a month were held at Makara but in October, 1897, these were discontinued and the organ sold for £3. During 1897 the Church was lined at a cost of £20, which was met by a canvass of the people, and in 1900 the vestry was added. There were by this time 10 members returned, and the Central Circuit applied to Conference for an additional preacher "for Karori." The early years of this century were quiet, steady ones for the Church and community. A photograph of the return of the men from the Boer War shows the little Church surrounded by grazing paddocks. The first resident minister was the Rev. A. N. Scotter (1901-1903). Mr. Scotter conducted the first wedding in the Church, that of Mrs. Tinker (nee Miss Lloyd).
The Church and surroundings 1896 The changing pattern of city life was indicated by the request of the Synod of 1907 to Conference that Thorndon be made a separate Circuit. The conditions agreed to at Synod were that "Taranaki Street should pay a subsidy of £120, £110, £100, £80, £60, £40, £20 for seven successive years and to pay £395 of the parsonage debt." But a year later the proposal was amended. Kaiwarra was included in the Thorndon Circuit and half the previously arranged subsidy was transferred to the Johnsonville Circuit. In 1908 Thorndon had 118 members and Kaiwarra 15. At the Central Quarterly Meeting of October, 1909, Mr. Tiller drew attention to the smallness of the Circuit collections at Karori in comparison with the amount raised for Trust purposes. The Trust debt had been reduced to £90. Mr. Raine spoke in explanation and defence, at the same time expressing regret that a larger amount was not contributed for Circuit purposes.
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SPLENDID LAY HELPERS The strength of the Church over this decade was due, not only to the fine ministerial leadership, but in large measure to the splendid service of the laymen. No Church can play its part effectively without the devoted and consecrated work of those who take their part in the Church activities as well as bear witness in business life and social relationships to the faith they hold. The Church in Karori cannot adequately express the -worth to its cause of Mr. Chas. Cathie and family. Mr. Cathie was a prominent Baptist, but he gave time and energy wholeheartedly to the Karori Church. Frequently, because of the communication and transport difficulties, he was called on without notice to fill the pulpit, and did so with credit to the cause and to himself. The Raine family came to Karori in 1899, and right through the decade the family name appears frequently and favourably in Circuit records. The Hooper family also and the Tarr's were never-ceasing in their devotion, and the Watchman family will for many years to come be honourably remembered for sterling service to the Church. In that decade also the names of Mrs. Evans and Miss D. Evans are prominent, and tribute must be made to them and to Mrs. Kennedy, who for nearly half a century has been diligent in attendance at worship and in all activities for the well being of the Church. It is in the splendid service to the Sunday School that Mr. H. S. Hart will be most warmly remembered, as well as in his service in the pulpit. By 1912 the community had grown and the Church life became so buoyant that the old Church building was inadequate. The project of a new Church was furthered under the inspiring ministry of the Rev. J. R. Clarke. No one can appreciate the strong establishment of Methodism in Karori without discovering the immense debt the Church owes to the Rev. J. R. Clarke and his family. He not only gathered the people together but bound them together as a worshipping family. He knew the value of a worthy Church and began what was in those days an ambitious scheme. The Church was built and became an object of pride to the growing community and contributed much to the suburban consciousness, which was so important and fruitful for the people who dwelt at Karori. The members' roll increased to 60 and the Rev. J. R. Clarke remained five years. The permission to erect a Church given by the Central Circuit Quarterly Meeting in March, 1911, included the provisions that the total cost should not exceed £1,050, that the Church Building and Loan Fund should advance £300, and that the Church be built of wood, not brick. £200 of the amount raised was a legacy; £150 was raised by local effort; and £400 came from the Church Extension Fund. The debt on the completion of the building was £366/12/6.
