St John the Baptist’s History

People have been worshiping God in this place since 1830.

This was the first inland Mission established by the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The site, chosen because there was a large Maori population, there was timber in the Waitangi River valley, and generally, the soil appeared suitable for farming. The purpose to provide the good news of the saving grace of God through his son Jesus and be a model Christian community.

Missionaries were Rev W Yate, with lay workers R Davis, G Clarke and J Hamlin.  They arrived in Waimate late in 1830 and by early in 1831 were settled in temporary homes, for which any available timber was used.

The first church, a building measuring 40 x 20 feet, and begun in May 1831 and the work finished on June 24, St John the Baptist’s Day, and hence the name of the church.

The congregations were so large that a larger church was urgently needed. The growth of the mission activities is reflected in the fact some 5000 copies of the New Testament were distributed to tangatawhenua in 1837. A church to hold 400 hundred was built in 1839.

The Anglican mission at this time would seem to have been highly successful. The number of converts had increased from 2000 to 35,000 in four years, and Mr Davis reported that on February 18, 1841, 203 Maori received communion in “our new church”.

Missionaries were Rev W Yate, with lay workers R Davis, G Clarke and J Hamlin.  They arrived in Waimate late in 1830 and by early in 1831 were settled in temporary homes, for which any available timber was used.

The first church, a building measuring 40 x 20 feet, and begun in May 1831 and the work finished on June 24, St John the Baptist’s Day, and hence the name of the church.

The congregations were so large that a larger church was urgently needed. The growth of the mission activities is reflected in the fact some 5000 copies of the New Testament were distributed to tangatawhenua in 1837. A church to hold 400 hundred was built in 1839.

The Anglican mission at this time would seem to have been highly successful. The number of converts had increased from 2000 to 35,000 in four years, and Mr Davis reported that on February 18, 1841, 203 Maori received communion in “our new church”.

On Sunday, December 26 1841 of that year the congregation was 1000, too large for the church which seated 400.

After the war, church attendance declined and by 1870 the church built in 1839 was too large. It was decided to dismantle it and to use the timber to build a smaller church.

The current church was dedicated on 19th April 1871 and at the same time the Mission District was formed into a parish – the Parish of Waimate North.

On Sunday, December 26 1841 of that year the congregation was 1000, too large for the church which seated 400.

After the war, church attendance declined and by 1870 the church built in 1839 was too large. It was decided to dismantle it and to use the timber to build a smaller church.

The current church was dedicated on 19th April 1871 and at the same time the Mission District was formed into a parish – the Parish of Waimate North.

Our Sunday Services

Our services are designed as a creative whole, where the sermon, music, prayers and readings are all designed to reinforce one central idea.

We appreciate the musical heritage of the past and use older songs and hymns, we also choose to use more modern music and songs that reflect in fresher ways our heart for God.

We also attempt to bring other creative elements into our services whenever possible. People are encouraged to participate if they want to in readings and prayers. The communion part of the service (Eucharist) is lead by a priest.

Although we do not have a formal Sunday School, children are warmly welcomed at our churches and there is a special area in each of the churches with toys and activities for their enjoyment.

Waimate North Parish Anglican Churches

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1st Sunday

Pakaraka – Holy Trinity

Service every 1st Sunday of the month

3rd Sunday

Okaihau – St Catherine

Service every 3rd Sunday of the month

4th Sunday

Waimate North –
St John the Baptist

Service every 4th Sunday of the month