Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

All Saints Church, Dunedin

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Type  Church
Reference no.  2136
Architectural style  Gothic architecture
Designated  27-July–1988
Phone  +64 3-477 8300
All Saints Church, Dunedin
Address  786 Cumberland St, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Architects  William Clayton, William Mason
Similar  St Matthew's Church, Knox Church - Dunedin, St Paul's Cathedral - Dunedin, St Joseph's Cathedral, First Church of Otago

All Saints' is part of the Anglican parish of Dunedin North which includes the former parish of St. Martin's North East Valley and the northern part of the city of Dunedin, New Zealand. It is part of the Diocese of Dunedin. The parish boundaries include North East Valley, Pine Hill, North Dunedin, Ravensbourne and Leith Valley. The parish community is lively, inclusive, multi-generational and Anglo-Catholic. The building is the oldest church still used as a place of worship in Dunedin. All Saints' Church backs onto Selwyn College, Otago with which the parish has a long and close relationship. Selwyn College was built as an Anglican theological college in 1892, later becoming a college for students from any faculty in the university. All Saints' is the closest church to the campuses of the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic.



The nave of the church was designed by William H. Clayton and built in 1865; the transepts and chancel, designed by William Mason were added in 1873. All Saints is an example of gothic revival architecture. A notable architectural feature is the polychromatic brickwork. The bricks came from the brickworks in Filleul Street, Dunedin. Also used in the building is Oamaru stone, an early use of the stone in Dunedin. In 1969, All Saints undertook a restoration project, in which the foundations, hardwood floor, and slate roof were replaced. Also at this time a nave altar was installed. A restoration project is currently underway.

The building has a Category I listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Notable art works in the church include a large rood hanging above the sanctuary carved by leading sculptor Frederick George Gurnsey (1868–1953) who also carved the aumbry door and the pulpit. A small crucifix by the eminent New Zealand sculptor Ria Bancroft (1907–1993) is above the pulpit.

The windows are a particularly fine set of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass, many depicting New Zealand fauna and flora. Two windows were originally in the former chapel of St Hilda's Collegiate School.


All Saints' parish was organised before the Diocese of Dunedin was formed in 1869; for the first few years of the parish it was part of the Diocese of Christchurch. The land was given by James Allen and the foundation stone laid on 11 February 1865 by Henry Harper 1st Bishop of Christchurch. The church was built rapidly (admittedly only the nave and baptistery) and opened on 23 July 1865.


Worship at All Saints' is in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The teaching is progressive, orthodox and draws richly from the Christian tradition. Eucharistic liturgies are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Sunday 8 am) and A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (all other eucharists). Incense and bells are used for Festal Eucharist. Major Feasts which fall on a weekday are celebrated on the day with a 6.30pm High Mass. Each month there is a Family Mass. The normal weekly schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday
  • Mass from the Book of Common Prayer at 8 am
  • High Mass from A New Zealand Prayer Book at 10.30 am, Sunday School during the Liturgy of the Word (on the First Sunday of the month there is Family Mass, with an emphasis on children's participation and leadership)
  • [email protected], a contemplative worship service, inspired by Taizé at 8 pm. On High and Holy Days there is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at this service.
  • Wednesday
  • Baby and Toddler Group at 9.30 am, in Front Hall
  • Mass from A New Zealand Prayer Book at 5.30 pm (first WEdnesday in Maori, second Wednesday in French, third Wednesday with prayers for healing and anointing with oil)
  • Music

    The organ was built by Bevington & Sons, a London firm founded in 1794. Two of the most notable Bevington organs are in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Bevington organs won medals at exhibitions in Paris (1855 and 1867) and London (1862), and are held in high regard for the quality of their construction and voicing. The firm was absorbed into Hill, Norman and Beard in 1944. All Saints organ was built in 1877 for St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Christchurch. In 1905 the organ was transferred to All Saints. It was restored in 1969 by the South Island Organ Company. The two manuals have tracker action, and the pedals have tubular pneumatic action. In recent years a Bourdon pedal stop has been added.

    All Saints' has two choirs. The choir of students from Selwyn College, Otago including Choral Scholars sings for most Sundays and feast days, also at Selwyn College Services. The parish choir sings at the 10:30 am High Mass and at other occasions.

    A concert series is held occasionally.


  • Children
  • The Baby and toddler group meets each Wednesday from 9.30-11 in the Front Hall. During the Sunday 10.30 Mass children participate in the first part of the liturgy, they then go the hall for their own programme focussing on the Gospel of the day. They return to the church to receive Holy Communion with their families. Once a month there is a Family Mass with an emphasis on children's participation throughout the Mass. Each Friday in term time at 4.00pm the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (which uses a Montessori approach to religious education) is offered for children aged 3–12.

  • Students
  • The congregation for our Sunday 8pm liturgy [email protected] is mostly students, non students are also welcome. All Saints' has a long association with the Student Christian Movement and encourages students to be part of SCM.

  • Women
  • The All Saints' branch of the Association of Anglican Women meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 11.30am. An evening AAW group meets on the third Monday at 6.30pm.

  • Altar Servers
  • All Saints' has an active branch of the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary. The guild trains altar servers. The Guild's annual festival takes place on Corpus Christi (feast).


    All Saints Church, Dunedin Wikipedia

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