St Luke's Anglican Church

2A Tees Street And Itchen Street, Oamaru

  • St Luke's Anglican Church.
    Copyright: Advertising & Art. Taken By: Stewart Robertson.
  • St Luke's Anglican Church. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shelley Morris. Taken By: Madam48 - Shelley Morris. Date: 19/04/2011.
  • St Luke's Anglican Church. June 2012.
    Copyright: Bill Caelli. Taken By: Bill Caelli.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4365 Date Entered 26th November 1987

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Secs 13-14 Blk XXVI Town of Oamaru (CT OT231/57), Otago Land District, and the building known as St Luke’s Anglican Church thereon.

City/District Council

Waitaki District

Region

Otago Region

Legal description

Secs 13-14 Blk XXVI Town of Oamaru (CT OT231/57), Otago Land District

Summaryopen/close

Built in stages between 1865 and 1913, St Luke’s Anglican Church was designed by Dunedin architects Edward Rumsay and Adam Jackson in Gothic style and has architectural, historical and spiritual significance as an outstanding landmark in Oamaru. It has been the spiritual home for the parish for over 150 years.

Anglican services were held in Oamaru from the early 1860s, in a variety of makeshift venues such as the Oamaru goods shed, the Greta Street school and the courthouse. Oamaru became a parish in 1864. In July 1862, the Reverend Algernon Gifford was licensed to the township and pastoral district of Oamaru, and the parish set to work raising funds for a church. Dunedin architects Edward Rumsey and Adam Jackson won the competition to design the church, with William Armson as supervising architect, and James Bruce as the contractor. Right Reverend Lord Bishop of Christchurch laid the foundation stone and dedicated the cornerstone on 20 June 1865. The first service was held on 29 October, but the church was not consecrated until 13 May 1866. The southern end of the nave was built first with double walls of Oamaru stone, dressed inside and imitation ashlar outside, and three feet thick at the base. By 1871 the church was too small for the congregation.

In 1876 the full length of the nave to the region of the spire was completed with temporary wooden chancel. The extension doubled the size of the church, and was now the length on the original plans, with Forrester and Lemon supervising the building. Barclay and Kay were the stone masons, while West and Sinclair were the carpenters. A Conacher pipe organ was installed in the side chapel.

In 1897 a Sunday School was opened next to the church, designed by J.M. Forrester. In 1909, the vicarage was built on the corner section of Wharfe and Tees Streets (List Entry No. 4884).

Though there was discussion and some fund raising for the spire and stone chancel in the 1880s, it was not until 1913 that these were completed. Bequests and fund raising enabled the church to be completed to the original plan. The Oamaru Mail provides a full description of the finished church. Bishop Neville laid the corner stone on 27 June 1912. J.M. Forrester supervised the constriction, while McKenzie and Mills were the stone masons. The woodwork was completed by D. Sinclair. This stage completed the chancel and the spire. The church grounds were further developed by the erection of the stone wall at Tees Street, including an iron gate with concrete pillars and steps. The spire is 127 feet high and topped with a stone cross. There are also stone crosses on the gable ends of the nave. Much of the woodwork in the chancel is in Southland beech, and much of the wood carving in the church is the work of F G Gurnsey, an English trained church carver.

Other notable features include the World War One Memorial, already in the planning stages in October 1919. The ‘Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial’ was dedicated on 17 October 1920. The memorial ‘comprises a stained glass window depicting the images of a soldier, St Luke and Jesus; and three panels made from glazed tiles in cast iron and timber frames. Two record the names of congregation members who lost their lives serving overseas. On the opposite wall, a wooden tablet lists the names of soldiers who returned.’ St Luke’s has several memorial windows, dating from after 1900 to 1986, that are significant features of the church.

In 2009 the parish restored the church, repairing and restoring stone work, stained glass, and installing a sprinkler system, new carpet and lighting in the interior. In 2015, St Luke’s remains the place of worship for its parishioners.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This is the major Anglican church of North Otago. The first Anglican church services in Oamaru were held either on a grassy knoll near the present railway goods shed or in various woolstores, the Greta St Grammar School or the Courthouse. A Parsonage was built first out of town in 1862 (Oamaru was surveyed off in 1860), and the Rubble Fund started for a church in the same year. Bishop Selwyn gave 200 pounds to buy suitable sections for the churches and halls. The site for St Lukes was bought for 50 pounds in a position close to the old industrial centre and landing place. The first store, built by Charles Trail, of cabbage tree stems plastered inside and out had been set up on land alongside the church section. The church was built in sections as the money became available.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE:

One of the largest gothic churches in Otago.

