All Saints' Garrison Church

Queens Drive, Burnham Military Camp

  • All Saints' Garrison Church.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Robyn Burgess. Date: 2/03/2012.
  • All Saints' Garrison Church.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 19/02/2002.
  • All Saints' Garrison Church.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 19/02/2002.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1781 Date Entered 23rd June 1983 Date of Effect 23rd June 1983


City/District Council

Selwyn District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt RES 1160 (RT CB424/184), Canterbury Land District


All Saints' Garrison Church was the first rural church to be built in Canterbury and the fifteenth church to be built in the province. Before this church was constructed, local Anglican services were held in houses and woolsheds. Richard Bethel, a local landowner, donated the land for the church and churchyard in November 1863. The church was designed by the Reverend H. W. Harper, the first curate of the parish of Waimakariri and Burnham. The church opened on 17 April 1864 and was consecrated two years later on All Saints' Day by Bishop Henry John Chitty Harper (1804? - 1893).

The 1870s was a time of growth for the surrounding district, and seven other Anglican churches were built within a ten mile radius of All Saints'. As a consequence, attendance there declined. In 1901 the Church offered the building to the Burnham Industrial School on the condition that it continued to be used as a church. The school accepted the offer and the church was moved to its current site, reopening on 5 November 1903. At this time the building was extended, reroofed and repainted, a contemporary newspaper article stating that all the work had been undertaken by the boys at the Industrial School under the supervision of the instructor in carpentry.

When the Industrial School closed in 1918, the Department of Defence acquired the Burnham grounds and buildings. The church officially became the 'Garrison Church' in July 1923. Since the Second World War other denominations besides the Anglicans have held services there and it continues to be used for worship today.

All Saints' Garrison Church is significant as the first rural Anglican church to be built in Canterbury, and because of its continued use as a church for over a century, albeit by various denominations. Its continuing association with the New Zealand Army and its stained glass memorial windows are also notable.


Additional informationopen/close

Notable Features

Two stained glass windows were installed in 1976 to commemorate members of the New Zealand Regiment, the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and others associated with them who were killed while serving overseas. These windows were designed by Beverley Shore-Bennett and illustrate the 'Tree of Life' on one side and the 'Burning Bush' on the other.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1863 - 1864

1901 -
Moved to new site

1901 - 1903
Extension of 20 feet added and bell tower added

1915 -
New font and altar installed

1945 - 1951
July 1945 roof and bell tower damaged by falling trees. Bell tower demolished. Repairs not completed until 1951

Completion Date

15th August 2001

Report Written By

Melanie Lovell-Smith

Information Sources

Christchurch Press

6 November 1903, p.5

Other Information

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.