St Stephen’s Church Elsthorpe 1909-2009

St Stephen’s Church

1909 – 2009

Compiled by Yvonne Macaulay

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St Stephen’s Church

1909 – 2009

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This record of the

St Stephen’s Church Centenary Celebrations

was compiled by

Yvonne Macaulay, Elsthorpe, 2010.

Printed by Central Design & Print
29 Ruataniwha, Waipukurau.
Phone 06 858 6906

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Elsthorpe Village was established in 1896, at the same time as the Elsthorpe Estate was cut up by the government of the day. Within two years a school had been built for the new settlers and by 1907 the residents of the district had built a community hall.

Church services and Sunday School lessons were held in the Elsthorpe School building. In 1905 the Waiapu Diocesan Trustees leased Section 18 in the village. In August 1908 the vestry of St Peter’s Church in Waipawa decided to purchase the timber needed to construct a church in Elsthorpe. The church was to be similar to St Alban’s Church at Tamumu, a style known as a Selwyn Church. Tenders were called for the building of the church and at a meeting on March 1st 1909 the tender submitted by Mr C Poulsen was accepted. The tender price was £44/0/0 and the contractor was required to supply the nails. If the workmanship was good and the building completed within two months a bonus of £10/0/0 was to be paid.

To boost the Elsthorpe Building Fund a concert was held at Kaikora on Tuesday May 7th.

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On Tuesday June 29th 1909 the Waipawa Mail printed the following report of the opening of St Stephen’s Church.

The church recently erected at Elsthorpe for the Church of England congregation of that district was formally opened last Sunday by the Bishop of Waiapu, the Rt Rev’d William Leonard Williams who has been making his farewell pastoral visit before retiring on 30th June 1909.

The building, which is to be named St Stephen’s, is very substantially built. The timber employed is heart of totara, rimu and matai, and the seating is also heart of timber. The seating, which is for 100 was heavily taxed at the opening service. A handsome communion table was given by Mrs E Bibby, the panels of which were worked in embroidery by Mrs A F Taylor. In the centre is the monogram ‘IHS’ entwining a Latin Cross and the side panels bear lilies. Mrs H Collier embroidered and presented the two offertory bags. An impressive sermon was delivered by the Bishop based upon the clause of the 7th verse of the 56th chapter of Isaiah – “For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people”.

The Kaikora Church choir gave valuable assistance in the choral part of the service. An interesting matter was the baptism of Elsie Mae, infant daughter of Mrs Cheer, of that town.

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1910.    Miss Burns and the pupils of Elsthorpe School.
The roof of St Stephen’s Church is at the left of the photograph.

October 10th 1912.    May McAulay and Irving Hunter’s wedding at St Stephen’s Church.

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St Stephen’s Church and the Elsthorpe Hall. The photographs were taken between 1926 and 1952.

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St Stephen’s Church is a wooden building with a steep roof and two entrance porches. There is a large coloured glass window behind the altar and the other windows have coloured glass. In 1909 there were wooden buttresses on the side walls, between the windows. These were removed in 1974, as they had become rotten. The church roof had a cross at both ends and a smaller Celtic cross on the entrance porch roof. The crosses were removed at some time, however the two on the roof have been replaced.

Inside the church the walls, ceiling and pews are stained timber. The interior looks much as it would have looked in 1909. There are now electric lights, probably installed soon after 1953, when electricity reached Elsthorpe. There are also electric heaters on the walls. The present carpet was installed by the Presbyterian Church in the late 1970s.

The church section was laid out with paths and gardens for many years. At some time, to make the upkeep of the section easier, a smaller area around the church was fenced and the remainder of the section is now grazed. The stepping stones across the lawn to the main door were laid in 1980 by the local CWI, to mark their Golden Jubilee.

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From 1909 until 1914 St Stephen’s Church was serviced by the Anglican clergy in Waipawa, Rev H P Cowx and Rev W Cockerill.

In 1914 Otane became a separate parish and Elsthorpe was in this parish for the next 70 years. In September 1983 boundary changes agreed to by Synod put St Stephen’s Church into the Havelock North parish. During the changeover Rev Arnold Chalmers of Waipawa took services in Elsthorpe.

Following is a list of the clergy who have served St Stephen’s Church.

