Burnside Church, Wairarapa, New Zealand, 10 December 2005
Image by PhillipC
This church was built in 1875 and is a typical example of rural New Zealand churches of its era. It is still in use and beautifully preserved and maintained outside and in. This part of the North Island was originally settled by Europeans who purchased the land from local Maori and opened up large sheep runs. This was achieved peacefully because the local iwi believed that European settlement would offer them protections against the aggressions of the Taranaki tribes, and because some important tribal chiefs were converted to Christianity by William Colenso.
This church was built as a chapel for a single farm and its workers. That is why it is not in a village. This history reminds me of many estate churches in England – for example that at Parham in West Sussex where my son got married.
We couldn’t get inside because it was locked, but the interior woodwork is a must for a return visit!