Selwyn Church (Anglican)

1-5 Hain Avenue And Massey Road, Mangere East, Auckland

  • Selwyn Church.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Date: 27/05/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 691 Date Entered 7th April 1983


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Manukau City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lots 18 30 31 DP 20494 (CTs NA470/126, NA10D/385, NA630/262), North Auckland Land District


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Purchas, Arthur Guyon

The Rev. Dr Arthur Guyon Purchas (1821-1906), who was born in England, settled permanently in Auckland in 1846. Although his father was an architect, Purchas himself had no formal training in architecture, having graduated in medicine. Nevertheless, he left an indelible mark on the early ecclesiastical building of New Zealand. Bishop Selwyn, Purchas and another clerical architect, Frederick Thatcher, devised the style of building known as the 'Selwyn Churches' and created the distinctive chapels which are renowned for their architectural quality as well as for their historical association. While the Ecclesiologists in England imposed their standards on the design of the parish church, it was Selwyn, Purchas and Thatcher who transplanted their ideas in New Zealand.

Purchas gained building experience with Selwyn's architects at St Johns College, and in particular, with the temporary chapel at St Andrews, Epsom in 1846. He designed the original church for St Peter's at Onehunga 1847-48 and was also responsible for enlarging the nave and moving the tower. The design of the stone church of St James at Mangere (1857) has been attributed to Purchas and it is also possible that he was the architect of Holy Trinity Church, Otahuhu. Later in his life he designed a block of shops erected in Karangahape Road.

Purchas' interest and talents also extended to music. He also invented a surgical instrument and the first machine for the preparation of New Zealand flax.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1863 -

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.