St Mary's Church memorials, Upokongaro

St Mary's Church memorials, Upokongaro

St Mary's Anglican Church, Upokongaro, was opened on 20 July 1879. Its best-known features are its three-sided steeple and the Avalanche memorial window above the altar. The three-lancet stained glass window, which was installed just before the church was opened, depicts the Ascension and has the following dedication: "In the remembrance of Archibald Montgomery, aged 23, who was lost with the ship Avalanche in the English Channel on the 11th Sept. 1877, from his loving father and mother Henry and Frances Montgomery."

The church also has a number of war memorial objects. Memorial altar lights, a brass altar book rest and a prayer book (not pictured here) were donated in memory of First World War War soldiers. The hand-lettered Upokongaro Second World War roll of honour, which hangs on the rear wall of the nave, was compiled from 1943 onwards. It lists the names of 50 men and one woman who served. In 1950 a brass tablet was also installed commemorating the four men who were killed (J.M. Biggar, J. Granville, A.V. Holder and J.N. Jones).

See: Wendy Pettigrew, The Church by the River: St Mary's Upokongaro: Serving Country Parishioners Since 1877, Wanganui, 200, pp. 8-9,16,  21-2, 31, Laraine Sole, Upokongaro: The Community Up-River, 1840-1960, Wanganui, 2018, pp. 55-67. 

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