History – Centenary 1885-1985

Church of St Jude


Centenary History

1884 - 1985


of the

Western Church


It is exciting to be involved in a Centenary; to become conscious of that long stream of people and events that constitute a history. And to feel part of it - and to be part of it.

And already the celebration is over - the anticipation and challenge (and apprehension) has been met, handled and passed. And what a thrill it was - heady, chaotic, very human and quite divine. God has indeed been good to us at St Judes, past and present. He has used us as He uses all who wait upon Him in faith.

What then of the future - which is already with us? We must not be satisfied with our goodly heritage - we must use it, enrich it, and hand it on to those whose history we will be. We may not rest - we are all pilgrims on a journey.

So for this respite on the journey,




Maurice Venville,

the Vicar

Advent Sunday, 1985

Early Days in the Whau


In 1848 an area of the Whau (Avondale) had been considered by J.J. Symonds and Colonel Haultin as a possible settlement for the NZ Fencibles, but this proposal was abandoned. The Maoris had long ago developed a trading and transport route here, using portages (Portage Road, New Lynn) and waterways to link the Kaipara, Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, with the Waikato River and Waipa River basins.


In the mid-1860s, a man returned to Auckland from Australia with 200 horses for use in the NZ Wars of that time. He was an Irishman born in 1840, and on his arrival in Auckland, he married and settled at the Whau. The locals knew him as “Honest” John Bollard. He was a farmer, land agent, valuer, 54 years on the local school committee (Chairman for 51 years), Chairman of the Road Board, first President of the Avondale Jockey Club 1890 - 1915, and most importantly to our history - Founder and original Trustee of St Jude’s Anglican Church. His activities also included 30 years as Coroner, a JP for 40 years and MP for Eden - 18 years. Mr Bollard died in 1915, aged 75.


For some years, Arch Hill, Mt Albert and Whau Districts were considered to be in the Parish of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (“St Sep’s”), but with population growth, and the subsequent increase of parishioners in the outlying districts, it was decided that the Whau Public Hall be opened for the observance of Divine Service, and this was duly celebrated with the usual ceremonies for such occasions by the Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Cowie, on 28th June 1874.


At a meeting of the congregation held after the service, the following persons were duly elected as committee : Minister’s Warden, Mr John Bollard; People’s Wardens, Mr Lees and Mr Owen.


At the first meeting of the committee on 22nd July 1874, Mr Bollard was appointed Secretary and Mr Owen, Treasurer. It was resolved at this meeting that the offer of a site for a church from Mr James Palmer be accepted, and that steps be taken at once to have the same conveyed to the Mt Albert and Whau Trust.


The first trial statement of Church Accounts appear in the Minutes of the Whau Church Committee held on Sunday 5th December 1875. The amount received from offertories for the half year was £23 14s 9d, and from subscriptions £23 15s 0d. The minutes continue “That the Clergyman’s stipend, £52 0s 0d, had been paid in full, but to date there was a balance due to the Treasurer of £13 8s 3d, which deficit was reduced to £2 7s 8d on 30th September, but then another quarter’s stipend becomes due.” In order to raise funds, Mr A.K. Taylor offered to deliver a lecture in the Whau Hall. Another suggestion was to hold a soirée or social gathering. It was also resolved “that in the opinion of this Committee, it is not possible to guarantee a larger sum than £40, or at most £45 towards the Clergyman’s stipend for the year 1876.”

Decision to Build


The Annual Meeting of Parishioners in 1882 authorised the Vestry to commence a Church Building Fund, and it was decided to open an account in the Auckland Savings Bank in the name of the “Whau Church Building Fund.” Later in 1882 the name Avondale appears for the first time in Church records instead of Whau.


It was proposed in July 1882 that plans be drawn up to build a church to seat 100 adults, and to cost about £300, with seats included, the seats to be ordinary varnished pews, and that a shed be erected for horses 15’ x 10’ with iron roof. It was originally resolved that the church should be parallel within 60’ from the road, and to be placed in the upper half of the grounds. On 21st October 1882, the following tenders were received for the building of the new church :-


Smith   ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         £520   0s 0d

Bentham          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         £495 10s 0d

T Upton          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         £551   0s 0d

H E Brabazon ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         ...         £740   0s 0d


On that date “It was resolved that in the opinion of the Vestry, the lowest tender (Mr Bentham) is satisfactory and in the event of the work being carried out as tendered for, should be accepted. CARRIED.” Unfortunately, it appears that funds were not forthcoming and 1883 was devoted to fund-raising and laying out of grounds and planting of trees.


On 2nd May 1884 it was proposed by Mr Bollard that amended plans and specifications be given to Mr Bartley, Architect, and that he call for new tenders at the end of July. In August 1884 the following seven tenders were received and considered :-

Church Complete Chancel & Vestry Spire
W.A. Turk £517   0s 0d  £33 0s 0d  -
 I. Colebrook  £480   0s 0d  - -
 W. & J. Forsyth  £463   8s 6d  £96 0s 0d  £20 0s 0d
 A Beetham   £460   0s 0d  £70 0s 0d  £39 0s 0d
 J.H. Smyth  £438   0s 0d  £34 0s 0d  £22 0s 0d
 T. Lynch  £434   0s 0d  £91 0s 0d  £25 0s 0d
 A. Pattinson  £430 17s 0d  £109 0s 0d  £15 0s 0d




It was decided to ask Mr Bentham if he was willing to carry out his original tender of £495 10s 0d. He agreed, and the building was commenced.


An application was made to the Diocesan Standing Committee for a loan of £300 0s 0d, but the reply stated the Committee could only lend £150 0s 0d at 8%. Later the General Trust Board loaned another £150 0s 0d.

