St John’s Anglican Church on Wai-iti Rd in Highfield is not an old church but it is a handsome one.
Behind the church we see today stands the original red brick Sunday school building. Over the years this evolved to become the church. Even though it has been replaced it still enjoys a busy life as a church hall.
The new one was built in 1949 in a classic style. It was opened in November 1951. The square tower is a notable feature, topped with an iron cross and weather vane, this rises above the battlements and gives the church its English character.
Constructed by local builders the concrete and plaster exterior walls have been recently painted in a discreet taupe with white detailing. The repeated crests around the top of the tower have been nicely highlighted and are another appealing feature. They include the St John’s cross, St George’s Anglican cross and the Trinity shield.
The slate roof is also beautiful and makes you think the church is older than it is.
The interior of the church is traditional, quite simple compared to churches of previous eras. The interior has a comfortable, friendly and practical feel to it. Nice and solid, it is decorated with white walls, blue carpet and tapestry hangings. The ceiling is of dark wood and rises to the rafters high above the congregation. The original pulpit, gifted by the Tonkin family, has been brought across from the old church as was the lovely old Christening font, gifted by the Mothers Union.
The stained glass windows are deceptively simple and add plenty of light. At the front of the church you can find another of Gypsy Poulstons wonderful stained glass windows, this one was dedicated in 1976. Her husband Eddie Poulston sculpted the modern crucifix which compliments Gypsy’s window beautifully.
The church also has an organ, keyboard to one side with the pipes on the opposite wall and this was made by the South Island Organ Company here in Timaru.
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