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Historic Place Category 1
Sec 5 and Pt 179 Waimea South District Blk XVI Wai-iti SD
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
St John's Wakefield formerly known as Waimea South was built in 1864 and is the second oldest surviving church in New Zealand after Christ Church, Russell.
Built to serve the local community of New Zealand Company labourers and aided by money donated by Bishop Selwyn, St John's is a simple, unpretentious wooden structure which features rusticated weatherboards, lancet windows, small wooden buttresses and a bell tower.
The church was built by voluntary labour and supervised by Edward Baigent a saw miller from Surrey who also provided the timber.
St John's is in remarkably original condition the only alteration of any significance being made in 1865 when the nave was extended by 5.5m.
As the oldest surviving parish church in the South Island, St John's is of considerable historical significance. It is most attractively sited on a rise overlooking the surrounding countryside and has a graveyard of historic interest. It is an example of a well preserved, early church design and is of undoubted architectural importance.
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