St Andrews Memorial Church

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St Andrews Anglican Memorial Church at Maheno, c1986 and in 2010. See also the Maheno memorial cenotaph.

The Anglican Church of St Andrews was built with funds made available to the community by Cyril Nichols, brother of Colonel Joseph Cowie Nichols, of Kuriheka fame. The church was designed by Christchurch architect Richard Harmon (1896-1953) from drawings made by Cecil Wood (1878-1947).

It is built from locally quarried rock mainly from the Bedding Hill (basalt and volcanically altered sandstone) quarry about 10km away to the south, a quarry from which a number of local buildings and walls etc have been built.

The west window is a memorial to the two sons, a brother and a cousin of Colonel Nichols who were killed in the First World War, and the east window was gifted by Cecil Teschemaker, in memory of his parents who were very early settlers of the district. Both are superb little windows.

The church is outstanding for its oregon pine timberwork, oak joinery, limestone carvings, exterior modeling and its hand-made tile roof. It has an organ tucked away in the bell tower, which is very unusual and pieces of masonry from a number of the world famous cathedrals in England, as a link to the old country.

The church was consecrated by Bishop William Fitchett of Dunedin on 16 December 1939. The building was presented to the Anglican community by Colonel Joseph Cowie Nichols, of Kuriheka Estate, and his brother Cyril; Mrs J.C. Nicholls donated the porch furnishings; other members of the local community donated most of the other furnishings.

The foundation stone, laid on 30 April 1938, is inscribed as follows: “A.M.D.G. / THE CHURCH OF ST ANDREW / Built in honour of those who having / served, now rest in God’s keeping / THIS FOUNDATION STONE / was laid by / COLONEL JOSEPH COWIE NICHOLS / of Kuriheka – 30th April 1938”. This refers not only to the four members of the Nichols family who gave their lives during the First World War, as mentioned above (two of the Colonel’s sons, Joseph Cowie and Cyril Robert; his brother, Walter Harry Nichols; and a nephew, Arthur Nichols), but also to other members of the Nicholls family who have passed away. There is a range of other memorial plaques to other members of the Nichols family on the walls. The church bell was installed in memory of Colonel Nichol’s oldest son, Charles, who was accidentally burnt to death at Kuriheka in 1895.

Sources: ‘Church Foundation Stone Laid’, Evening Star, 2/5/1938, p. 7; ‘Memorial Church: Nichols Family Gesture’, Evening Star, 29/5/1939, p. 6; ‘Church of St Andrew: Consecration at Maheno: Memorial to Nichols Family’, Otago Daily Times, 18/12/1939, p. 11; ‘New Church at Maheno: Church of St Andrew: Impressive Consecration: Memorial to Nichols Family’, Oamaru Mail, 18/12/1939, p. 2; Dorothy McKenzie, St Andrew’s Church: The Story of St Andrew’s Church, Maheno, North Otago, 2014.

Across the road from the church are the Maheno School Second World War memorial gates:

gates gates

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about St Andrews Memorial Church

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M. D. Hodgen

Posted: 06 Feb 2013

An architectural gem in a pleasant setting, etched in my memory from worship in the 1940s. We shape our buildings, and they shape us.