Waipawa Parish
1909-1912   Rev H Cowx
1913   Rev W Cockerill

Otane Parish
1914-1924   Rev G Davidson
1924-1926   Rev J Brocklehurst
1926-1957   Rev Canon R Hall
1958-1960   Rev W Westley
1960-1964   Rev C Robinson
1965-1970   Rev G Neilson
1970-1977   Rev Canon J Wilson

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1978-1979   Rev P Davidson
1980-1982   Rev W Hendery

Waipawa Parish
1983   Rev A Chalmers (pictured below)

St Luke’s Parish
1984-2009   Rev A Chalmers
Rev R Caudwell
Rev S Donald
Rev J Candy
Rev D Dinniss
Rev A Dinniss
Rev B Marchant
Rev S Anderson
Rev Canon C Baker
Rev B Dawson
Rev O Woodhams

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From the very beginning the Presbyterian Church used St Stephen’s Church for their services. There was a church service weekly, alternating Anglican and Presbyterian. In 1904 the Presbyterian Church had leased Section 19 in Elsthorpe village and purchased it at some time. However a church was never built and the section was sold in 1967. The Waipawa Methodist church leased Section 13 in Elsthorpe village in 1907 and sold it in 1922.

It is not known when weekly services ceased in Elsthorpe. The Presbyterians stopped holding services in 1991 and at that time the Anglican services were held monthly. They are now held on the second Sunday of each second month and there are other special services held during the year, usually at Easter and at Christmas.

c 1960.

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In the early days of the Elsthorpe settlement the Rev. J. Ramsay of Dannevirke paid periodic visits to hold services and baptise the children.

By 1902 the Rev. G. K. Stowell was holding regular services in the school and this arrangement continued till, in 1909, the vicar of Waipawa offered the free use of the new St Stephen’s church for Presbyterian services. These were evidently held at fortnightly intervals, the minister leaving Waipawa early, in his gig and, after morning service and dinner at Elsthorpe, returning to conduct service in Otane in the afternoon and in Waipawa in the evening.

Four managers were elected from Elsthorpe in 1910, and two elders in 1912. The congregation must have been flourishing as, in 1920, when special efforts were called for to make up the deficiency in the General Funds, Elsthorpe contributed 20%, with Waipawa and Otane contributing 40% each.

A feature of fund-raising activities in Elsthorpe was the combined Church Bazaar, an annual event in which all the settlers joined for an evening of entertainment and money-making from the various well-laden stalls. In the early 1950’s however, this was discontinued, as the Anglicans were running their own fundraising efforts under the Wells organisation. Since then the Elsthorpe congregation has had a stall at the Waipawa Church Fete.

The Elsthorpe Sunday School has always been a combined Presbyterian and Anglican effort. The first teachers were May McAulay and Ida Pepper, who continued until 1912, when the school closed for a few years until Ruby McAulay re-opened it in 1918. Prior to World War I a Bible Class was held each week, the leader being Mr Tom Priest. After World War II, a Combined Churches’ Club was formed under the leadership of Rev. A. H. Lowden, and this ran successfully for some years.

During the month of January, many of the Elsthorpe parishioners stayed in their cottages at Kairakau Beach, and it became the custom for the service that month to be held in the picturesque little Mangakuri church, thanks to the courtesy of the late Mr S. Williams. Later, when the Kairakau Hall was built, it was deemed more convenient to hold the services there.

In 1967, the section at Elsthorpe, which had belonged to the Presbyterian Church since the early days, but which had not been made use of, was sold for $200.

Waipawa-Otane Presbyterian Church History 1877-1977
Edited by A. Kerr

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1997.   An aerial photograph of Elsthorpe Village. The church is to the right and slightly below the centre of the photograph.

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Anglican Church section

Presbyterian Church section

School Site

Police Res

Main Road



Methodist Church section


Scale – 6 chains to an Inch

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Elsthorpe Presbyterian Church History

In the early days of Elsthorpe settlement the Rev. J Ramsay of Dannevirke paid periodic visits to hold services and baptise children. By 1902 the Rev. G. K. Stowell (the 7th minister of the then named Kaikora-Waipawa Parish that had been formed 25 years earlier in October of 1877) was holding regular services in the Elsthorpe school and these continued until St. Stephens was opened and the vestry offered the Presbyterians and Catholics the use of their new church. This offer was taken up and fortnightly Presbyterian services were held until the parish grew and Elsthorpe changed to monthly services so that regular services could be held at Omakere and Springhill. Due to falling numbers and better transport it was decided in June 1991 to discontinue Presbyterian services in Elsthorpe. We were however encouraged to attend the Anglican services here and were made very welcome by the Vicar and the congregation.

The building section belonging to the Presbyterian church in Elsthorpe, where Yvonne and Jim Macaulay now live, was sold in 1967 and the building fund which had been started in 1918 and amounted to $336.04 was transferred to the Waipawa church building fund.