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The foundation stone of the new Church was laid on February 21st, 1912, by Mr. Chas. Cathie, who was not only highly honoured in the Church but also was Mayor of the borough. The new Church was opened in the early winter." A large congregation celebrated the opening and the Rev. J. G. Chapman preached. Under the Rev. J. R. Clarke the Church faced a bright future. The Sunday School was alive and congregational attendance very encouraging. During these years the Sunday School met in the bake-house of Mr. J. G. Raine, still opposite the Church. The task of making such premises suitable for the religious education of children was not easy, but the enthusiasm of the superintendents and teachers triumphed, and today many adults pay tribute to the beginnings of Christian faith found there. To move from the business premises to the Church property was a great occasion in the life of the Sunday School.
Rev. J. G. Chapman Rev. J. D. Grocott
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CHURCH UNION The Church moved towards its great year, 1913, which was to mark the union of Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists in New Zealand. It was a great year for New Zealand Methodism, greater indeed than was seen at that time. For it was not only the union of two local Churches but the expression of the ecumenical spirit which has become so rich an evidence of the movement of God in the Church of the present hour. While Methodism in New Zealand moved towards a new sense of unity, revealed first in the union with the Bible Christians, so too the Church in South India, Canada, U.S.A. and in Great Britain felt the same stirrings. The movement is still with us, growing in momentum, and it will be a proud memory to recall that New Zealand Methodism, so early in the work of this Circuit, felt the spirit of God in this way. The great Conference was held in Wellington. A crowded "Camp" meeting was held in the Basin Reserve on Sunday, 9th February, 1913, when fitting addresses were given by civic and religious leaders. The Conference added Karori to the Thorndon Circuit, which increased the Circuit members' roll: Karori 58 (from Taranaki Street), and Northland with 23 (from Sydney Street), brought the new Circuit to a total of 205 members. The new Circuit was: Molesworth Street (with Sydney Street to be amalgamated), Karori, Northland and Kaiwarra, with one married minister at Thorndon and a probationer at Karori. But a married minister, the Rev. P. J. Cossum, who was the last minister at Sydney Street Church, was appointed to Karori and lived there. A Quarterly Meeting in March, 1913, was very optimistic. The appointment of the additional married minister, due to the contingencies of stationing, was accepted. The Rev. G. S. Cook was sincerely and enthusiastically thanked for his superintendency. On April 28th another Quarterly Meeting-was held, when the new minister was welcomed; arrangements were made to rent a house in Karori (in Campbell Street) ; allocations of Circuit financial responsibility were made; the ministers' salaries fixed at £200 and £180 respectively; the envelope system was adopted; and Messrs. J. Cable and J. G. Raine were appointed Circuit Stewards. Molesworth Street had 112 Sunday School scholars, Karori 96, Northland 46, Kaiwarra 60. 1913 was a good year, a promising year. The Church was taking an increasing interest in social reform. The Conference "supported the N.Z. Hotel Employees' Union request for Government recognition of the principle of 'one day's rest in seven'." Modern inventions began to demand public interest. "The Dominion" in February, 1913, gave the amazing report that a tourist party of motorists travelled all the way from Dunedin to Auckland by motor car, and then shipped the car back to the Bluff Wesley Historical Society (NZ) Publication #5(1) 1946 Page 20 Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott and proceeded, intrepid adventurers, to Dunedin! And "The Dominion" reported that the car suffered no serious effects from the strenuous journey. However, the appointment of a married man at Karori was premature. The financial obligations for the newly-formed Circuit were too great. The debt on the Church had to be met and stipend and rent paid. In 1914 Synod, a request was made to reduce the appointment to a probationer, the point being made that the original recommendation of the Union Committee was for a probationer minister.
