St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (Former)

1785 Dipton-Winton Highway (State Highway 6), Centre Bush

  • St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (Former) 2012. Courtesy of Jo Boyd, Riverlea Photography.
    Copyright: Jo Boyd.
  • Courtesy of Jo Boyd, Riverlea Photography. Taken 2012.
    Copyright: Jo Boyd.
  • Courtesy of Jo Boyd, Riverlea Photography. Taken 2012.
    Copyright: Jo Boyd.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7427 Date Entered 30th June 1998

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described Country Sec 671 Hokonui SD (CT SL35/46), Southland Land District, and the building known as the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church (Former) thereon, and its fittings and fixtures.

City/District Council

Southland District

Region

Southland Region

Legal description

Country Sec 671 Hokonui SD (CT SL35/46), Southland Land District.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Historical:

Presbyterian Church services have been held at Centre Bush since 1863, when John Shand's barn was used for the purpose. In 1883 parishioners bought land for a permanent church, which Philip Moore completed the following year. The first minister, James Baird, served Winton Parish (which included Centre Bush) from 1879 to 1901. In 1913 Centre Bush, South Hillend and Otapiri were separated from Winton Parish as a semi-autonomous home mission, Centre Bush acquiring its first manse in 1914. In 1933 parishioner Alexander Gerrard left £500 to replace the old building provided that it could be done within seven years. This stirred his fellow parishioners to move quickly. St Andrews, as the new church was named, opened on the same site in 1937, and the old wooden building continued as the Sunday School for a further 24 years. Although Centre Bush had been considered sufficiently isolated for parishioners to debate moving the church to Limehills in 1893, by the early 1970s amalgamation with Dipton Parish was desired and the new combined parish took the name Centre Bush. Fernhills Church closed and Centre Bush became the site of the manse. A new manse was built on newly-purchased land adjacent to the site in 1979.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Architectural:

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church was designed in the Inter-war Traditional Ecclesiastical style of the period 1915-1940. Style indicators are:

- Traditional rectangular plan shape.

- Tower reminiscent of medieval campanile in simplified Romanesque style.

- Vertically proportioned windows with simplified Romanesque heads.

- Plain wall surface.

- Traditional central aisle.

- Simplified stained glass motifs.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

DATE: 1937

ARCHITECT: A. Ford of Invercargill.

STYLE CODE: 76: Inter-war Traditional Ecclesiastical.

DESIGN:

The style of Inter-war ecclesiastical architecture was by and large determined by a continuation of a desire for recognisably medieval buildings. The unemotional style of international architecture (the so-called 'International' style) with its emphasis on form and function and machine aesthetics did not appeal very much to religious denominations in New Zealand and Australia at this time.

The range of historical styles employed by architects during this period was applied to educational or collegiate as well as religious buildings. Modernism did however have a subtle influence in that designs were simplified interpretations of medieval architecture. This may be seen at St Andrew's Church in the interior which displays a surprising Art Moderne appearance in the treatment of the ceiling which has, on either side of the nave, four longitudinal steps running the full length of the nave from the top of the wall where the cornice would normally be, towards the centre of the ceiling. These features, which emphasise a modem geometrical aesthetic, are probably constructed of plastered hardboard. The effect of modernity is completed by the light fittings which appear to be original, and which consist of period glass lampshades hanging down from the innermost ceiling steps in the form of an inverted top - a typical Art Deco/Art Moderne style of lampshade for the period.

Traditional aspects of the design of St Andrew's are the tower, which remains important as a landmark feature and which also has the feature of being slightly tapered from the base to the top, the simple traditional symmetrical planning, and plain walls of roughcast over brick. The vertically proportioned windows with Romanesque heads are also an historical (albeit eclectic) reference to the early English Gothic Lancet style, and the even earlier Romanesque style of the tenth century.

(m) Such additional criteria not inconsistent with those in paragraphs (a) to (k):

St Andrew's Church was originally inspected by the Buildings Classification Committee of the Trust in October 1983 but was deferred classification pending an interior inspection.

The present nomination indicates that the interior has special features as noted above under criteria 23 (2)(g).

There are currently 60 churches registered which were built between 1915 and 1936. There are no registered churches built after 1936 which leaves a big gap in terms of understanding church building which came into a transitional stylistic period between Historicism and Modernism, as St Andrew's Church does. It would appear to be the case that A. Ford, the architect of St Andrew's about whom we know nothing, was a practitioner of the simplified Inter-war church architectural style that had begun to incorporate elements of Modernism into the design, and thus had begun to anticipate the more radical and unorthodox church architecture that followed the Second World War. Ford's architecture, as exemplified in St Andrew's Church, therefore stands in contrast with the work of established architects such F. de Jersey Clere and Cecil Wood in the 1920s who specialised (at least in church building) in the Arts and Crafts genre, itself a radical stylistic departure in the Inter-war period, but which had no elements of Modernism, and which was also highly specialised and somewhat rare in terms of the number of church buildings actually built in this particular style.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1937 -

Completion Date

1st February 1998

Report Written By

Wayne Nelson

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Southern region office

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.