But look to the left and there is a rather grand organ. And I managed to find out a little of its history. It was installed in 1885 at a cost (in England) of 240 pounds and then shipped out here to the colonies.
It was paid for by the women of the of the family of the early missionary at Waimate North, George Clark, holding singing nights in their home to raise the money. It arrived in crates. The organ was carried in and installed by the women as the men were away at war. For three nights, they locked themselves in, piecing it together.
I'm reminded of the "Girls can do anything" campaign of the 80s. Seems they were 100 years behind the times!
At the entrance the prayer books are lined up neatly in a regimental row. They are printed in English and Maori.
The first child was baptized in this church on 10 July 1831. I wonder if the font was there then. It certainly looked very old but I couldn't find out anything about it. I'm intrigued by the meaning of the words around the top. It doesn't look like Latin or Maori to me. Anyone know?
The church sits in a well cared for grave yard. The last two shots are taken from the back of the church.
The church today is one of nine churches in the Parochial District of Waimate North. The work of keeping them in repair is a heavy burden on the parishioners, and in 1964 when the steeple needed urgent repairs, the cost was beyond the capacity of the Central Vestry’s finances. Thankfully, the National Historic Places Trust came to the rescue, renewed its damaged timbers, provided new shingles and a new Cross. It's in beautiful condition.