Parish History

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The original Church, destroyed in a storm late 1930's

The original church was larger than the current one and even had a gallery at the West End, which served as a Choir Loft. The building had eight stained glass windows that had come from England. They included depictions of The Nativity, Christ the Good Shepherd (from which the current church derives its name) and The Prodigal Son.

1st Christ Church

The church building of 1873 deteriorated badly up until 1934 (sinking piles and rotting timbers) when finally a severe storm separated the Nave from the Sanctuary, so the church had to be demolished. It had actually twisted on its foundations and was unrepairable.

On arriving to his new living in 1939, the incumbent priest The Rev'd Wilmot (Bill) Castle found a notice on the church door saying,
"Enter at your own risk". He gathered together all the correspondence between the parish and the Diocese from 1934 and championed a bid to rebuild the church. With the Bishop and Synod's support, the amount of £180 was raised and with some other local donations, the new smaller building was completed and dedicated by Bishop John Simpkin (Bishop of Auckland) on 10 March 1940.

2nd Christ Church

The current Church has leadlight glass windows from Holy Trinity Church in Otahuhu and two stained glass windows from Kings College Chapel…one is a Chi-Rho symbol being the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek and emblamatic for this church bearing his name. The other being the symbols for Alpha and Omega (beginning and end), being the Christian understanding of his presence through all of time. These windows were donated to help with the restoration project and finally all installed when the Hall extension was completed.

The original church was in what became known as the
Selwyn Style of building and resembled numerous other wooden rural parish churches built throughout the Auckland Diocese between 1841-67 during the time that Bishop Selwyn was also Primate for New Zealand.

The modern church has a hall attached with full kitchen and meeting/stage performance space.  It is a Lockwood construction and was added in 1965 at a cost of
£3,534 raised by local people of the parish. The West End of the building complex has a commanding view of the Coromandel harbour and surrounding hills.

CCC small

An influx of artists, especially potters, writers, musicians and alternative life-stylers in the 1960's brought new life to the town and environs. A flavour of that demographic coupled with long-established families and new-comers (many of them retirees, holiday home owners and hosts in a range of hotel, motel and retreat accommodation) is illustrative today of the rich heritage of the area, blended with modern technology, facilities and attitudes towards the environment, characteristically iconic in Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Coromandel is often referred to by its many visitors from home and abroad as being a spiritual place. Certainly there are numerous denominational churches and communities of faith within and around the town. Visitors come for a variety of organised group retreats or individual times for quiet and contemplation. All are made welcome by the local community, who celebrate the fact that so many others find peace and joy when visiting this beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Coromandel Mission District with Christ Church as its primary place of worship, is a living witness to the Christian Faith. The previous Vicarage has been transformed into a Retreat Centre for religious groups and individuals but is also a place for holiday-making visitors and rest for travellers. All are welcome to reserve accommodation in what is now dedicated as
Benedict House, an integral part of our parish life and mission outreach into the community of the Peninsula and the world.