In 1979 the Waipawa-Otane Presbyterian Parish (the name Kaikora having been changed to Otane in 1910) combined with the Waipawa Methodist congregation and became known as the Waipawa Co-operating Parish. It is fitting at this time to remember some of the Elsthorpe people involved in helping to run the Parish over the years, namely Messrs J. McNeil Jnr., Sinclair, Smith, Duncan Snr, Watson, Sutherland, M. McAulay, McNeil Snr., M. Priest, T. B. H. Priest, R. S. McAulay, W. S. McAulay, S. Tiffen, C. Prentice, H. Winter, R. Prentice, as Parish Council Chairman, F. Tombleson, as Session Clark, A. Tiffen, B. Smith, Mrs J. Jensen, M. Craig and Mrs B. Prentice as parish council secretary.

The organists I can remember are Mrs Rachel Kittow, Mrs Dorothy Lansdowne, Mrs Phyllis Tiffen and Mrs Jill Jensen. Then of course there was the Rev. Bill Nevill who had a very powerful voice and when required would leave the pulpit and walk down the aisle to accompany us on the organ for the hymns.

We have been well served at Elsthorpe by 17 Ministers, the longest serving one being Rev. F. W. Robertson who served from 1917-1944 and then came back from Napier to take the services during the vacancy. Some of you may remember the following: Rev. Aubrey Lowden 1944-49, Rev. Stan Wishart 1950-59, Rev. Bill Nevill 1960-68, Rev. Alan Armstrong 1968-74, Rev. Neil Johnston 1975-80, Rev. Justin Phillips 1982-86, Rev. Gary Clover 1987-92.

The Sunday School has always been a combined Presbyterian and Anglican effort. The first teachers were May McAulay and Ida Pepper until 1912 when it closed to be reopened in 1918 by Ruby McAulay. In later years the leaders I know of were Priscilla Feickert, Marj Kenderdine, Myself and Joan Smith. We were ably supported by many teachers, Lorna Smith, Bev Brown, Frank Tombleson, Isobel Jackson, and Jane Tylee to name a few. Jane played the organ for us for some time before I eventually

The speech given by Ross Prentice at the St Stephen’s Church centennial lunch, June 28th 2009.

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Elsthorpe Presbyterian Church History

persuaded her to take a class instead of waiting in the car.

Amazingly I could find only five references to the Elsthorpe Sunday School in any Presbyterian minutes, the first being in 1959 when it was reported that there were between 60 and 70 children attending. Secondly in 1965 when 2 Bibles were donated. Then in 1966 & 67 donations of £5/0/0 were made. In 1970 the Turikina [Turakina] Maori Girls College was asking for funds and the S. S. offerings of $33.28 were donated.

Another minute I found was in October 1965, the Presbyterian Board of Managers paid the Anglican Vestry £26/0/0 as our share of the Church cleaning. It must have alerted the Vestry because the next month we had an account for £39/0/0 for arrears in the cleaning account. We also supplied new carpet but I am not sure which year that was.

I would like to read you part of an article from “The Presbyterian Church Centennial History” 1977 contributed by Rev. A. Lowden, and I quote ‘Mrs Lowden and I enjoyed our five years’ stay in the Waipawa-Otane Parish, from 1944-49. One year we had 13 different preaching places, though some were only quarterly. On the fifth Sunday of the month there were five services with 100 miles of travelling’.

The quote continues ‘Perhaps the best project was the formation of the Combined Churches Clubs in Waipawa, Otane, Onga Onga and Elsthorpe. These were sponsored by the Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. The main entertainment was “Padminton”, which was poor-mans Badminton, played with three-ply bats. The three ministers took turns with the devotions before supper. A large percentage of the youth in each district attended.

We found the people most hospitable, and pray that God will continue to bless the work in the parish.’ signed Aubrey H. Lowden. Un-quote. I remember those fun nights in Elsthorpe well but don’t remember visiting any other districts.

Until the early 1950s we shared with the Anglicans in the annual Church Bazaar in which most of the settlers joined for an evening of entertainment and money-making from the various well laden stalls. I also remember the support we got from the district the time I was involved in painting this church. People who did not have any close association with the church were more than happy to come to working bees.

In conclusion another memory. One day Phil Jensen asked me if I would take a turn mowing the church lawns to which I agreed. On the appointed day I came down to the church and got the mower out of the shed. About 1 ½ hours later I got it to go. When I asked Phil about it he seemed quite surprised and said “We have not used that mower for years I didn’t think it worked. We just take our own mowers”. I cleaned it up and took it to our Church Fair in Waipawa and sold it for them on commission.