Laying of Foundation Stone


In October 1884 the following report appeared in the Church Gazette - ‘The foundation stone of a church for this district was laid by the Bishop on Saturday afternoon, September 13th. For some time past the congregation has been desirous of building a church, but until the present time have not seen their way clear to do so. The service began with the hymn ‘Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, Zion City of our God’; after which, part of 2 Chronicles VI was read by the Archdeacon. The Bishop then said special prayers, and the hymn ‘This Stone to Thee in Faith we Lay’, was sung. The Revd J. Haselden, Incumbent of the district, then read the Document, which, together with the Church Gazette, the Annual Report of the Parochial District for 1883 and copies of the New Zealand Herald and the Evening Star, were placed in a glass case in the cavity under the stone prepared for its reception. The Document read as follows :-


“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. To the honour and glory of Almighty God, and the edification of the Holy Catholic Church, the foundation stone of this church was laid by the Right Revd William Garden Cowie D.D., Bishop of the Diocese, on this, the thirteenth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and eighty four; being the forty-eighth year of the reign of our Most Gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Victoria; Sir William Drummond Jervois being Governor of the colony; The Most Revd Henry John Chitty Harper D.D., Bishop of Christchurch, being Primate; The Revd John Haselden being Incumbent of this parochial district; Mr John Bollard and Mr Alfred N. Howell being the churchwardens; Messrs Althorpe, Garrett, Leach, Matthews, Beck and Simpson being the Vestrymen; Mr Palmer, being the giver of the site; Mr Allen Kerr Taylor, Mr John Bollard and Captain Clayton, being the trustees of the site; Mr Edward Bartley, being the architect; Mr Amos Bentham, being the Builder. This church was dedicated under the name of Saint Jude, for the celebration of Divine worship according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of the Province of New Zealand, commonly called the Church of England.”


The Bishop then laid the stone, and said prayers, and delivered an address. He spoke of the need of a church in the district, and of the important lesson that St Jude, whose name the church was to bear, taught in his words, “Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” A collection was afterwards made, which amounted to £15 12s 6d and was placed by the Bishop on the stone. The hymn ‘Christ is our Corner Stone’ was sung, and the Bishop pronounced the Benediction. Besides the clergy already mentioned, there were present the Revs G.H.S. Walpole, J. Bates. T. O’Callaghan, J.K. Davis, Lloyd Keating and W. Tebbs. Archdeacon Clarke and Mr V.E. Rice sent expressions of goodwill and their offerings, as they were unable to be present at the service. The church will require to furnish it properly, a bell; a set of communion vessels; a chancel carpet (12 feet by 10 feet); 12 yards of matting, three feet wide, for the passage; an altar cloth and altar linen; two chairs for the chancel. The Incumbent would gladly and thankfully accept any of these necessary articles from friends of the church. His address is St Luke’s Parsonage, Mt Albert, Auckland.’

Opening and First Service


The Church Gazette of January 1885 tells us -


‘For some years past the congregation at Avondale has worshipped in the Public Hall, but now it possesses a really handsome little church, in every way suitable for the celebration of Divine Worship, and a credit to the people of the district. The church was opened by a special service on Tuesday December 23 at 7:30pm. The Bishop was preceded into the church by Archdeacon Dudley, the Revs E.J. Phillips and A.H. Boucher, and the Incumbent, the Revd J. Haselden. After the hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation’ had been sung, special prayer was offered by the Bishop. Evening Prayer, as far as the Third Collect, was said by the Incumbent, the first lesson being read by the Revd E.J. Phillips and the second by the Revd A.H. Boucher. Archdeacon Dudley said the concluding part of the prayers.

The sermon was preached by the Bishop, using the text from Revelation 11 v19. “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his Testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” In the course of his sermon he said that the erection of a church like St Jude’s was a token of the extension of the dominion of Christ, and it was creditable to the congregation that they should have erected such a building to the honour of God. When they considered that the church had been erected and was maintained by free-will offerings, they were encouraged to thank God for the past and hope for the future. The church was well filled, 130 persons being present. Many who would have liked to be present, both among the clergy and the laity, were prevented by the press of engagements which always comes just before Christmas. The church has been well furnished throughout. The following presents were received by the Incumbent:


A bell from Mr A.K. Taylor, Mt Albert; A carpet for the chancel from Mr R. Beck, Mt Albert; Two chancel chairs from Mr Bollard, Avondale; Matting from Mr Peck; Door mats from Mr Matthews; A worked altar cloth from Mrs Dakin; Copies of Hymns A&M for minister, choir and visitors from Messrs Bollard and Matthews. The Incumbent will be glad if some other friends of the church will give lamps and a set of communion vessels. The church has been built from designs by Mr E. Bartley, Architect, and the work which has been thoroughly well done, was carried out by Mr A. Bentham, Builder.



The total cost of the church amounted to £588 8s 3d. This was raised as follows :-

Collected from the Parishioners : £143 15s 0d
Offertories at laying of Foundation Stone and Opening : £ 34   1s 2d
Concerts, etc. : £ 36   8s 3d
Sundries : £ 74   3s 2d
Loan : £300   0s 0d


First Annual Meeting


First Report - Annual General Meeting - 12th February 1885.


“The great work of the past year has been the erection and opening of the church. In August, tenders were called for the second time for its erection, the work being curtailed, but the tenders sent in were much higher in proportion to the work required than the first tenders.

After much careful consideration on the part of the Vestry, it was resolved to accept the lowest of the tenders first called for, viz that of Mr Bentham for £498 10s 0d, which included the completion of the church throughout, also picket fence gates and a shed for horses. This was done and the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop on September 13th, and the church was opened on December 23rd. The congregation now have a most complete and suitable church, well-finished in every way; but there is a debt upon it and the sooner this is reduced the better. Some promises for considerable sums which were accepted by the Vestry in good faith, and upon which the Vestry reckoned, have not been paid; this of course has made the debt larger than was anticipated. Substantial assistance has been received from sources outside the district, and it is therefore the more incumbent upon the congregation to endeavour to do their part faithfully. The interest which has to be paid on the loan is at the rate of 8%, and in two years a sinking fund of 5% will also have to be paid. A statement of the accounts will be found at the end of the report. The congregation has slightly increased during the past year. The general offertory shows an increase of £3 15s 10d over that of last year, and the new year commences without any liability to the Treasurer for the ordinary expenses. Donations have been received to the amount of £11 0s 0d. It is hoped that a substantial and regular income will be received from the seat rents which has been fixed at 10/- per annum for single seatings and £2 0s 0d for a whole pew, payable half-yearly in advance. It is proposed to hold a Morning Service once a month at 11 o’clock in addition to the regular service at 3:15pm, which is held every Sunday. There have been 13 baptisms, 2 burials and 1 marriage.


