Christ Church First World War memorial tablet

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The memorial tablet in Christ Church, Papakura.

Christ Church First World War memorial sanctuary

On the evening of Anzac Day 1921 Sir Frederick Lang, Speaker of the House, unveiled a memorial to the fallen soldiers of Papakura in Christ Church Anglican Church. The stone tablet, carved by the well-known sculptor W.H. Felden (and similar to a work of his previously installed in St Matthew-in-the City, Auckland), was inscribed with the names of 45 men.

On 4 August 1923 Bishop A.W. Averill consecrated the church’s new stone-built First World War memorial sanctuary. This was the first major alteration made to the original Selwyn church since it had been opened in October 1862. The memorial tablet was attached to one wall.

The sanctuary was intended to form the first part of a new church. However, instead a new parish centre combining both church and hall was opened next door in December 1961. The original church was retained and preserved as a memorial chapel. Now known as the Selwyn Chapel, it was rededicated after extensive renovations in 1981.

Sources: ‘Memorial at Papakura’, NZ Herald, 26/4/1921, p. 6; ‘Foundation Stone Laid: Memorial Sanctuary’, Pukekohe & Waiuku Times, 3/10/1922, p. 3; ‘Papakura Anglicans’, NZ Herald, 6/8/1923, p. 9; ‘Papakura Notes … Memorial Sanctuary’, Franklin Times, 10/8/1923, p. 4; ‘Memorial Sanctuary’, Church Gazette, vol. 53, no. 9, September 1923, p. 147; M.J. Mills, The Anglican Church in the Papakura District, 1862-1962, Papakura, 1962, pp. 20-2; C.R. Knight, The Selwyn Churches of Auckland, Wellington, 1972, pp. 71-5.

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