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.
Te Whare Karakia o Mikaera, Ngawha*, dedicated on 21 April 1871, was built on the site of Pene Taui's pa where the Battle of Ohaeawai was fought on 1 July 1845.
Scoria walls around the church are remnants of the outer fortifications of the pa. It's a nice, neat church that oozes history.
The builders were Neilson and Cook. The cost was £300 and the plans were 'from Auckland'. There's an old saying that the devil is in the detail - not true.
The artistic homage to the god of the artisan is in the detail; you see it around the world in pew ends, gargoyles, wrought iron work, and here in the elegant lancet windows of St Michael's with their quatrefoil decorations picked out in unabashed scarlet.
*Maori, literally: ‘The House of Prayer of Michael, Ngawha’.
© DON DONOVAN