The Revd J.K. Davis M.A. was appointed to the incumbency on 1st January 1886, and in the Vestry meeting of 13th April, the following resolution was passed :- “THAT this Vestry hereby tender their hearty thanks to that of St Luke’s for their kindness in consenting to the Incumbent’s absence from the Morning Service there on the second Sunday in each month, so as to enable him to administer the Holy Communion in the morning at Avondale.” (St Jude’s was part of St Luke’s parish at the time).

Pew Rents and Arguments

It is interesting to note the customs prevalent towards the end of the 19th Century. The Sunday School Inspector was paid a stipend towards which 10/- was contributed. Lighting and cleaning the Church, and ringing the bell were all paid jobs. Members of the congregation paid rent for their pews at 10/- a sitting or a whole pew £2 0s 0d per annum, to be paid half-yearly and in advance.


In February 1888 parishioners of St Jude’s recorded their protest against the Minister of the Mt Albert district fulfilling all the duties of Anglican Chaplain at the Asylum (which became Carrington/Oakley Hospitals) without remuneration, and considered that a grant should be made towards his stipend from the income derived From the Selwyn Memorial or some other fund.

Lean Times

The report for the year 1889 made sorry reading :-


“The state of the church has not been a cheering one, either financially or otherwise. The congregations suffered a great loss in the early part of the year in the departure of Dr Hooper and his family and several other church families from the place. Since then the attendances have been small and the offertories consequently poor. But besides this cause of the deficiency of income, several seat holders are in arrears with the payment of their rents. As a result, no progress has been made towards clearing off the principal of the debt on the church, and even the interest has not been able to be fully paid.”


In the light of the above report, Mr Haigh moved ‘THAT in consequence of the financial condition of our church, St Jude’s Avondale, this congregation consider it desirable to dispense with the services of the clergyman after the 31st day of March next ensuing.’ Mr Bollard, in seconding the motion, expressed his great regret that such a course as that proposed should be necessary, but he considered that owing to the very unsatisfactory state of our funds, it was the only one open to us.


Subsequently, a Special Meeting was called to “reconsider the above resolution and to draw up an address to the Bishop in consequence of the said resolution being irregular and not in accordance with Ecclesiastical rules.” The following resolutions were unanimously agreed to : ‘That this meeting desire to convey to His Lordship the Bishop of Auckland their extreme regret at the form in which their resolution of their last Annual Meeting touching their inability to contribute as heretofore towards their clergyman’s stipend was drawn up. They beg to assure His Lordship that they had no intention to ignore his authority as their Bishop and that it was only ignorance and inadvertence that led them to commit their error, and that this meeting desires respectfully to inform His Lordship the Bishop of Auckland of the extreme regret with which they find themselves unable for the present to continue their contributions to the stipend of the clergyman whom he has appointed to minister to them and to the congregation of St. Luke's; As though the debt incurred in the building of the church 5 years ago, and through falling off of the seat rents and offertories, they find themselves now involved to an extent which does not admit their continuing of the stipend as before. But they beg that His Lordship will let them have a clergyman’s services once in two months, for which they are prepared to pay £5 0s 0d for the remaining portion of the current year. Such payment in the way His Lordship shall direct.’ The Chairman was requested to forward the above resolutions.


Signed Edward O. Haigh, Chairman

29th April 1890


Unfortunately, thorough searching through the archives has not revealed the outcome of these resolutions presented to the Bishop.

Lots of Life


Parish life continued with Sunday School treats and picnics, some held at Mr Baxter’s grounds situated beyond Henderson. A report in the Church Gazette tells us that on February 26th 1898, a party numbering 134 had the pleasure of travelling in four ‘brakes’ to the picnic grounds. The report goes on to say, “The morning broke in dullness and rain fell at starting, but cleared into mild calm and sunshine. The day passed pleasantly, many ladies of Avondale having given much work and contributed good refreshments, to say nothing of their presence at the fete. All arrived at Avondale safely and happily at 7:00pm.” Cost of tickets to these events were Adults 2/- each, children under 16 and not Sunday School scholars, 1/- each.


Music has always been a very strong feature of worship at St Jude’s, no more so than in the early days of our Church. There were full choral services most “heartily rendered”, small choral works presented by choir and Sunday School scholars, and highly successful musical ‘soirée’ evenings to help raise funds for the church. Also very active at that time was the Avondale Amateur Dramatic Club under the leadership of Mrs J.R. Simpson, who was Choir-mistress at that time. A description of one concert tells us that “The tableaux were beautiful and perfect, and the Comedietta both innocent and amusing.”


Floral Services and Flower Shows were also very much a part of Parish life.

We can deduce from the above that people’s social life revolved very much around the church.

Patriots, All


A report in the July 1897 edition of the Church Gazette shows how high patriotism was running at the time of Queen Victoria’s reign - “St Jude’s - The Queen’s Assession Services, morning, afternoon and evening, were unique and good, bright and hearty. The morning service had a full congregation and was attended by many Avondale Volunteers in uniform. The Vicar preached from Isa. IV, 5 - ‘Upon all the glory there shall be a defence’. He showed how England’s glory had been safely kept by divine power and the defence of God; that Victoria had ruled in judgement; that she had never stained or marred the brightness of her royal throne, her crown, or her fair name, nor had obstructed anything meant for the public good, but had been an imitator of Christ, being ‘harmless and undefiled’, a lover of good men, of the nation, and that the Queen followed whatsoever was lovely and of good report.”


