All Saints Church has been active in this area for over 120 years!
Our church has always been a congregation in which local people have worshipped God, prayed together, grown in their faith, supported one another in their joys and sorrows and had fun together.
Our buildings stand on land donated by Wellington Pioneer James Coutts Crawford in 1878. The first church on the site was a wooden building that cost just over £185 to build. It opened as “a very neat little Church Room” on 19 August 1894. Services were usually held in the evening, lit by kerosene lamp until electricity came to the suburb. During the dark winter months a hurricane lamp was tied to bushes at the Moxham Avenue entrance as a guiding light for those attending.
In 1904 the church was enlarged and in 1907 a seven-roomed vicarage was built and opened behind the church. This was demolished in 1961 when a new vicarage was built. Also in 1907 the bishop sanctioned calling the Church Room by the name of All Saints.
With the trams came increasing settlement in Hataitai and Kilbirnie, and the congregation grew. In 1910 planning and fundraising started for a new brick church. The existing wooden building was pulled down, re-erected and enlarged further back on the site to make way for the proposed new building. After a devastating World War and years of dedicated fundraising, the current church building was opened in 1928, with furnishings and 30 new pews donated by church members. The brick walls, terracing, steps and path at the front of the church were built in 1936.
In 1977, an amalgamation of All Saints with Hataitai Methodist Church was agreed on and begun. The Methodist Church organ was donated to All Saints and reinstalled in our church building.
Since the 1960s and 1970s, a vision grew to build a new community centre, able to serve both the church and community well. This grew stronger as the original church hall began to become derelict. From 2007 – 2013 there was a huge push to bring it into reality, and the new All Saints Conference Centre was opened in November 2013.
About our Organ
The church purchased a new reed organ from Nelson Cathedral in 1931. In 1938 it was sold to Hutt Methodist Church, because All Saints had bought a Wurlitzer organ from the Paramount Theatre. It dated from the silent movie era of the 1920s and could play 24 different sound effects including horses' hoofs, tom toms and a steamboat whistle. Over years of use at the church most of the sound effects broke down or were sold, and the organ became difficult to maintain. With the amalgamation of All Saints and Hataitai Methodist Church in 1977 the church decided to install the Hele organ from the Methodist church, and the Wurlitzer was sold to a local resident who intended to restore it.
Source: All Saints' Church Hataitai-Kilbirnie Jubilee History, by F D Bell, published by All Saints' Parish Council 1977.