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WAR STRAIN The war years now made difficulties. A proposal in December, 1913, for the erection of a parsonage at Karori was deferred. Garden parties were held in the Karori Tea Gardens to assist the finances. Collections and appeals were made for the "Great Britain, Ireland and Belgian Relief Funds." At a Sunday School anniversary public meeting, "an unfortunate accident happened to the platform; order was soon restored and the meeting went off with a swing." The married minister had been retained, but finances were difficult, and the Tea Gardens were in constant demand for garden parties. In April, 1915, the Rev. P. J. Cossum moved on. The Circuit debit had risen to £68/3/6, and the Rev. C. H. Standage (supernumerary) was appointed. However, the increasing number of appeals for financial assistance, the absence of many men on war service, the tension and war strain of the community had made the continuation of a married appointment almost impossible. The repayment of the Church loan had been slow; £237 was still owing. In 1916 a request was made to Conference for some relief and an arrangement made with Wesley to share services with Brooklyn. Consequently, when the Rev. C. H. Standage left in 1917, the Rev. J. H. White was appointed to the Central Circuit to serve Brooklyn and Karori. The Rev. Mr. White was past 70 but continued to preach at Brooklyn and Karori regularly. He held strong convictions about Sunday travel and, rather than use the tram service, walked every Sunday from one Church to the other. The Ash's, Gjording's, Gamble's and Wallwork kept the flag flying during the struggling years immediately ahead. The choir became an important part of the Church and the recovery from the difficult years was a tribute to the faithfulness of these and other devoted families. The increasing-strength of the Church was their reward. The experience of the suburb as a borough had not been wholly satisfactory, and when the opportunity arose to become part of greater Wellington the borough authorities took the wise course. On April 1st, 1920, the borough ceased to be a borough. The clerk and engineer became attached to the City Corporation staff and Mr. B. G. H. Burn became ex-Mayor. "Yesterday," reported "The Dominion," "Karori closed its existence as a borough and today becomes part of the City, following the examples of the boroughs of Melrose and Onslow." The Karori School held a celebration at which the Mayor of Wellington, Mr. J. P. Luke, and the ex-Mayor of Karori, gave addresses to the children and received a great ovation. The change of status was the beginning of a new development. With reduced tram fares, improved reading and drainage the population expanded. Wesley Historical Society (NZ) Publication #5(1) 1946 Page 22 Karori Methodism 1843-1946 by J. D. Grocott
The Sunday School roll rose to 138 in 1923 and the Church members' roll to 61. The Church debt incurred in 1912 was cleared and a parsonage purchased. The parsonage, and a most useful corner section, were bought for £1,500. A parsonage site in Dascent Street which had been bought previously was sold for £200. In this far- sighted transaction the Church secured a site which has become exceedingly valuable, both strategically and financially. The Trust report in 1923 was that the purchase was an "act of faith." Year after year since then approaches have been made to the Trustees by enterprising business men to purchase the section, but the Trustees have wisely preserved their ownership of the property.
Building the tunnel 1897
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NEW RESPONSIBILITIES In 1928 a primary class room costing £300 was built. This is the class room we now propose to double in size. But the mortgage on the parsonage was too large and began to be troublesome. Not till 1940 was a systematic sinking fund arranged. The debt is now under £500, but the Trustees are eagerly anticipating the day when it completely disappears. A persistent problem in the 30's was the pipe organ. Purchased in 1927 for £200, it gave continued trouble. The final act in the problem is recorded in the Trust minutes: "That the pipe organ be offered to the junk man for carting away, free of cost to the Trustees." But the whole organ question was transformed with the purchase in 1937, for £130, of the present splendid organ. By 1940 the suburb had made such considerable expansion and the Church maintained her growth that the Quarterly Meeting decided to make Karori the head of the Wellington West Circuit. Consequently, when the Rev. Frank Bateup was appointed as second minister, the change was made, and the Church which, forty years earlier, was struggling for life became the centre of a very active and responsible Circuit. Mr. Bateup had to face the new responsibilities at a time when the most difficult circumstances surrounded the work. The war years were full of strain and the Church required constant vigilance to preserve her activities. Sixty members and adherents served with the Forces in New Zealand or overseas. One, Noel Blair, the honoured son of a former minister, made the supreme sacrifice. Four were awarded honours: Murray Roberts, D.F.C., Cecil Blazey, O.B.E., D. Hill, M.B.E., and Harry Hart, M.B.E. Two of the young women also served. A great number of men served in the Home Guard, and to keep the staff appointments for Sunday School and the pulpit was exceedingly difficult. The most recent Trust action was the renovation of the Sunday School hall in the autumn of 1945. For a total cost of £226 and with the assistance of energetic working bees the building was relined, a false ceiling erected and the building-painted.