And in 1900 so much money was required for the Patriotic Fund, it was deemed advisable to abandon the idea of a picnic that year. On 28th October 1898 seat rents were abolished and the words “All seats free” were painted on the Notice Board.


Church of Good Shepherd


Parishioners from Avondale South (Blockhouse Bay) were at that time meeting at the home of Mr Thompson for divine service, held once or twice each month. Efforts were being made to build a mission church and Sunday school on church land overlooking Blockhouse Bay and the Manukau, which resulted in a church being erected and opened on 31st August 1898 - called the Church of the Good Shepherd. It is interesting to note that the Vicar, Revd Larkins, received three-quarters of the money required from friends in England. The Church of the Good Shepherd was later renamed St Saviours and the two churches worked in harmony under one Vestry, until Blockhouse Bay became a Mission District on 1st September 1966.

1900 - 1939 Twentieth Century and Improvement


The Envelope System of giving was first tried in 1900 when Mr Blacklock, Vestryman, was of the opinion that strong measures should be taken to help the church meet its ordinary working expenses. Further to using envelopes it was suggested that two young ladies go round the district and collect funds, and if they were not successful, the Vestry could adopt some other method. A letter from Revd Larkins, on holiday in England, intimated that he had been most successful in collecting contributions towards the reduction of St Jude’s debt. Finances improved over the next few years with the Envelope System in use and St Jude’s promised to pay £75 0s 0d to a clergyman willing to divide his time equally between St Luke’s and St Jude’s, so that Avondale could enjoy his services on Sunday morning and evening on alternate Sundays.


With the increasing settlement of the district, it was felt that a move should be made for the erection of a hall for the Sunday School. A strong and influential committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds, and a Ladies Working Guild was inaugurated on Wednesday 10th June 1903 under the presidency of Mrs Wilson.


Our first pipe organ was installed in the church in April 1904, without any cost to the church authorities. This was due to the hard work and money raised by St Jude’s Choir and the Avondale Amateur Dramatic Company. Many of our present parishioners will remember the small boys who pumped the organ, and who frequently fell asleep and had to be prodded awake.


By the end of 1906 there showed an increased attendance of Sunday School scholars, and this resulted in May 1907 in tenders being received for the erection of the Sunday School. Mr Thomas Moor’s tender of £295 0s 0d was accepted for the main building, with the ante-rooms to be added later. The foundation stone was laid on Saturday 29th June 1907, and the Dedication of the Sunday School took place on Sunday 1st September of that year. In spite of the incessant rain on that day, and sickness so prevalent in the parish, over one hundred and twenty children, parents and friends, were present at the service. Having the church hall now enlarged the activities that were possible in the parish. In 1908 a Mutual Improvement and Athletic Club was started for the youth of the parish. This was the means of drawing together some 50 or 60 men and boys “to give them something healthy and interesting to think about.” The Girls’ Friendly Society grew in members, and in 1912 a branch of The Church of England Men’s Society was started. By this time both hall and Church were entirely debt-free.


A request was received from the Education Board for the use of the Sunday School for day school purposes, and this was agreed to, with the rent being fixed at £1 0s 0d. By March 1913 three good classrooms had been added to the south side of the school at a cost of £75 0s 0d. It is recorded that the whole of the work had been speedily and well done by Mr Spargo, with all of the central hall available for kindergarten work, with Miss Statham (Avondale Primary School) offering to train teachers for the work.


Gas had been installed in 1908, and in 1913 it was resolved that gas lamps be erected between the church and gate. Also in 1913, a Building Fund was opened for the erection of a Vicarage.


“A Railroad Runs Through the Middle of the House!”


As all present and past parishioners know, traffic and rail noise has always been a background to our life and worship at St. Jude’s. In 1914 a letter was received from the Manager of NZ Railways stating that steps had been taken to prevent engines whistling when passing St. Jude’s Church on Sunday mornings.


“War” at Home and Abroad!


However, more than train whistles changed the life and worship in St. Jude’s by the end of 1914. The ‘Great War’ had begun. The parishioners were pleased to welcome to the congregation some of the Maori troops camped at Avondale Racecourse, as they enriched the life of the parish. For example, at the church bazaar of that year in aid of the Vicarage Fund, some of the troops attended and performed a Maori Haka. The Young Men’s Bible Class had to farewell many of its members who were going to the front in Europe, but kept in touch with their friends both by prayer and correspondence.


Ladies Militant


As in all walks of life, not everyone sees ‘eye-to-eye’ - and in 1916 a confrontation arose between the Ladies’ Vicarage Fund Committee and the Vestry, whereby the ladies refused to hand over monies raised by them for the building of the Vicarage, until they had received from the Vestry a written guarantee that the monies held in their name be used for no other purpose than that for which they had been raised. After some correspondence, including a decision from the Bishop, of which the ladies took no notice, it was finally resolved by Vestry agreeing to sign a receipt stating that the money would be applied for the purpose of building or purchasing a Vicarage and for no other purpose.

Grown Up And On Our Own


1919 brought a change in boundaries and St. Jude’s was separated from St. Luke’s and became a separate charge. Also during that year the supper room was added to the church hall.


At the Vestry Meeting of April 17th 1919, it was decided that ladies should be elected to assist and advise the Vestry, but note to vote on Church matters. Although they did not receive the vote, the ladies continue to work hard and raise funds. An extract from the Ladies’ Guild Financial Statement of May and June 1919 show the following purchases :


Cash Book -   1/-

Ledger -   2/6d

2 dozen dolls at 6/- per dozen

6 yards elastic at 2d per yard

2 rolls shirting - 24 yards each at 1/4d per yard

2 heads of wool at 6/11d per head


The font and marble tablet at present gracing our Baptistry were erected in 1921, in memory of those belonging to St. Jude’s who had made the great sacrifice during the 1914/18 War.


