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December 19, 2018 December 2019, Regular Features No Comments

The Anglican Church

On the  J D Bair 1870 plan of Waihinga four section were set aside for churches section 18 Catholic, 28 Scottish, 37 English and 40 Wesleyan. However only the Presbyterians  took up the offer. The Anglican opted for a section in the new town of Martinborough, as did the Catholics, the Wesleyans did not come in numbers but did build a church in Featherston.

At first the Anglicans gathered for worship at Mr Bright’s Weld Street forge  shed. When the new school was opened in 1875 they used this for their monthly, then fortnightly, Service. It is recorded that in 1881 the Minister asked permission to ring the school bell a quarter of an hour before the 3.30pm Service to remind his parishioner to hurry along.

To begin with Martinborough was a part of the Greytown parish and it was through this that in 1882 the Bishop made a grant of thirty pounds ( 2018 = $5,312 ) towards  building a church in Martinborough. A building committee comprising the Rev H White, J Badland and  T F Evans was formed and tenders called. The tenders were opened at Mr Evans’ shop with the W Benton’s tender of  one hundred and eighty five pounds ( 2018 = $32,415) being accepted. The church was completed in 1883 ad officially consecrated in 1885, although still as an outpost of Greytown.

At the AGM help in 1901  the need to provide for a future parish hall was discussed as the section with small cottage next to the church had become available. This was purchased for seventy five pounds (2018 = $13,959). There was a row of gum trees and a boxthorn hedge between the section and the church. The cottage could be used as a hall and the section for a horse paddock for church goers.

When in 1906 the  Greytown minister , The Rev Wayne Bond, was transferred to Martinborough a Vicarage was urgently needed. The new Vicarage on Grey Street was opened a year later, the  section and building being a gift to the parish from Arthur Martin from Otaraia.  

In the 1920s a lot of work was done in renovating the church and adding and extension at the rear fro the choir. A start was made on the new parish hall in 1923  with it being officially opened  on the first of July 1925. 

Strong winds that year blew the church six inches out of plumb. Mr N H Thomas set this right and added  the buttresses. The concrete and pipe fence was also added  in 1925. The Gums were felled with  the burning of the stumps caused some consternation as the smouldering roots went under the church. 

A metalled footpath complete with gutter was formed to the main street only to have the council make the parishioners rebuild the gutter as the council said it was inches out of their their plan

The large oak in front of the church was probably planted in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, as were many other trees around the town. The ‘Holy Ghost’ is believed to live in this tree and claimed to have been see during full moon on cold winter’s nights.

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