Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knox Presbyterian Church, Parnell

I joined Parnell Heritage this afternoon to listen in on a show-and-tell event they held in Knox Presbyterian Church in Birdwood Crescent.

The site has two buildings -- the 1899 white wooden church, still basically the same as when R. W. de Montalk designed it, except that the northern pinnacles are now gone from the buttresses. Its foundation stone was laid on 29 November 1898 by Lord Ranfurly, the Governor of New Zealand.

The Knox Hall joined the church from 1906, also a design by de Montalk. The church complex is named after John Knox of the Scottish Presbyterian church, but Mrs. Elizabeth Knox was the one who laid the foundation stone for what was initially a Sunday School hall. Mrs. Knox is immortalised on one of the brass plaques that line the inner walls of the main church building. It was finally lined and finished inside during the First World War. From 1980 it was Knox Community Centre, then came to be used as a pre-school for the local Niuean congregation.

Falling numbers of European local parishioners meant integration of the remaining parishioners with the Niuean congregation in 1997.

The two buildings are quite close to each other, as you can see. The afternoon, by the way, was wonderful -- listening to stories of Parnell's past, and enjoying an afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones. I'm grateful for the kind invitation.


  1. My wife and I emigrated to New Zealand In 1959.We the arrived in Auckland October 1959.Then on the 14th November 1959 we got married in Knox Church Parnell by Mr.R.G.S.Chambers.We came back to UK in 1962.It would be so nice to go back to see the church again.Regards,Albert and May Slater

  2. How wonderful! Thank you very much for the comment.

  3. Hello, I went to Kindergarten at the Knox Hall back in the 1940s and have just mentioned it on my blog. Thanks for the update.

    1. Did you know the Briggs and the Lawn family? Mervyn Lawn? Patricia Briggs?

  4. I would like to find out where I could locate marriage records from he church from around 1958, please

  5. Mervyn Lawn