And a House to Live in


In late 1923 Mr Bartley, Architect, drew up plans and specifications for the building of the Vicarage, and on December 4th a tender of £1,268 received from T. Millar was accepted. In March 1924 the Vestry accepted the Avondale Borough Council’s offer of £8 15s 0d for laying water on to the Vicarage. It was also agreed that Farmers Union Trading Co. supply the blinds for the Vicarage. A large party assembled at the Vicarage on May 3rd 1924 when the Archdeacon of Auckland congratulated the Vestry and congregation on their completion of so large and comfortable a building. Canon Haselden also spoke, giving some history of the parish in the past, and he expressed a hope that the Vicar, Revd Jecks, would now remain some time in Avondale.


The year 1925 saw the introduction of ‘mod-cons’. Electric light was installed in the church and hall and water was laid on to the parish hall from the Vicarage, using half-inch piping, but the Vicarage had to wait until 1930 to have electric light installed to replace the gas. Towards the end of 1926 New Lynn and Avondale parishes were separated and the Revd Grace was appointed to Avondale Parish.

Hard Times


The early Thirties were difficult and hard times for all, including the church. St.Jude’s was not able to afford the services of a Vicar full-time, arrears in stipend and the general running of the church were building up. Services were cut and the Vicarage let, and in October 1931 the Archdeacon introduced the Revd Stimpson as Locum Tenant for the Parish for the remainder of the year. Even the Ladies’ Guild were called upon for a loan of £8 0s 0d towards the deficit, and Mr Waygood’s offer to keep the church organ in repair for two years free of cost was accepted with thanks. Vestry meetings of the 1930s seem to have been devoted to the financial straits of the church and the ways and means of improving the same.


Another War


Extracts from Vestry Minutes show that none were spared the exigencies of war :

“BLACKOUT” Vestry authorised purchase of material to blackout Sunday School windows. (May ‘41)
“PATRIOTIC PURPOSES” Hall to be let free of charge for farewells of soldiers on final leave. (May ‘41)
“FIREWATCHING” The Diocesan Solicitor wrote that the onus was on Vestry, as occupiers, to provide Firewatchers and Fireguards. (Mar ‘42)
“FIRE PREVENTION” agreed to purchase six galvanised buckets “for war emergency purposes” (April ‘42)
“GALVANISED BUCKETS - FIRE PREVENTION” Agreed to purchase 2lb of aluminium paint to cover the above buckets. (May ‘42)


Avondale Homeguard - Donation


A donation of 15/- was received from the NCOs of the above unit. Mr Blundell was asked to convey the thanks of the Vestry to the NCOs concerned. Mr Blundell asked that the hall be loaned to the NCOs on Friday nights of each week for the purposes of holding a class of instruction.


The war years also brought about a shortage of clergy, which resulted in a succession of Priests-in-Charge from 1942 - 1946, when the Revd Bamford was instituted on January 3rd.


Postwar Changes


In 1947, thoughts were turned to a War Memorial to take the form of a Celtic Cross, and a design submitted by Messrs McNab and Mason at a total cost of £116 10s 6d was accepted. The memorial was duly unveiled by Group Captain Newell - Senior Officer, Whenuapai.


The advancing process of automation was even felt in the church. Although our organ blower was given an advance of 25/- to 35/- per quarter in 1944, 1946 saw him overtaken by the installation of a mechanical blower for the organ at a cost of £36.


1949 saw an increase in young people’s activities - in February a Scout Group known as St. Jude’s Scout Group was formed. This group met in the church hall for a number of years before moving to their own den in New North Road, still retaining the name of St. Jude’s. The formation of a Brownie Pack and Girl Guide Group took place in December of that same year. Girl Guides continue to meet every Tuesday evening, but it is sad to note in our Centennial Year that the Brownie Pack has had to go into recess because of the shortage of leaders.



Life in the parish in the early Fifties was very active as we read of reports presented to the Annual Meeting of 1950 from Church Wardens, Sunday School, Mothers’ Union, Flower Show Committee, Young Wives’ Fellowship, Choir, Boy Scouts and Guides and Youth Fellowship. More ‘mod-cons’ were installed in the Vicarage with the installation of an electric stove and hot water. In the Fifties the Church also extended its ministry to Victoria Hall, Rosebank Road, with one evening service each two months and one Communion Service every month. Although time was very much taken up with local activities, thoughts were often given to the wider church overseas, an example being a retiring collection for the Westminster Abbey Restoration Fund being taken up at three services during July 1953.


It was also at this time that work was put into planning the extension of activities in the Waterview area, whilst the people at Blockhouse Bay were looking to enlarge their place of worship.


A much loved and well known personality was Mrs Rosa Bollard, who had played the organ for 59 years. After her death, the long-standing organ fund was renamed the ROSA BOLLARD MEMORIAL FUND and used to purchase a very fine pipe organ. This was dedicated as a fitting tribute to her long service on November 30th 1957.




Transport has always been a problem in our Church activities, as we are mainly one-car families with husbands using the car during the day for work, but it was never more a problem than it was in July 1954 when the Treasurer was authorised to purchase an Annual Auckland Tramways Board Ticket for the Vicar - as he had no transport either.


The Wells Organisation came on the scene in 1956, with its fundraising scheme throughout the Diocese, working at the parish level. The aim was to improve parish finances by way of regular weekly pledged giving, using the envelope system. Certainly it succeeded in this, but at a cost. Many parishioners felt it to be too “super-slick” and “foreign” - very “high-pressure stuff”, and many felt offended and put off. This legacy lasted for many years.


