|Matawhero Historic Church
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Built in 1865 or 1866 as a schoolroom for the European settlers, the building was also used for church services also by the Anglican community. Involved in the campaign waged by Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki (Te Kooti) against Europeans and Maori who had over-ridden his were land claims, supported the government in land and sovereignty issues or personally offended him in some way. In July 1868 the schoolroom served for a short period as a military hospital for colonial forces and volunteers injured in the first encounter with Te Kooti after his escape from imprisonment in the Chatham Islands.
Matawhero Historic Church is a beautiful venue for weddings
The rapidly expanding number of immigrants, mainly from Britain, settling in the Gisborne district led some dedicated Presbyterians in 1872 to arrange for the formation of a congregation and the appointment of a Minister. The initial request was made to the Auckland Presbytery who then requested the Hawkes Bay Presbytery to assist. The Rev. George Morice who came from Napier in 1872 purchased ten acres (4.05 ha.) including the school house at Matawhero, which had been used sometimes by the Anglican Church. After the Rev. G. Morice left in 1873, the Rev. H. Root took his place and then he moved in to the township of Gisborne, as it was clearly to be the future centre of population. The Presbyterian Church was the first church to hold regularly organised services in Gisborne.
St Andrew’s leaders have always been very aware of their responsibility to serve and witness to the central city, although, as the city has expanded fewer people live in close proximity to the church. The Ministers and members continue to serve in many community organisations and our church and Hall are used extensively by many groups. In recent years, several factors such as a multiplicity of competing attractions and changing working times have made the Church’s mission more difficult. However all members are committed to promoting the focus of our Mission Statement of welcoming everyone in worship, prayer, and social activities and enabling them to explore their faith with integrity.