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New Lynn Congregational Church Report

New Lynn Congregational Church Report

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Published by Lisa Truttman
Historical notes on the New Lynn Congregational Church hall, Great North Road
Historical notes on the New Lynn Congregational Church hall, Great North Road

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Nov 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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New Lynn Congregational Church3043 Great North Road, New Lynn
Lisa J Truttman, October 2012 
1940 2010
Originally part of Allotment 257, the quarter-acre section on which the New Lynn CongregationalChurch building is sited was transferred to the Congregational Union of New Zealand on 10 January1910.
The first Congregational Church in New Zealand had been set up in 1851.
The Mt EdenCongregational Church had organised three earlier and similar buildings in sub-districts of their area,at Swanson (1902), Waikomiti and Mt Roskill.
“When the population of ew Lynn was only about 200 the members of Beresford Street Congregational Church in Auckland decided to erect a building for publicworship in the district. This was the result of a growth of the work of the Congrega-tional Mission Station which had been operating at Waikomiti from before the turnof the century.”
Building the church
Two days before the formal registration of transfer of the land in New Lynn, the foundation stonesfor the church were laid on Saturday 8 January 1910.
“The building is to be constructed as a church hall in connection with the Mount  Eden Congregational Church. It will be a brick structure, lined inside with wood,and having seating accommodation for 120 people … Two foundation stones werelaid, one by the Hon G Fowlds, Minister for Education, and the other by Mr John Bollard, member for the district.”
 The architect or designer of the building is unknown, but it is possible that the bricks used originatedfrom the New Zealand Brick, Tile & Pottery Company works operated in New Lynn by AlbertCrum. The works began in New Lynn in 1905,
and by 1907 had what was described as “
the most up-to-date plant of its kind in the southern hemisphere.”
Considering the Crum family’s knownclose connections with the church, Albert Crum may well have been instrumental in assisting with itsconstruction.
“The family of Albert Crum, an early settler and brickmaker, worshipped at theCongregational Church. His son, the late Mr Jack Crum, when asked did his family go to worship there, replied, “o, we didn’t actually ‘go’ to the ew Lynn Congre- gational Church Sunday School, we were ‘sent’!”
The church was apparently ready for opening by 13 February 1910.
“The Home Mission Committee of the Congregational Union of ew Zealand pur-chased a site about three months since within five minutes walk of the railway sta-tion, ew Lynn. A neat and substantial brick building has been erected on it and wasopened for Divine worship and work in February last, and is now filled with an in-telligent and respectable congregation.”
From August 1911, the church served as an overflow classroom for pupils from the first New Lynnschool.
“I am informed that the Board obtained a site for an infant school some six monthsago, and promised to go on with the building at once; but nothing has been done. Inthe meantime the Board rented the ew Lynn Congregational Hall to relieve theovercrowding of the main school. ow, Sir, the Congregational Hall is, in my opin-ion, wholly inadequate for the number of children (nearly 100) attending, besidesthe fact that winter is approaching, and there is practically no shelter outside thehall, and only a small section (one quarter of an acre) for the children as a play- ground.”
There were also no fireplaces in the church to use for warmth for the children during winter.
The district householders used the church for meetings on 17 and 22 May 1912 calling for the Gov-ernment to proceed with the building of a new side-school on the Hetana Hamlet land behind the rail-way station.
Other groups which used the church building for their meetings: the New Lynn Mutual ImprovementSociety,
election campaigners, New Lynn Scout troop (who held a “pound social” there in Novem- ber 1914),
and the New Lynn Residents Association held their formation meeting there on 16 Feb-ruary 1915.
D B Russell explained his proposals for the building of a canal along the Whau River at a meeting in the church on 10 October 1912.
During World War I, the New Lynn Patriotic Com-mittee held monthly packing meetings at the church,
and the local Order of Foresters was inaugu-rated at the church 16 May 1924.
“Opposite the church today stands the tower of Lynnmall, but in those days that shop- ping centre land, largely swamp, was the grazing area for the horses of a local con-tractor, Mr Henry Todd …“About the period of the Great War there were few houses in the locality and fewer churches … So worshippers would travel some distance to attend services even walk-ing from as far as Titirangi … After World War I residential development gathered momentum so that, apart from Todd’s property opposite, the greater area of thechurch was almost fully developed by the 1940s.”
As at 1927:
“Conditions at the ew Lynn Congregational Church continue to improve under theministry of Pastor A V Whiting. When Mr. Whiting took charge a little over a year ago, the church membership was 11, while it now numbers over 70. The Sunday school has grown from 6 to over 100 scholars, and the Cradle Roll, under the supervision of 

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