Missions, Camps and Conferences


The 1960s saw a decade dominated by Missions. One notable one was that conducted by the Revd Bob Lowe. To accommodate the number of people attending, a large marquee was erected at the back of the church and families attended complete with rugs and hotties! A later mission was conducted by the Revd Matthew Calder. The Avondale Picture Theatre was the venue for a rally conducted by Mrs Agnes Sandford. Special services were held at the Avondale College Hall, where Bob Lowe spoke to us once again. Many will remember the numerous cups and saucers transported from place to place.


Up until 1966 the Vestry of St. Jude’s was composed of St. Saviour’s, St. Christopher’s and St. Jude’s people, but in September of that year, Bishop Gowing advised that Blockhouse Bay ‘will be a Mission District, with the Revd M. Rounthwaite as Priest in Charge’. From that time on, St. Jude’s and St. Saviour’s became two separate areas with their own Vestry to minister to them.


Family camps and Conferences were the order of the day in the 1970s, ranging from Orewa to Parau.   One of the topics for discussion during the early Seventies was the Union of the five churches in Avondale and the possible closing of St. Jude’s. We are pleased to say this never came to fruition. For a period of time from May 1970, the Samoan Christian Congregational Church held their services in St. Jude’s on a Sunday afternoon. Young Wives and Men’s groups were active and held many social events and dinners, not only in the Church Hall, but at outside venues to help raise funds for Missions. Themes used for the dinners were - an American Evening, an Italian Evening, an English Evening and even a Whitbread Yacht Race Evening. At this time we took a lively interest in Queen Victoria School with financing student bursaries and getting to know the girls in our own homes. Free dances were run in the Church Hall during 1970 / 71 for the youth of Avondale, but with the ever-increasing need of security and supervision, these eventually had to be suspended. 1975 saw the formation of ‘The Come Together Group’, which gives men and women of all ages the opportunity to ‘come together’ in fellowship and friendship. This group still meets monthly.

Our Vision

The 1980s brings us new goals and challenges as we step into our second century. The erection of this beautiful little church could not have been accomplished without great and combined effort on the part of parishioners generally. The effort and self-denial is known, perhaps, to God alone.



Parish Clergy


1884 - 1919 “Mt. Albert and Whau District”


Haselden J, 1884 - 86

The first vicar of Mt. Albert, he came from England as a child and was educated at St. John’s College. His daughter died in Mt. Albert in September 1985.


Davis J King, 1886 - 89

Son of Richard Davis, early missionary in the North.


Hooper Wm. Dr, 1889 - 91

CMS Missionary in India, he had a distinguished scholastic career at Oxford.


Larkins Fred, 1891 - 1901

Came to New Zealand in 1876 and was in business in Auckland before being ordained by Bishop Cowie. Raised the money to build St. Saviour’s.


Wilson W H, 1901 - 08

Served in Nelson, Reefton, Te Awamutu and Paeroa, before “Mt. Albert and Avondale”. Grandfather of Mrs Noeline Cullen (1960-66).


Parry T J, 1908 - 12

Ordained in London, he was a chaplain in the Great War and curate to retired Bishop Neilgan.


Jecks H R, 1912 - 16

Ordained at Durham in 1895. Served as Home Mission Priest before becoming vicar of St. Lukes in 1912. Resigned in 1916 to become Mission Priest in New Lynn, Henderson District. He married Miss Amy Reid of Mt. Albert.


Fletcher E, 1916 - 18

Trained in Birmingham, ordained by Bishop Neilgan. He served in Northern Wairoa and Waihi. Later went to Australia and was rural dean of Albury. Died in 1950.


Greenwood A J, 1918 - 19

From Riverina, he served for 19 years in Australia before coming to Mt. Albert. A colourful personality, Fr. John was the much-loved vicar of St. Albans until 1956.



1919 - On our Own


Jecks H R, 1919 - 27

The first vicar of Avondale with New Lynn.   A familiar figure around the western suburbs in his horse and trap, he was widely and affectionately known as “Jockey”. Always a man to respond to a challenge. He came out of retirement to serve as Chaplain of King’s College from 1942 - 45. He died in 1952, aged 87. He and his family were the first to occupy the vicarage.


Drake A. 1927 - 30

Served his whole ministry in this Diocese. A kindly man, well-remembered for his sonorous voice. A keen bowler, bridge player and gardener. A granddaughter, Revd Gwen Needham, is Priest in Charge of Kawakawa.


Goldthorpe H J L, 1930-31

Served in Dunedin and England, before coming here as vicar.


Grace A F, 1932 - 36

Scion of the early missionary family. Ordained in 1889 - 91, he had a varied ministry, including chaplaincy of Wanganui Collegiate, King’s College and the Mental Hospital.


Good E C, 1937 - 39

Priest in Charge


Wingfield H B, 1939 - 40

Priest in Charge, An Australian - ordained 1896 - 1901. He was 17 years vicar of St. Albans


Cable J H, 1940 - 43

Priest in Charge, from and old Dunedin Family. His whole ministry was in Auckland Diocese. A warm, colourful and much-loved priest, noted for his humility and good works.


Watson Canon C A B, 1944 - 45

Priest in Charge. He came from retirement after 34 years as Vicar of St. Paul's. Strong and determined, he was a great promoter of missionary work.


Bamford E E, 1946 - 51

Long-time Tutor and then Warden of St. John’s College. All his ministry was spent in Auckland Diocese.


Gloyne A B, 1951 - 54

Ordained by the Bishop of Coventry in 1934 - 35. He served in England, West Indies, RNVR and Wellington before coming to Auckland in 1948. He returned to England to test his vocation to the Religious Life.


Collard-Scruby A F, 1954 - 60

Ordained in London. He came to New Zealand in 1939. After St. Jude’s, he was Chaplain to Greenlane, Cornwall and National Women’s Hospitals - a mammoth task which he fulfilled with great devotion. He was made Senior Hospital Chaplain.


Cullen C L, 1960 - 66

Ordained in Auckland 1951 - 52. His ministry is marked by a deep sense of pastoral care. He has been very active in work for the Anglican Trust for Women and Children.