May God continue to guide and bless the people who worship at St. Stephen’s here in Elsthorpe as they look forward to the next 100 years.

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The carved altar cross was presented by M M and C B Williams in memory of their brother, John Walcott Wilder who was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 27th 1915.


The oak candlesticks were given to St Stephen’s Church in memory of John Francis Sugden who died on December 5th 1937, at St Lawrence Station, Elsthorpe.

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The gold plaques depicting trumpeting angels were presented by Mrs Bevan Williams, in memory of her mother Maud Margaret Williams.

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The font was donated by Mrs Jeffs in memory of her daughter, Kathleen Stephenson, who died in Elsthorpe on February 11th 1910.


A brass Roll of Honour names the local service men who gave their lives in World War l.

The wooden Roll of Honour names the local service man who gave their lives in World War ll. Also on this board is the name of a local man who died serving in the Vietnam War.

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The Elsthorpe Patriotic Society have ordered a new brass tablet to be erected in St. Stephens’s Church, Elsthorpe, to the memory of local boys who gave their lives for King and country during the war. The effort to pay off the cost of fencing improvements has been postponed to next year.

Papers Past – Waiapu Church Gazette   1 January, 1920


The carved communion table was donated to St Stephen’s Church in 1909 by Mrs E Bibby. The embroidery on the panels was worked by Mrs A F Taylor.

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The first organ used in St Stephen’s Church was purchased in 1909 for £15/0/0. This organ is still used at times and there is also an electric organ in the church which was purchased in 1996.


This was placed in St Stephen’s Church on February 9th 1986. It was dedicated by Rev Arnold Chalmers.

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Barbara Scheele.

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For many years there was a combined Anglican-Presbyterian Sunday School held at St Stephen’s Church.

The first Sunday School teachers were Ruby McAulay, May McAulay and Ida Pepper. Ruby and May also played the organ for church services at St Stephen’s.

A Bible Class was held at St Stephen’s in the years before World War I. The leader of this Group was Tom Priest. After World War II a Combined Churches Club was organized by Rev AH Lowden.

Many children who rode a horse or pony to Elsthorpe School during the week attended Sunday School, once again riding their horse or pony to the village on Sunday morning.

Sunday School picnics were well attended ‘functions. A Christmas party was held at the end of the year, with attendance prizes and books given to the pupils.

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Many people helped with the Sunday School over the years. Teachers included: Ruby McAulay, May McAulay, Ida Pepper, Joan Williams, Marj Kenderdine, Dorothy Lansdowne, Mrs Winter, Zita Muggeridge, Peg McGaffin, Pixie McWhirter, Priscilla Tiffen, Elizabeth Macaulay, Ross Prentice, Jane Tylee, Isobel Jackson, Frank Tombleson, Fay Ferrier, Lorna Smith, Bev Brown, Barbara Bibby, Joan Smith, Sue Smith, Lydia Christie, Yvonne Macaulay and Barbara Duncan.

This Sunday School ceased in the late 1970s. In 2001 Kathleen Phillips, a local resident organized and ran a Sunday School at St Stephen’s for about 12 months.

1910.   A  local community picnic in Elsthorpe, probably a Sunday School picnic.

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Elsthorpe Sunday School, c 1950.

Teacher: Miss P McWhirter.

Right (bottom photograph):

Back row: – Milne, Mavis Eagle, Margaret Macaulay, Shirley Eagle, Ron Powell, – Milne, Hazel Milne, Noel Powell, Harold Powell.

Middle row: Zita Kenderdine, Margaret Haycock, Isobel McAulay, -, – Milne, Shona Powell.

Front row: Hilton Powell, Bill Kenderdine, – Milne, Mervyn Powell.

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Elsthorpe Sunday School picnic at Elmshill Station Elsthorpe. c 1940

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The manger made by Clare and Gordon McNeill. The figures were made by Kathleen Phillips and other local ladies.


Presented to:



I.P.P.S.   1962.

Teacher   L A Smith.

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Above: Back Row: Amy Dolden, Celine Dolden, Thomas McDougall [McDougal], Callum Yule.

Front Row: Rory Macdonald, Ethan Phillips, Sam McDougall, Holly Macdonald, Marcus Yule, Kathleen Phillips, Georgia Strachan-McNeill.


