Bishop Selwyn

New Zealand's first Anglican Bishop George Augustus Selwyn arrived in 1842. He was an “Ecclesiologist” believing that only medieval Gothic was suitable for church design. He promoted the building of churches throughout his diocese. Masonry construction proved difficult and, supervised by London-trained architect-priest Frederick Thatcher, many early churches made use of prefabrication techniques. Wooden building components were prepared by students in the workshops at St. John’s College and shipped to their sites. The resulting buildings were characterised by steeply pitched roofs, vertical board-and batten exteriors, stained timber interiors, and exposed structures. The churches with these characteristics, mainly found in the Auckland region are said to be in the Selwyn style.

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