Ford B M, 1966 - 69

Ordained in London 1940 - 42. He came to New Zealand as Chaplain to King’s Prep School in 1963. He was a well known hockey referee.


Gilberd B C, 1969 - 72

After two years at Teeside Industrial Mission, he established and supervised industrial chaplaincy in central New Zealand. Since 1980 he has been Inservice Training Officer for New Zealand. In July 1985 he was elected 9th Bishop of Auckland.


Kidd D J,

From Waipu Diocese. He is currently Chaplain at Auckland Hospital.


Creagh G T, 1975 - 77

Priest in Charge, now lecturer in Pastoral Theology at St. John’s College.


Vercoe W G, 1977 - 84

A “local son”. He grew up in Blockhouse Bay and went to Sunday School at St. Saviour’s. He was confirmed and was a server at St. Jude’s. He has had a wide-ranging ministry in this Diocese and in Samoa.


Venville Canon F M R, 1985 -

Was Chaplain to Oakley and Carrington Hospitals from 1963 and became Senior Hospital Chaplain from 1973.




Assistant Clergy and Parish Workers


Sister E Close C.A.

Sister J Randall C.A.

Revd John Powell

Revd Fred Howard

Captain Peter Lloyd C.A.

Captain Tony Church C.A.

Revd W J Hughes

Revd Ian MacDonald

Captain R Dyer C.A.



Ordained from this Parish


Revd J C Guiness, C.R. Deceased

Revd W G Vercoe, Vicar of One Tree Hill

Revd Reg Eades, Deceased

Revd R Miles, Retired

Revd Gary Blundell, Vicar of Waipu

Rosebank Road Cemetery Sheep


It is recorded by Deed of Conveyance bearing the date 12th July 1886 and registered in the Deeds Registry Office at Auckland No. 54788, that the piece of land containing about one acre, being part allotment to Parish of Titirangi (and now being the land in Certificate of Title Volume 531 Folio 112 Auckland Registry) be conveyed upon Allen Kerr Taylor, John Bollard and Matthew Thomas Clayton upon Trust for a cemetery and for religious charitable and educational purposes. In 1958 the General Trust Board of the Diocese of Auckland was appointed Trustee of the cemetery and in 1959 the Board handed responsibility over to the Parochial District of Avondale and the Avondale Cemetery Board was formed.


Saga of the Cemetery Sheep


Minutes of 17 February 1960

. . . . The pros and cons of keeping either goats or sheep for the purpose of clearing and keeping down weed growth were given full consideration. Sheep were favoured and consideration to further problems such as the erection of a suitable gate, provision of water and purchase of livestock to be dealt with at the next meeting of the board.


20 April 1960

. . . .   Cemetery Grounds : Moved and Seconded that Agent and Secretary be empowered to arrange for the provision of a gate, to be stock-proof, and the installation of a suitable drinking trough.



16 June 1960

Moved and Seconded a motion empowering the Agent to purchase 4 sheep.



17 August 1960

. . . . Mr. De Latour advised that the cemetery grounds were now stock-proof, a water trough installed, and that 4 sheep had been ordered.


19 October 1960

. . . . The vicar reported the flock to be in good heart and Mr. De Latour advised that he had arranged for the shearing of the sheep.


18 May 1961

. . . . Mr. De Latour reported the death of one sheep which was buried in the cemetery and that a stray had been set to run with the surviving flock, maintaining the status quo. He also reported that after a recent burial, the sheep destroyed some of the wreaths and it was therefore decided that the sheep should be fenced off for a period following a burial.


Mr. De Latour advised that the general condition of the cemetery showed improvement.


21 March 1962

. . . . The secretary was instructed to enquire of Mr. De Latour as to the fate of the sheep which once grazed in the cemetery.


23 April 1963

. . . . RESOLVED : To sell the two patent wool-clad grass cutters to help defray expenses.


Over the last twenty years the cemetery has been looked after by voluntary labour. It could be of interest to readers of this history to know that there are still plots available. So why not pay now and die later!

St. Christopher’s - Waterview


In 1952 a very active group of Waterview parishioners sowed the seed of the establishment of a daughter church in that area. By October 1952 a Waterview Ladies’ Guild and a Waterview Anglican Men’s Society had been formed and were delighted to hear from Standing Committee on 12 November that a site for a church at Waterview had been purchased. However it was not until June 1954 that the Loans Board granted an application for a loan of £1490 0s 0d for the purchase of a Keith Hay hall. The conditions of the loan to be :- Interest 2.5%, Capital repayments 2%, Management 0.5%.


At the Archdeacon’s suggestion, it was agreed that we extend the proposed pre-built church hall at Waterview by a total length of nine feet - making the whole 49’ in length to provide a Sanctuary 9’ wide and 8’ deep, with a small room on each side, making the total cost for the hall £1753 0s 0d.


St. Christopher’s House


In September 1962 a special meeting of parishioners endorsed the action of the Vestry in accepting Ford Construction Co.’s tender and plans for a Clergy house at Waterview, and the house being duly completed, the Curate took up residence in December 1962.


With the passage of time the congregation of St. Christopher’s has dwindled. Weekday services are held twice per month and the hall continues to serve the community as a meeting place for various groups.


Church Army and Franciscan Brothers


Over the years St. Jude’s has been blessed by its association with the Church Army and the Franciscan Brothers. Our Youth Group has been ably led by Captains Peter Lloyd, Tony Church and Richard Dyer, and Sisters Randell and Close helped with church visiting. Church Army Camp facilities at Huia have provided a venue for Sunday School, Youth Group and Church Family Camps, and we are fortunate to have the use of these facilities so close to home and in such a beautiful setting.


A very warm and close relationship has grown over the past few years with the Brothers. Their compassion for, and work amongst those less fortunate than ourselves has given us a much greater awareness of the problems that face society today, particularly the young. Nevertheless they retain their warm sense of humour and we are indebted to them for their warm affection for St. Jude's.