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ELSTHORPE.   Papers Past, Hastings Standard, 12 February 1913


Last Saturday afternoon the scholars attending the Sunday School here, with their parents and other friends, held a pleasant picnic in an ideal spot in the bush near the township. The school, which has a membership of 40, is carried on by Misses Pepper and Stephenson, under the auspices of the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches worshipping in St. Stephen’s Church here. The children had a merry time, taking part in the races, games and other competitions arranged during the afternoon, and they were also plentifully supplied with refreshments. A large assortment of handsome book prizes were distributed by Mrs. S. Irving Hunter, of Argyll, for attendance, repeating Anglican and Presbyterian cathecism [catechism], 100th Psalm, Lord’s Prayer, golden texts, commandments and for good conduct. Prizes were also given for baking scones, cakes and pastry. Miss Dilton??, Patangata, awarded the prizes for this competition, and distributed them to the successful girls and boys. The efforts of the children in this competition resulted in a very fine display on a table under a tree. Owing to the unavoidable absence of the clergymen of both denominations, the Rev. Mr. MacDonald, of Waipukurau, and Mr. A Gilmour, Elsthorpe, who presided at the distribution of the prizes, gave short addresses. The company was photographed in the course of the afternoon.


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St Stephen’s Church has been used for many family services over the past 100 years.

It has not been possible to compile a complete list of the baptisms, weddings and funerals held in St Stephen’s Church.

Following are photographs from four weddings and a family reunion service held in St Stephen’s Church.

October 10th 1912.   May McAulay and Irving Hunter’s wedding.

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June 29th 1932. Jean Macaulay and Arthur Orbell’s wedding.

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April 6th 1938.   Jean Smith and John Coles’ wedding.

November 27th 1994. Kimber Tylee and John Edwards’ wedding.
(below and next page)

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Papers Past – Hastings Standard – 27 February 1915 – WEDDING


On Wednesday last St. Stephen’s Church, Elsthorpe, was the scene of a popular wedding, the parties being Miss Jessie Minnie Priest. Oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. B. H. Priest, and Mr. John Stephenson, contractor, both of Elsthorpe. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. J. Douglas Smith, B. A., Waipawa. The bride was given away by her father and looked very pretty in a robe of richly embroidered vole over white silk, trimmed with a wreath of orange blossoms. Her bouquet was of white asters and maiden hair fern. The bridesmaids were Miss Hilda Stephenson. (niece of the bride-groom), and Miss Celia Priest, (sister of the bride), who looked charming in white muslin dresses with floral belts and white velvet and lace hats. Their bouquets were similar to that of the bride. The mother of the bride wore a brown shantung costume and hat to match. Mr. Tom Priest was best man and Mr. John Batterham was groomsman. The bridegroom’s present to the bride was a handsome gold watch and chain, and the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a gold-mounted watch guard. The bridegroom’s gifts to the bridesmaids were gold broaches. The church, which was filled, was decorated by the girl friends of the bride. Miss Gilmour presided at the organ and played “The Wedding March.” After the ceremony, the parents of the bride received, and entertained the guests, numbering about 150, in a large marquee on the lawn. Several photographs were taken. The bride and bridegroom received a large number of congratulatory telegrams from friends who were unable to be present. The newly married couple left by motor car to spend the honeymoon at Wanganui, the bride travelling in a dark brown tailor made costume, with hat to match. A large number of handsome presents were displayed in one of the rooms of the house. In the evening a dance was held in the wollshed [woolshed].

Waiapu Church Gazette, 1 March 1918

At Elsthorpe there is to be an improvement in the grounds round the church, a better carpet inside, also about the Sanctuary.

In January the military wedding attracted a very large amount of interest. Frank Haycock – twice returned soldier – was married to Amy Hargreaves. The local Patriotic Society presented the happy couple with a cheque and many presents were showered upon them.

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McAulay – Macaulay family reunion church service.

February 1st 1987.

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On Sunday June 27th 1999 a service was held at St Stephen’s Church to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the opening of the church.

At this special service there were past and present ministers, Sunday School teachers, parishioners, and friends. Some had travelled long distances to attend the service.

The service was conducted by the Reverend David Dinniss and the Reverend Ann Dinniss. The organ was played by Jill Jensen and Patricia Smith.

To mark this important occasion an altar cloth was presented, and a framed acknowledgement and photograph of Bishop Williams were placed in the church porch. Trees were planted in the church grounds.

After the church service there was an informal lunch and get-together in the Elsthorpe Hall, allowing those present to reminisce and renew old friendships.

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Above: June 27th 1999.
Left to Right:
Rev D Dinniss, Rev Canon C Baker, Rev A Dinniss, Rev B Marchant, P Jensen, Rev Canon J Wilson and Rev A Chalmers.

