Durham Street Methodist Church roll of honour

List of names on wooden board hanging on cracked wall

Durham Street Methodist Church, built in 1864, was the earliest stone church constructed in the Canterbury region.

On 5 August 1919 L.M. Isitt, MP, unveiled the church's First World War roll of honour. This was initially put on display in the church porch. It listed the names of 116 members of the congregation who had served in the war, no fewer than 26 of whom had given their lives (K.S. Abernathy, T. Ashman, A.C.W. Bain, E. Baxter, A.L.S. Borrows, H.A. Bowron, F.B. Brown, W.R. Cumberworth, A.E. Dale, A.W. Ellis, W.R.L. Esselborn, F. Fairweather, O. Fairweather, E.S. Judd, W. Law, F.R. McMurray, H.R.L. Mundy, P.J. Overton, G.S. Overton, A.B. Postgate, T. Ross, W.S. Rundle, N. Sustins, W.C.W. Taylor, T.R. Tregear, and H.E. Vere).

In 1945 a chapel was set up in the north-west corner of the church in memory of those who had fallen in the two world wars. In 1949 work began on forming a memorial chapel off the sanctuary; this was opened two years later. In 1953 the Rev. H.L. Blamires, who had served as a military chaplain during the First World War, presented the church with a flag that he had used at Gallipoli.

The church was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake of 4 September 2010, and collapsed in the earthquake of 22 February 2011. Three men, Paul Dunlop, Scott Lucy and Neil Stocker, who were working on removing the church organ at the time, were killed in the collapse.

The First World War roll of honour, which had survived the first quake, was lost in the second. 

The new Aldersgate Centre was opened on 29 February 2020. The chapel in the new building did not have a space set aside for memorials, but during the opening ceremony a plaque in memory of Paul Dunlop, Scott Lucy and Neil Stocker was unveiled in the courtyard garden just outside.

See: 'Honour roll unveiled at Durham Street church', Lyttelton Times, 4/8/1919, p. 7; 'Methodist church renovated', Press, 3/10/1949, p. 2; W.T. Blight, A House Not Made with Hands: A History of the Durham Street Methodist Church, Christchurch, 1964, pp. 72, 92-5; 'Quake victims' families humbled by special new building remembering loved ones', Stuff, 1/3/2020.

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