A Centennial Thanksgiving


Dear Lord as we look back to what was such a wonderful weekend, we praise You and thank You for all Your goodness. Your honouring of our efforts through months of preparations, which have been many and varied; The hours of planning and deliberation; the minor disagreements and little irritations. How gently you must have smiled on us - each wanting perfection in our own way, but for Your sake.


Lord You have endowed us with so many talents and skills, and these have been revealed in so many ways. The beautiful windows - we thank You for the gift of artistry and design, and the loving generosity which made them possible. The Centennial Spoons - so many bought and given with equal amounts of pride and love. The history of our little Church - researched, compiled checked and printed with painstaking care.


Then the various activities. You understood the disappointment when the ball was cancelled, but how wonderfully You blessed that evening. Our meeting with old friends and making new ones; exchanging stories of times past and our hopes for the future.


We had all wondered about the weather, and had perhaps erred on the side of pessimism. Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of faith. How often we pray and are surprised when our prayers are answered. As the day dawned and Your lovely world was bathed in pink and blue and gold, it was like another Resurrection Morning - as no doubt each day should be. At last the Great Day was here and You had given a glorious sunny morning. You were bidding us “Come, for all things are now ready”. The video had been lovingly arranged, so that none be left out. The music which had been practised again and again. Do You remember that last practice, Lord? Surely You could hardly forget it! All the sore throats and stupid mistakes - the Heavenly Choir must have cringed! As we look back, the choice of hymns was so perfect, perhaps especially “Fill my House unto the fullest”, for we did, Lord, and overflowed it! How glad your heart must have been.


As we entered the Church and the Hall, what a wonderful sight; the magnificence of the flowers, every flower so cleverly and lovingly arranged. The beauty of Your sanctuary, filling us with awe and wonder. Dear Lord, it would have been difficult not to recognise Your Presence. We had come together as children into our Father’s House, to share in the Feast of Love.


We were reminded that we are a “Holy People” (Peculiar in the Authorised Version. Perhaps You can forgive us Lord our little indiscretion of thinking that some are more peculiar than others!). As we prayed for the Whole State of Your Church, we so naturally thought of our loved ones. You alone could see the tears - tears on the heart, if not in our eyes, as we thought of those from whom we are separated by so many miles. Those who have stepped over the Horizon into your nearer Presence, and through whom our bond with You is strengthened. But perhaps most especially, those of our dear ones from whom we are separated because they do not, as yet, know You and love You, perhaps don’t even want to. But thank You, Lord, that you love and care for them, and we were reminded of this as we sang those words, “The love I bear is held from no-one . . . “, which included all for whom we had prayed.


Then, Lord, our little ones - Your little ones - who came bearing their gifts to be offered at Your Altar. Thank You, Lord, for each one of them. Sometimes we fond them just a bit trying, but help us to realise what a tremendous responsibility we have for passing on Your love to them, not only by word, but by example. Help us to recapture from them a little of the childlike simplicity and trust we knew so many years ago. Thank yo, for those who teach them, Sunday by Sunday, instilling into their young minds that You are their Saviour and Lord.


As we came to kneel at Your feet, to receive Your life outpoured for us, we realised afresh that we are “One in the Sacrament of Unity” and that we all need your forgiveness. Some might say, “Why spoil a nice day by thinking of death”, but we know that by Your Death we have be made Alive. We who know and love You, link Death with Resurrection; so, far from spoiling a nice day, it just added to the Hope which is ours. We were reminded of this again as we went out into the sunshine, singing “Lift High the Cross, the Love of Christ Proclaim” and what a great proclamation it was - the whole neighbourhood must have heard the message!


As the windows were unveiled, we watched with pride as our dear friend, himself almost as old as the Church, unveiled one of them and we thought of the other older members of our Family, who through frailty or sickness, were not able to be with us. Thank You for them too, dear Lord, for though at the eventide of life their bodies are frail, their minds are alert, and our lives are enriched by what we can learn from them.


As we prepared for lunch we were amazed at the vast array of food, so beautifully prepared and given by loving hands. Here again, Lord, You excelled, for we didn’t know how many to expect (but you knew) and there was ample for everyone. Indeed we ate like King’s Children (as indeed we are). And Lord, did You ever see such a beautiful cake? Prepared by hands which so willingly do Your bidding and iced by one who was received into Your Family in our little Church; a replica of which was placed on top, symbolising the place where we meet in Fellowship. And the buzz of excited chatter, even You, Lord, must have found it difficult to hear Yourself think, let alone speak, for You were so surely there in our midst, just as at Cana’s Wedding feast. Gradually it all subsided as folk drifted homewards; the washing-up done by many willing hands; the floor swept and everything put to rights. All that was left was a hall filled with memories.


We thank You, Lord, that in Your understanding of our human nature, You allowed us a few moments of personal pride and gratification for our own tiny part, knowing it to be a small offering of ourselves, but part of one great Act of Love.


But that wasn’t quite the end. A few of us returned to be with You in the evening, representing all those who had shared the day. After all the splendour and ceremony of the morning, there is something equally precious about the quietness. The candles alight, the sunshine outside, making for Peace and Tranquillity. We were there to thank You yet again for blessing us so abundantly. Even after the Office had ended, we sat transfixed by so much beauty, almost willing the day not to end. To the writer’s mind came words from a hymn of the Transfiguration:


‘Tis good, Lord, to be here!

Yet we may not remain;

But since Thou bidst us leave the mount

Come with us to the plain.

The publication of this History is made possible by the

generosity of

Battersby Funeral Services

who for 50 years have had a close relationship with

St. Jude’s; both professionally with the clergy, as managers

of the Church Cemetery and as active parishioners.


We thank them and commend them


Battersby Funeral Services, Avondale

Ph.       828 - 5113

Fax      828 - 5112



Researchers and Editors:   Sybil Maxwell and Deirdre Youngs