Below: June 27th 1999.
Left to Right:
Rev Canon J Wilson,
Rev A Dinniss,
Rev D Dinniss,
C Dingemans,
Rev Canon C Baker,
Rev B Marchant,
Rev A Chalmers,
P Dingemans, P McPhail,
Rev S Anderson and J Foster.

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The Bishop of Waiapu, the Right Reverend William Leonard Williams.

June 27th 1999.
Pamela McPhail plants a kawaka tree assisted by John Foster. Watching are her grand-daughter Sheena McPhail and Patrick Dingemans

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In April 2009 Barbara Scheele, a St Stephen’s parishioner called a meeting in Elsthorpe to discuss the organisation of centennial celebrations for St Stephen’s Church, Elsthorpe. All of the people present agreed to form a committee to organise the celebrations.

With the backing of St Luke’s Parish plans were made to hold a church service in St Stephen’s Church on 28th June 2009, followed by lunch in the Elsthorpe Hall. The celebrations would be 100 years and one day after the original consecration service on 27th June 1909.

St Luke’s Parish office printed invitations which were sent to all Elsthorpe residents, St Luke’s parishioners, St Peter’s parishioners and many other people associated with Elsthorpe. This included many ex residents of Elsthorpe. Articles in the CHB Mail and HB Today papers also publicised the event.

The committee thought that 150 people might attend, basing this on the numbers who attended the Elsthorpe Hall centennial celebrations held in 2007. More local people were co-opted onto the committee and regular meetings were held, all well organized by Barbara Scheele. By early June plans were well under way and to

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the surprise of the committee there were almost 250 people wishing to attend.

The centennial celebrations consisted of a communion church service in St Stephen’s Church at 11am, followed by a lunch in the Elsthorpe Hall. The lunch was free to all who wished to attend. The children who attended were catered for with special activities organised by the St Luke’s Youth group.

Rev Brian Dawson took the church service and Margaret Lee played the organ.

Cold wet weather was forecast for June 28th. Torrential cold rain began falling in the morning and the wet weather of the previous days meant it was very wet underfoot outside, but this did not deter those who attended.

Bill Gilmour welcomed everyone at the church and then acted as MC for the gathering in the hall following the church service. Speeches were given by the following people. Rev Brian Dawson, Philip Jensen, Ross Prentice, Frank Tombleson, Mark Williams and Barbara Scheele. The speeches covered the history of St Stephen’s Church through its various parishes; Waipawa, Otane and Havelock North, the Sunday School, the Williams family and the association from the very beginning with the Presbyterian Church in Otane and Waipawa. Also

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mentioned were the many people associated with the church and Sunday School over the past 100 years. The family of the builder of the church had travelled from Wellington to attend and they were especially mentioned by Barbara Scheele, who also thanked all who had assisted in the organisation of the day. After the lunch and speeches Marj Kenderdine officially cut the centennial cake. There was also a book available for all who attended to sign.

Despite the wet and cold weather there was a warm friendly atmosphere in the hall and much reminiscing by those present. Many people had travelled from other parts of the country to attend.

Many of those who attended later wrote or phoned Barbara Scheele to express their thanks for an enjoyable centennial, and to congratulate all who had helped with the organisation of the event.

St Luke’s Parish provided the funds for the lunch, the wine to accompany the meal, the shelter tents erected beside the church to provide extra seating and the speaker system in these tents.

The beautiful flower arrangements in the church and in the hall were planned and made by Barbara Duncan and Glenda Miller.

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Rev Brian Dawson and Rev Oenone Woodhams visited the children at Elsthorpe School to discuss the centennial and the way of life in Elsthorpe Village in 1909. The children then participated in a drawing competition and their their drawings and paintings were displayed on the stage of the hall, providing a colourful background for the gathering on June 28th.

The marquee for the children’s activities was provided by John Scheele and put up by Ken, John and Lyron Scheele. Andrew Renton-Green and Phil Orviss cooked the barbeque for the children’s lunch.

The catering was organised by Sandy Bake and her team of Ashley Coats, Ann McPhail, Debbie Renton-Green and Andrea Yule. The food was served by St Luke’s Youth Group. Other committee members helped as needed and also helped with the preparation during the preceding week. The lunch was enjoyed by all and the ladies in the kitchen did a wonderful job.

The bar was manned by Ron Bell and Jim Macaulay.

The display of photographs was organised by Yvonne Macaulay.

Barbara Scheele baked two cakes and iced one. The other was iced by Jeannine Macaulay.