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CAPABLE LEADERSHIP It has not been possible to record the services of all the ministers who have served Karori so effectively since the appointment of the first resident minister, the Rev. A. N. Scotter, in 1901. The expansion of the Church is a sufficient indication of faithfulness. Neither is it possible to honour satisfactorily the great number of lay workers who have served the Church devotedly and have also held responsible positions in public life and in their vocations. It is fitting that Mr. J. Cable who, while at Thorndon, was the first Circuit Steward in the new Circuit after union and who has served the Church devotedly over many years, should be Trust Secretary and Treasurer at this time: and the Roberts family is represented by the present Circuit Steward—as well as other members of the family—-and in the Circuit Steward's home is a continuation of the service of the Wallworks. The Raine tradition is preserved in the pulpit. Miss Jean Laurenson, secretary of the Jubilee Committee, represents a family whose splendid service has been given far wider than this Circuit and which shares with the Jenkin's household the honour of having a son in the ordained ministry; and the name of Mrs. Watchman is pre-served for more than one generation in the life of the Church. The service of the McLeod family deserves more recognition than can be given here. In the music of the Church, the counsels of Trustees and in consistent and devoted regular attendance at worship theirs has been a great record. So, too, with the Jenkin family, active with Trust, Bible Class and all the women's societies. The local preachers have been men of different abilities and capacities, but the service has been faithfully given. No record can give them all: Crumps, Tonks, Gibson, Mann, Herbert, Lomas, Chisholm, Raine, Hart, Haslam, Helliwell, Cathie, Hurley are only a few of the names appearing regularly on the plan. There are two committees of the Church whose work has been consistently referred to in highly appreciative terms over the last fifty years: the Ladies' Guild and the Trustees. These two committees have altered in personnel, but have remained the same in devotion. They faced the problems of financing the Church and parsonage in time of "slump" conditions as in the boom years with the same enthusiasm. In difficult years they met the financial obligations of the Church by increasing their own personal giving. The community continues to support the Church. The ecumenical spirit is strong in the suburb and the relationship between the various Churches is most cordial. "Homewood," which was the home of the community early in last century, was gracefully made available for the Conference Garden Party at the last Wellington Conference.
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The present membership roll at Karori shows 152 adult, 40 junior and 54 infant members. There are 100 Sunday School scholars and 60 Bible Class members, making a total of 160 in the Youth Department. In contemplating the life and work of this Church over these many years there comes a profound sense of the truth that we, of this generation, are debtors.
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EPILOGUE The task of tomorrow will not be as spectacular as in the pioneering days. But it will be as important as ever to build a good, wholesome, creative Christian society and to bring the people of our day to a living and personal obedience to Jesus Christ. To that task the Church seeks to enlist every follower of Jesus Christ. Our immediate future will have two major responsibilities: To rebuild our community life after the disintegration and strain of the Second World War; and to stimulate the ecumenical ideal in harmony with the movement of the World Church. This brochure is, in essence, an appeal to our Church membership, and to every reader, to a re-dedication to the historic task committed to the Church of Jesus Christ. Believing that this is the call of God to our generation, we face the future. The author is much indebted to Mr. Chas. Freeman, without whose willing assistance this brochure could not have been completed.
