St James' Church (Anglican)
39 Church Road, Mangere Bridge
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
7th April 1983
Auckland Council (Manukau City Council)
Lots 1-4 Deeds Plan 1233
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.
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.