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There are many more people who need a mention. Barbara Scheele did a wonderful job running the meetings and coordinating the organisation of the celebrations. The committee members were Sandy Bake, Ngaere [Ngaire] Hart, Margaret Lee, Yvonne Macaulay, Margaret McCoskery, Cushla Orviss, Helen Ross, Margot Tylee, Gwen Waterson, Janet Williams, Rev Brian Dawson and Bill Gilmour. Others who agreed to help were Peggy Laugeson, Debbie Renton-Green, Ann McPhail, Andrea Yule, Ashley Coats, Glenda Miller and Barbara Duncan. A new resident in Elsthorpe, Jeanette Samundsen, kindly donated a large amount of chicken for the meal.

Other community groups in Elsthorpe also helped with the celebrations. They were Elsthorpe Sports Club, Elsthorpe School, Elsthorpe Fire Party and Kairakau Marine Club. They loaned chairs, tables, glassware, a sound system and the use of the Elsthorpe Fire Shed. Waipawa New World kindly donated some wine.

Since the celebrations Bishop David Rice has donated a tree which has been planted on the lawn of St Stephen’s Church. It is a Cornus Nutalii, a native tree of western North America.

Hawke’s Bay Today
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Church celebrates
Despite torrential rain, the 100-year celebration of St Stephen’s Church in Elsthorpe was a huge success.
Parishioner Barbara Scheele said about 220 people turned out to the Waiapu Diocese event, including 94-year-old Marjorie Kenderdine who cut the cake.
“Everyone had a wonderful time and came from as far away as Auckland and Wellington,” said Mrs Scheele.

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The CHB Mail, Tuesday, May 5, 2009

St Stephen’s centenary

ST Stephen’s Church, Elsthorpe, is celebrating its centenary at a service on June 28.

St Stephen’s was built 100 years ago in 1909 by Mr C Paulsen at a cost of $44-10s, on behalf of the Elsthorpe church committee, and was consecrated at a service on June 28th 1909 by the bishop of Waiapu, Rt Rev’d William Leonard Williams.

The church was substantially built of totara, rimu and matai with seating for 100 people.

The furniture such as the carved alter cross, oak candle stick, the font and two gold plaques depicting angels were donated by local residents in memory of loved ones.

A memorial honour board lists local soldiers who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 war, Second World War and Vietnam.

St Stephen’s was served by Waipawa clergy until 1914 when it became part of Otane parish.

It remained so for 70 years until boundary changes in 1983 when it became part of St Luke’s Parish, Havelock North.

Services are held alternate months, also two services a year at Mangakuri and a carol service at Kairakau Hall at Christmas. Vicar Rev. Brian Dawson and associate priest, Onenone [Oenone] Woodhams, serve the parishioners with organist Mrs Margaret Lee.

For more information contact Barbara Scheele on (06) 858-4303.

St Stephen’s centenary
June 28

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Church prepares for centenary

by Janelle Kirkland
[email protected]

The church roof over parishioners’ heads in Elsthorpe has been red, brown and green during the past 100 years.

And as the community celebrates the centenary of St Stephen’s Church in the Central Hawke’s Bay settlement, it is a new red roof that will house the commemorative service.

The roof and new paint job were part of a church revamp two years ago.

Parishioner Barbara Scheele, who has attended for several years since moving to Elsthorpe, said the church held a special place in the community and some families had been involved for many years.

She and a group of fellow parishioners came together to organise a service and lunch on June 28.

“In the old days it used to be busy with Sunday schools and they had a choir and all sorts. Of course, there’s a decline in people. People seem to be so busy now taking children to sporting events,” she said.

But the church was still going, and that was “the main thing”.

The church holds services every second Sunday of every second month at 10am and holds big events at Easter and Christmas.

The Selwyn-style structure, with its attractive wooden interior, was built in 1909 in two months, and cost just over 44 pounds to build.

It was consecrated on June 27 by the Bishop of Waipawa, William Leonard Williams, three days before he retired.

Families donated furniture, and a memorial roll of honour commemorated local men who died in World War II and the Vietnam war.

In its early years it was used by Presbyterians and Catholics, but for many years it had been an Anglican church. It now comes under the Havelock North parish of St Luke’s.

Invites to the 100-year celebrations have been sent around the district.

Celebrations will include an 11am service at the church and a 12.30 lunch at the Elsthorpe Hall next door. Contact Barbara Scheele on 858-4303 or [email protected].