ADDENDUM Though our first record goes back to a baptism in Karori in 1843 it was not till December, 1844, that Karori is mentioned in the minutes of the Quarterly Meeting. It was at this meeting that Bro. Jones of Karori, the father of the child whose baptism was mentioned above, was appointed Class Leader, and thereafter, until his removal to Taita in 1853, Bro. Jones represented Karori at the Quarterly Meeting. The Church membership in December, 1845, when the figures for Karori are first given, is interesting in comparison with the membership of the other Methodist Churches in the Wellington district: Wellington 56, Petone 14, Kaori 13, Porirua Road 8, Country 2, 93 all told with 6 members on trial. In December 1846, the Karori membership had risen to 21, and in December 1848, to 24, and the Karori collections for the quarter amounted to £1/15/11. The membership in 1849 had however dropped to 14. Unfortunately during the Fifties and the early Sixties we have no records of the work there.
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MINISTERS APPOINTED TO KARORI A. N. Scotter, B.A...... 1901-1902 Geo. Brown ...... 1920-1924 G. S. Cook ...... 1903 F. B. Lawrence ...... 1924-1928 Preacher from Johnsonville - 1903-1908 J. Dennis ...... 1928-1932 J. R. Clarke ...... 1908-1913 C. Blair ...... 1932-1936 P. J. Cossom ...... 1913-1915 A. Costain ...... 1936-1941 C. H. Standage (supernumerary)1915-1917 F. Bateup ...... 1941-1945 J. H. White (Brooklyn) ...... 1917-1919 J. D. Grocott, B.A...... 1945 G. E. R. Warburton ...... 1919-1920 KARORI OFFICERS, 1946 Society Stewards—Messrs. F. Roberts, D. Frew, D. Hay, J. H. Crisp. J. H. E. Leek, R. Mears S. Roberts, S. N. Roberts, V. Edgar, J. Mears, R. Watchman, I. V. Newman. Sacramental Stewards—Mesdames R. Watchman, Evans, Woodall and Collins. Church Steward—Mr. J. Cable. S.S. Superintendent—Mr. A. W. Read. Society Representatives - Mrs. W. B. Scott, and Misses J. Laurenson, C. Stokes and T. McLeod Minister's Steward—Mr. A. H. Brooks. Youth Secretary—Mr. John Lyth. KARORI LOCAL PREACHERS, 1946 H. S. Hart, Karori Road, Karori. W.3. A. H. Brooks, 12 Sunshine Avenue, Karori, W.3. A. W. Reed, Mallam Street, Karori, W.3. I. V. Newman, Ph.D., 78 Messines Road, W.3. H. Hart, Karori Road, W.3. L. Noakes, 8 Waikare Street, W.3. M. Roberts, 23 Richmond Avenue, W.3. N. Queree, Blakey Avenue, Karori, W.3. Mrs. M. H. Hornblow, 7 Harrold Street, W.I.
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ORGANIST, 1946: Miss T. McLeod. SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS Messrs. C. Cathie, E. E. Pennington, E. B. Ash, H. S. Hart. A. H. Brooks, J. G. Raine, John Raine, S. N. Roberts, A. W. Reed.
B.C. LEADERS, 1946 Young Women—Mrs. P. Willis (nee Nora Roberts), Miss D. Horwood, Miss L. Crisp. Young Men—Mr. D. Hay, Rev. J. D. Grocott, Mr. J. Lyth, Mr. G. Cryer, Mr. H. Turner (relieving). PRESIDENT, MISSIONARY AUXILIARY: Mrs. J. Cable. PRESIDENT, LADIES' GUILD: Mrs. J. D. Grocott, B.A. PRESIDENT, FIRESIDE CLUB: Mrs. N. Oueree. SECRETARY, JUBILEE COMMITTEE: Miss J. Laurenson.
MAYORS OF KARORI Stephen Lancaster...... 1891-1894 Archibold Cameron Pearce .... 1904-1908 Richard Crofts Suckley...... 1894-1900 Cyril Irwin Dasent ...... 1908-1911 Francis John McDonald...... 1900-1901 Chas. Cathie ...... 1911-1914 Everard Cecil Farr...... 1901-1902 William Thomas Hildreth -.. 1914-1915 James Brock Tarr ...... 1902-1903 Benjamin George Henry Burn 1915-1920 William Henry Tisdall...... 1903-1904
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