I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
St Andrew's stands on a slight eminence beside the busy Kawakawa to Opua road near Tirohanga Stream. It started life as the fourth church to be built on the site of the Paihia Mission Station (established in 1823 by Henry Williams) and was originally dedicated as St Paul's.
At Paihia it served all races, mainly Maori, for fifty years but attendance flagged and it fell into disrepair. In 1903 William Henry Bedggood, a lay reader from Waimate North, arrived in Paihia and set about reviving attendance. In 1904-5 he had the church re-shingled and upgraded. But in 1926 it was dismantled and the following year was barged in sections via the Veronica Channel and Kawakawa River to the nearby Tirohanga riverbank, then transported by bullock team to its present position and re-named St Andrew's.
© DON DONOVAN