Chapel of St John the Evangelist

188-226 St Johns Road, Meadowbank, Auckland

  • Chapel of St John the Evangelist. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Nick Thompson. Taken By: Nick Thompson. Date: 26/09/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 13 Date Entered 23rd June 1983


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 4 DP 205773 (CT NA195529), North Auckland Land District

Location description

Located within the grounds of the College of St John the Evangelist (Anglican and Methodist), Auckland.


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 College Chapel was begun in March 1847 and consecrated by Bishop Selwyn in November of the same year.

The Chapel, which for some 135 years has formed the focal point of everyday life at the College, is built of wood on a stone base and is cruciform in plan with apsidal east and west ends. Its most important feature was the use of an externally exposed timber frame which expressed the structural elements of the building as advocated by A.W.N. Pugin and the Ecclesiologists in Britain.

The Chapel's architect was Frederick Thatcher who was assisted to a lesser degree by Reader Wood. This team was responsible for many of the so-called 'Selwyn Churches' of Auckland. Thatcher was one of early New Zealand's most important architects, his most significant buildings besides St. John's College Chapel being Old St. Paul's, Wellington and the Gables, New Plymouth.

The Chapel is the earliest surviving example of a 'Selwyn Church' and incorporates the chief characteristics of churches of this type. These include steeply pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, early English fenestration and carefully calculated proportions.

In terms of historical importance, the Chapel is the third oldest surviving church building in New Zealand behind Christ Church, Russell and St. John's, Wakefield and contains memorials to many of New Zealand's most illustrious clergymen.

In 1959 the Chapel was extended at its west end, the alteration being made very sympathetically.

The early date of the Chapel, and the individuality of its architecture make it unique among timber Gothic Revival churches, not only in New Zealand, but throughout the world.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Thatcher, Frederick

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1847 -

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.