Photo captions –

CENTRAL CENTENARY: Elsthorpe Church in Central Hawke’s Bay will be 100 years old next month.   PICTURE/WARREN BUCKLAND HBT091945-06

PASSIONATE PARISHIONER: Barbara Scheele looks forward to celebrations at the church she has been part of since moving to Elsthorpe.

Hawke’s Bay Today
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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You Are Invited
To the Celebration of 100 Years of
St Stephen’s Church, Elsthorpe
Sunday 28th June 2009

June 27th marks the centenary of our Elsthorpe Church.
To celebrate this special occasion the whole community (and those who have been part of it over the years) is invited to a special service with a luncheon to follow on Sunday 28th June.


11.00am   Service at St Stephen’s with activities for the children
12.30pm   Lunch at the hall next door

The St Stephen’s Church Community wants you to feel welcome to join us for this special day. There is No Cost for the lunch, although donations will be gratefully accepted.

Please pass this invitation on to anyone you know who has moved away from the District

Thank you for your invitation to the St Stephen’s Centenary Celebrations.

We are happy to accept.



Phone:   Adults Attending:   Children:

Please detach this response slip and return by June 1st to:
Barbara Scheele, RD 14, Havelock North.
Phone: (06) 858 4303 or email: [email protected]

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Celebrating 100 years at St Stephen’s Church, Elsthorpe

Welcome to this centenary celebration.
A children’s programme is available during the service, run by the young people of St Luke’s, Havelock North.

On the 27th June 1909 St Stephen’s Church was the last church consecrated by Bishop Leonard Williams, third Bishop of Waiapu and son of the original Bishop, William Williams, prior to his retirement. Originally part of the Otane Parish, St Stephen’s became part of Havelock North Parish when Otane closed in 1983

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Bill Gilmour welcomed everyone to the centennial celebrations.

Rev. Kirsten Dawson and Rev Brian Dawson.

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Marj Kenderdine cut the cake.

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All of the large photographs taken on June 28th 2009 were kindly donated by Duncan Scott.

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The artwork done by the pupils of Elsthorpe School was displayed on the stage in the Elsthorpe Hall.

The junior pupils of Elsthorpe School painted a large mural depicting the children of 1909 to one side of St Stephen’s Church and children of 2009 on the other side.

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A small display of photographs and information about St Stephen’s Church was set up in the Elsthorpe Hall.

Photographs and information for this display was provided by: J Allen, G Ellers, J Macaulay, Y Macaulay, M McCoskery, M Pedersen, K Phillips, H Ross, B Scheele, S Stubbs, S Trow, M Tylee and the staff of St Luke’s Church, Havelock North and Waiapu Diocese, Napier.

The following publications were also used:

‘Elsthorpe The people, the place’   E Macaulay and Y Macaulay

‘St Peter’s Waipawa – A parish and its’ people’   M McCoskery and H Ross

‘Waipawa-Otane Presbyterian Church History’   Edited by A Kerr

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The ladies in the kitchen provided a wonderful meal for all who attended. They were assisted by the members of St Luke’s Youth Group.

Ann McPhail, Debbie Renton-Green, Ashley Coats.

Sandy Bake.

Ashley Coats, Ann McPhail, Andrea Yule.

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Surnames in this book –
Allen, Anderson, Armstrong, Bake, Baker, Batterham, Bell, Bibby, Brocklehurst, Brown, Burns, Candy, Caudwell, Chalmers, Cheer, Clover, Coats, Cockerill, Coles, Collier, Cowx, Davidson, Dawson, Dingemans, Dinniss, Dolden, Donald, Duncan, Eagle, Edwards, Ellers, Feickert, Ferrier, Foster, Gilmor, Gilmour, Hall, Hargreaves, Hart, Haycock, Hendery, Hunter, Jackson, Jeffs, Jensen, Johnston, Kenderdine, Kerr, Kittow, Lansdowne, Laugeson, Lee, Lowden, Lydia, Macaulay, MacDonald, Marchant, McAulay, McCoskery, McDougal, McGaffin, McNeill, McPhail, McWhirter, Miller, Milne, Muggeridge, Neilson, Nevill, Orbell, Orviss, Paulsen, Pedersen, Pepper, Phillips, Poulsen, Powell, Prentice, Priest, Ramsay, Renton-Green, Robertson, Robinson, Ross, Samundsen, Scheele, Scott, Smith, Stephenson, Stowell, Strachan-McNeill, Stubbs, Sugden, Taylor, Tiffen, Tombleson, Trow, Tylee, Waterson, Westley, Wilder, Williams, Wilson, Winter, Wishart, Woodhams, Yule

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