By Rosemary Baird
In September, St Paul’s Anglican Church in Arrowtown celebrated 150 years since its opening. The church is the oldest church in the historic goldfields settlement.
The building was erected in the early 1870s in a simplified Gothic Revival style. St Paul’s remains part of the Wakatipu Parish, administered by St Peter’s Church in Queenstown.
Elias de la Perrelle was one of the original trustees of St Paul’s church who acquired the section in 1869. His family has strong connections with the church to this day. The Archdeacon Rural South, Barb Walker, is his great great granddaughter. She, along with Rev Dr Michael Godfrey, the interim priest in charge of the parish, led the 150th celebration service.
Around 45 people attended the service and enjoyed a piece of celebration cake. 11 direct descendants of the de la Perrelle family travelled to Arrowtown specially for the event.
St Paul’s Anglican Church and Vestry is a Category 1 historic place on the New Zealand Heritage List Rārangi Kōrero. The church is the earliest of an historic cluster of ecclesiastical buildings on Berkshire Street and is a quaintly beautiful small timber building in a simplified Gothic Revival style. The building is linked on the southern side to a small timber cottage serving as a vestry and Sunday school.