St Stephen's Chapel (Anglican) and Churchyard
12 Judge Street, Parnell, Auckland
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Private/No Public Access
1st September 1983
Date of Effect
1st September 1983
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Pt Allot 3 Sec 2 Suburbs of Auckland (RT NA554/227), North Auckland Land District, and the building and structures - including grave monuments and markers - known as St Stephen's Chapel (Anglican) and Churchyard thereon.
Pt Allot 3 Sec 2 Suburbs of Auckland (RT NA554/227), North Auckland Land District
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
St Stephen's Chapel, the small wooden church at Judge Bay, Auckland, replaced an earlier stone chapel built for Bishop Selwyn in 1844. The latter structure designed by Sampson Kempthorne had collapsed in July 1845 only seven months after its opening.
The new chapel was designed by Frederick Thatcher and opened in early 1857. It is an aesthetically pleasing, well proportioned structure similar in general appearance to the other 'Selwyn Churches' of the time. It has a shingled roof pitched at 60°, vertical board and batten cladding, lancet windows and an exposed timber frame on the interior. However what makes St Stephen's unusual, indeed unique amongst early New Zealand churches is its plan. This is in the form of a Greek Cross in contrast to the traditional Latin cruciform plan of other churches by Selwyn/Thatcher partnership. The second chapel was almost certainly built as a venue for the Constitution of the United Church of England and Ireland in New Zealand Conference and the signing of the Constitution there on 13 June 1857. The Greek Cross plan of St Stephen's synonymous with the establishment of the Church in the first three centuries after the death of Christ, could therefore be seen to parallel symbolically the setting up of Church government in New Zealand with the signing of the constitution.
Thus, the historical significance of St Stephen's lies in the chapel's association with this very important event in the history of the Church of England in New Zealand, its link with Bishop Selwyn and the fact that it occupies the site of one of the first churches built in New Zealand under his direction. Also, the cemetery around the chapel contains the graves of many of Auckland's most illustrious early settlers.
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.