I absolutely love those little churches made of granite or greywacke. The natural colour of the stone blend so very well into the ochre and rocky landscape.
The foundations of the Anglican or Episcopalian Church in the Wakatipu were laid by William Gilbert Rees, the first settler (see extra tip), who came to Queenstown in 1861. He was a devout Anglican and held regular services which were attended by the handful of men and one woman who worked for him. Later Rees was joined by a Lay Reader named Richmond Beetham. The first wooden church was built in 1863.
The church you see today at the corner of Church and Camp Streets was built in 1932. It was designed by J. McDowall Smith of Dunedin, modelled on a the traditional lines of the English parish church using Gothic details. The exterior walls were faced with greywacke stone obtained from the lake edge on the park peninsula. The funds for the building came from three main donators. One of them, Thomas Hicks who had given £ 1500, was honoured by the erection of the Lychgate.
The old wooden church was given to the neighbouring parish of Dunstan. It was dismantled, taken to Omakau and re-erected. It is named after St. Mary the Virgin.
St. Peter's Church contains some beautiful features. The most noteworthy is the carved Eagle Lectern from 1874, made by a Chinese man named Ah Tong. The church also has two beautiful stained glass windows.
Service times are Sunday, 10.30am, and Wednesday, 10am.
BTW St. Paul’s in Arrowtown belongs to the same parish and has the same contact details. Service on Sunday, 9am.
If you stand in front of lovely St. Peter’s Church, left of it you see a nice creamy white wooden building. This is the church’s Parish Centre Hall.
In 2007, the Parish Hall and Vicarage were refurbished and rededicated, and – the most obvious change - relocated from their original to the area next to the church. They now make a great new facility for the advantage of the Wakatipu Community. On the other hand, the church itself looks a little squeezed into the space, and I liked the lawn and space around the church as it was before.
What makes the crowded space attractive again, at least for me, is the amalgamation of the church and the parish hall with the "Halo - Forbidden Bite" café which has a terrace right in front of the parish hall for outdoor dining. If you want, the church and the world united.
The Halo – Forbidden Bite serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days from 7 am to 9pm.
On a sunny day the terrace, framed by St. Peter’s and the parish hall, is one of the lovliest spots in the whole of Queenstown.
The Church of St Peter is an Anglican Church which was first established by William Rees in 1863.
The service was originally held in a small wooden church.
The stone foundation was laid in Jun 1932. The church was a gift from Captain Thomas Hicks and the Architect was H. Mc Dowell Smith and built by Wm McLellan Ltd.
The church is still serving the Queenstown community and services and weddings are still held in this church.