We will celebrate our 150th year in 2018.
The very first service held in Pukekohe was conducted by the Rev. Thomas Norrie from Papakura in November 1865. His parish was the “Papakura Charge” which originally extended from Papatoetoe to Te Aroha and Cambridge. He served in the ministry for fifty years.
The Pukekohe Presbyterian Church continued its association with the Papakura Charge from its foundation in 1868 until 1873 under the care of Rev. Norrie. The New Presbyterian Church and Sunday School in Pukekohe West (simply known as Pukekohe Church) was formally opened on the 17th May, 1868 at the highest point in Nelson Street, on a section of five acres. It was known as the “Slab Church.” The whole building was twenty feet by sixteen feet. At the time of the opening of the church there were only sixteen Presbyterians in the village of Pukekohe.
The Reverend James Galloway, an evangelical minister, was inducted into the Pukekohe Church 0n the 5th June 1873. In the following year a manse was built beside the church and the Rev Galloway shifted into it from Mauku where he was living. In the same year, 1874, a new school was built on the same five acres adjoining the present Pukekohe cemetery.
In 1875 a second church was built at the site of the first church. The second church was mainly constructed of weatherboard and measured twenty feet by forty feet. All up it cost 162 pounds and was opened free of debt!
One of the greatest developments in Pukekohe was the opening of the railway from Drury to Mercer via Pukekohe in 1875. The railway had a major impact on Pukekohe. With easier access to the train the centre of Pukekohe was soon to be shifted from the Queen Street-Ward Street-Nelson Street area towards the King Street area. As Pukekohe grew more people preferred living near the train station near the King Street area and logically King Street became the centre of Pukekohe township. The church leadership wanted to follow the people’s new location. This is no small decision. A fire in 1897 however made the decision easier when it destroyed part of the second church. The remaining part was sold to a farmer Mr John Bilkey, which became his onion shed. The Bilkey family kindly donated to the church in January 2015 a copy drawing of the onion / potatoes shed.
A section of land was purchased at the corner of Seddon & West Streets (West Street begins at the end of King Street). During the ministry of Rev. William Fairweather Findlay a new church was built on the new section. On the 2nd January 1898, the new church at the corner of Seddon & west Streets was opened and dedicated to public worship. The new church cost 550 pounds.
Here we are in 1915 at the corner of West & Seddon Streets (the end of King Street is the beginning of West Street) For more information see the “National Library of New Zealand” – http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=46357&l=mi
Under the ministry of Rev Donald Alan Kirkby (1957-1968) the church grew tremendously that soon a new church is required. First a new manse was built for Rev. Kirkby and his family. On the 5th July 1958 the opening and dedication of the new manse was officiated by the Rev. J. Graham Miller, Moderator of the South Auckland Presbytery.
Earlier on the same year 1958, the congregation agreed to move the old church and hall from its location at the corner of West & Seddon Streets to 30 West Street. The removal took place on Saturday 25th January 1958. This church was later modified and added to; now called A. L. Adams Block.
The shift from the corner of Seddon & West Streets on Saturday the 25th January 1958
On Sunday the 27th August 1961 at 2:30pm, our current church at 30 West Street was officially opened and dedicated to public worship.
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