This rustic looking little church has serviced the community at Cave for nearly 70 years.
Previous to its construction in 1952 services for the Anglican Community in Cave were held in the local school which could be found to the west of the present Cave hall. In 1937-38 consolidation of these smaller community schools occurred. Cave school was no exception, closing its doors and sending its pupils by bus into Pleasant Point for their schooling.
The building was then leased from the Education Board and furnished with altar rails, lectern and prayer desk. It became known as the Cave Church School Room. For seventy years, services were held there. By 1949 the local Guild had some 400 pounds set aside so it was decided to build a church on land purchased from the Education Board and donated for that purpose.
The building you see today is the result of that decision. It was a collaboration of community labour. Made of local stone, which was handpicked and carted by many people out of the Te Ngawai riverbed. The church is a living memory of the people who have worshipped in it since 1952. Although not so many remain today there are still some residents that would have special memories of this building project.
On November 18, 1952, before a congregation of 150 visitors and parishioners, Bishop A. K. Warren unveiled the foundation stone as he was unable to be present when the stone was actually laid.
The church features two stained glass windows created by Roy Miller whose work can be seen all over New Zealand from other small community churches to larger town churches and cathedrals. The largest one in the sanctuary commemorates members of the Amyes family including their son Alfred C. Amyes whose life ended at Passchendaele 1917.
The 50th anniversary service was held in the church on All Saints Day, November 3 2002 followed by a luncheon in the Cave hall. I can imagine the busy bustling scene it must have been, tables laden with home baking and those big teapots being efficiently poured by the ladies in the kitchen. Perfect.