Monday, 27 February 2012

Churches of The Hokianga: Pakaraka

The Church of The Holy Trinity in Pakaraka was the first church we called at on the way from the Airport at Whangerei to Kohukohu.  This church was endowed by Archdeacon Henry Williams who was a missionary to the Maori people for 44 years.  the church was erected by his sons and opened for worship on 23 April 1851.  I think that, despite being in better condition than most of the churches we saw, it was at 160 years, also the oldest.  I'll correct that if need be as I check other churches.


The wall hanging depicts the Holy Trinity and is made of flax from kneelers used in the church and made circa 1916.

The harmonium is undated but many of the churches had a harmonium.  I was particularly interested because Mum had a harmonium which she played occasionally - we had very tolerant neighbours.


  1. It looks very picturesque - and how happy the missionary must have been to have sons who were able to build something like this!

    1. Given that the archdeacon endowed it, being an archdeacon must have paid rather well (unless, of course, he could afford to be a missionary for 44 years because he was well off).

  2. Superb, I love looking round churches.

  3. I don't know if you are aware but a large number of Victorian churches in England had harmoniums. Even if they had an organ it was cheaper to maintain a harmonium and also easier to find someone who could play it. I can't recall having seen one in an English church though. Since we have explored many UK churches together can you jog my memory if you recall one?

  4. I like the look of this church . To me it's got an unusual look, we haven't got that many old wooden churches with towers. And I like the stained glass window. Harmoniums were common here in the small free churches/chapels (which usually did not have bell towers). They had a harmonium like that in the countryside one I attended in my late teens. Come to think of it, there was also a harmonium in my p.grandparents' house in my early childhood. I loved making noises on it! (no one in their right mind would call it playing...) And in school we had one in the classroom too.

  5. hmm...I guess then that my cousin has a harmonium; thought it was an organ!