An investigation has begun into the cause of a fierce blaze which ripped through a Catholic church in New Plymouth.
The Fire Service received several calls raising the alarm after smoke was spotted coming from the roof of St Philomena's shortly before 3pm on Monday.
Pat Swanson, deputy principal of nearby Saint Pius X primary school, said the fire took hold quickly and the church was engulfed in flames within minutes.
The 50-year-old building on Brooklands Road was gutted within half an hour, he said.
No one was hurt in the blaze.