For three days Pauline and I have been on a pilgrimage to see and photograph the churches of the Hotianga in New Zealand's Northland. I suspect that some may think it odd that an atheist (that's me, I'm not sure what Pauline is) is running around with an interest in churches. It's quite simple. As one of the people we met, a Maori by the name of Mr Pickering, said when we asked whether there was a good congregation at the church "The old are dying off so they don't come any more. The young don't come to church. The rest ?. So the churches are empty." But they come to be buried. For me what is important is the role that the church played as a focal point in society and the conversion and education in European language and ways of the indigenous population of New Zealand. In addition there are so many attractive old (by New Zealand standards) church buildings occupying the most significant places in the landscape and in the culture and history of the country that I feel their preservation is both culturally and historically important.
I could post on a lot of old churches which I'm sure would bore you very much. Notwithstanding the latter statement I shall probably put many of them on the blog over the next while just so that I have a record of them.
The area we covered for the exploration is shown on this map. We were staying in Kohukohu.