TOWNSCAPE/LANDMARK SIGNIFICANCE:

A major building at the east end of Oamaru's main street and well related to the other fine Oamaru stone buildings in this part of the town.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Forrester & Lemon

The architectural partnership of Forrester and Lemon was established in Oamaru in 1872.

Thomas Forrester (1838-1907) was born in Glasgow and educated at the Glasgow School of Art. Emigrating to New Zealand in 1861 he settled in Dunedin and worked under William Mason (1810-97) and William Henry Clayton (1823-77) and later Robert Arthur Lawson (1833-1902). In 1865 he superintended the Dunedin Exhibition and from 1870 he became involved with the supervision of harbour works. Some time after 1885 he became Engineer to the Oamaru Harbour Board and in this capacity designed the repairs to the breakwater following storm damage in 1886 and later the Holmes Wharf. On his death in 1907 he was still in the employ of the Harbour Board.

John Lemon (1828-1890) was born in Jamaica and travelled to England before emigrating to New Zealand in 1849. He settled in Oamaru in 1860 and with his brother Charles established a timber merchant's business. By 1869 he was in partnership with his father-in-law, George Sumpter calling themselves "Timber and General Merchants, Land and Commission Agents". This partnership was dissolved in 1872 and Lemon entered into partnership with Forrester. Lemon had no architectural experience at all, but had a wide circle of business contacts and was an efficient administrator.

Buildings designed by the partnership of Forrester and Lemon include St Paul's Church (1875-76), the Harbour Board Offices (1876), Queen's (later Brydone) Hotel (1881), Waitaki Boys' High School (1883), The Courthouse (1883) and the Post Office (1883-84), all in Oamaru. Forrester and Lemon contributed greatly to Oamaru's nineteenth century character. On Lemon's death in 1890 the practice was taken over by Forrester's son, John Megget Forrester (1865-1965).

Ramsey and Jackson

Architects for the upper end of the nave of St Luke's Anglican Church.

Kay and Barclay

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

James Bruce

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

West and Sinclair

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

McKenzie and Mills

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

D. Sinclair

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION (Style)

Style is Victorian Gothic.

MODIFICATIONS:

The exterior is unmodified.

Notable Features

The tall spire at the end of Oamaru's main street.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1865 - 1866
First part of construction

Addition
1875 - 1876
Second part of construction - Nave completed to full length. Temporary wooden chancel built

Addition
1913 -
Completion of the spire and chancel, stone walls around boundary extended

Addition
1922 -
West porch was added.

Additional building added to site
1901 -
Stone wall on Itchen Street laid

Addition
1920 -
World War One Memorial dedicated

Restoration
2009 -
Restoration and repair

Construction Details

Materials are Oamaru stone for the walls and slate for the roof of the nave. The southern end of the nave was built first with double walls of Oamaru stone, dressed inside and imitation ashlar outside, and three feet thick at the base. Though this section was consecrated in 1866, by 1871 the church was too small for the congregation. In 1876 the full length of the nave to the region of the spire was completed with temporary wooden chancel built on the end. Though there was discussion and some fund raising for the spire and stone chancel in the 1880s, it was not until 1913 that these were completed. The spire is 127 feet high and topped with a stone cross. There are also stone crosses on the gable ends of the nave. Much of the woodwork in the chancel is in Southland beech, and much of the wood carving in the church is the work of F G Gurnsey, an English trained church carver.

Completion Date

11th August 2015

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Evans, 1968

J. Evans 1968 Southern See: The Anglican Diocese of Dunedin New Zealand, J. McIndoe, Dunedin

Oamaru Mail

Oamaru Mail

26 Jun 1913, p. 7.

Naylor, 1962

W. Naylor, Anglican centenary : a narrative covering 100 years of the Church of England in North Otago, Oamaru, 1962, Oamaru Mail Company

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand