25 Jul 2009

Church marks 150 years this weekend

6:14 am on 25 July 2009

Anglicans in Mangere Bridge are celebrating New Zealand's oldest surviving Selwyn church, which was carved 150 years ago from the stones of Te Maunga o Mangere.

Waatea News reports Ngati Mahuta rangatira Tamati Ngaporo donated most of the money and labour for St James Church, which replaced an earlier raupo whare karakia.

Rev Les Dixon says the Crown ordered Ngapora to leave Mangere the following year because of tension over the first Taranaki land war, but the partnership between Maori and Pakeha cultures remain an important part of church life.

Guests at Saturday's anniversary will include bishops from the three tikanga of the Anglican church and descendants of the original church builders.