Chalmers Church

2 Elizabeth Place And Sophia Street, Timaru

  • Chalmers Church, Timaru. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Shellie Evans . Taken By: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Date: 2/12/2013.
  • Chalmers Church, Timaru. Early photo of organ and sanctuary 1941 before screen was put up in 1963..
    Copyright: Chalmers Church, Timaru.
  • Chalmers Church, Timaru. One of the many beautiful stained glass windows.
    Copyright: Chalmers Church, Timaru. Date: 27/08/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7107 Date Entered 17th December 1993 Date of Effect 17th December 1993


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 313 DP 1 (RT CB10/21) and part of the land described as Lot 311 DP 1 (RT CB78/155), Canterbury Land District and the building known as Chalmers Church thereon. Refer to the extent map tabled at the Heritage New Zealand Board meeting on 11 September 2014.

City/District Council

Timaru District


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 313 DP 1 (RT CB10/21), Lot 311 DP 1 (RT CB78/155), Canterbury Land District


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Designed by James Turnbull and built in 1903, Chalmers Church is an example of a sizeable Gothic Revival church constructed in plastered brick. It was Timaru's second Presbyterian church building, built by a breakaway group when the local congregation was divided over prohibition. Chalmers Church gradually became the centre for Presbyterian worship in Timaru. The earlier Trinity Church (1876) has been demolished.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Turnbull, James S

James S. Turnbull (1864-1947) worked in a Melbourne architect's office before returning to establish his own practice in Timaru in c.1895. In a career which spanned over forty years, Turnbull designed a wide range of building types in the South Canterbury town, including Chalmers Presbyterian Church (1903-04) and a considerable number of large town houses.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1903 -

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.