St Andrew's on the Terrace

28-30 The Terrace, Wellington

  • St Andrew's on the Terrace. 2010. Image courtesy of Grant Sheehan Photography.
    Copyright: Grant Sheehan. Taken By: Grant Sheehan.
  • St Andrew's on the Terrace. Interior 2010. Image courtesy of Grant Sheehan Photography.
    Copyright: Grant Sheehan. Taken By: Grant Sheehan.
  • St Andrew's on the Terrace. Interior detail.
    Copyright: Jane Horwell. Taken By: Jane Horwell. Date: 11/01/2015.
  • St Andrew's on the Terrace. Interior 2010. Image courtesy of Grant Sheehan Photography.
    Copyright: Grant Sheehan. Taken By: Grant Sheehan.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3571 Date Entered 2nd July 1987


City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 4 DP 2040 & Lot 3 DP 11548 & Pt DP 4123 (CT WN467/23), Wellington Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This building has strong links with the history of the Church in the region. It is the second church on this site and the fourth St Andrew's church since 1840. It has served as the first Presbyterian Church in the region and is now being used by the wider community for lunchtime concerts, lectures etc.


The only example of the English Baroque style of ecclesiastical architecture in New Zealand and one of the very few large churches made of reinforced concrete. The use of this material for an ecclesiastical building was advanced for its time. The interior is also architecturally significant with fine coved and coffered ceiling and round chancel arch.


Although its impact has been somewhat lessened by new high-rise buildings, the tower of St Andrew's is something of a landmark at the Parliament end of the Terrace. The church is adjacent to other classified buildings, notably Brandon's building and further along, 22 The Terrace. The church is an important feature in the townscape.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Clere, Frederick De Jersey

Clere (1856-1952) was born in Lancashire, the son of an Anglican clergyman, and was articled to Edmund Scott, an ecclesiastical architect of Brighton. He then became chief assistant to R J Withers, a London architect. Clere came to New Zealand in 1877, practising first in Feilding and then in Wanganui. He later came to Wellington and practised there for 58 years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1886 and held office for 50 years as one of four honorary secretaries in the Empire. In 1883 he was appointed Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church; he designed more than 100 churches while he held this position. Clere was a pioneer in reinforced concrete construction; the outstanding example of his work with this material is the Church of St Mary of the Angels (1922), Wellington.

As well as being pre-eminent in church design, Clere was responsible for many domestic and commercial buildings including Wellington's Harbour Board Offices and Bond Store (1891) and Overton in Marton. Clere was also involved in the design of large woolsheds in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

He was active in the formation of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and served on their council for many years. He was a member of the Wellington City Council until 1895, and from 1900 a member of the Wellington Diocesan Synod and the General Synod. He was also a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


Symmetrically organised, it has a classical portico of pediment and frieze supported on four groups of paired Doric columns. The second storey is less classical having more affinity with early eighteenth century English architecture. Fa├žade as a whole is particularly reminiscent of Sir Christopher Wren's London churches.


In 1962 repairs to the exterior and renovations and alterations to the interior were made by Calder, Fowler and Styles. Some of the more ornate details which had deteriorated were removed. Overall the church is in largely original condition.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1923 -

Construction Details

Reinforced concrete

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.