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- Category I
- Christchurch City Council
Lot 1 DP 51328 (CT CB29K/886), Canterbury Land District
The first Methodist church in Christchurch opened in 1854 to cater for the small but active congregation of Methodists who had settled in Christchurch since 1850. The Methodist church in Durham St, the subject of this registration, opened on Christmas Day 1864. Built of stone it was the first church to be erected in permanent materials in Canterbury and is Gothic Revival in style. It was designed by the Melbourne architectural firm, Crouch and Wilson, who won the 1863 competition for the design of the new church. Samuel Farr (1827-1918), the local architect who came second in the competition, was appointed to supervise the project.
The interior of the church follows the standard Victorian Nonconformist plan of a large preaching hall with an encircling gallery. In the Methodist tradition, the sermon was perceived as the most important part of the service so the galleries ensured that all could see and hear the preacher.
The church is a significant example of early ecclesiastical architecture in Christchurch. Its construction reflects the significance of the Methodist tradition in what was conceived as a primarily Anglican settlement.
- Designed: 1863
- Original Construction: 1864
- Addition - Gallery added: 1869
- Addition - Schoolroom added at right angles to church: 1873
- Addition - Parsonage built next door in Chester Street:
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