The United Church of Port Chalmers, Mount Street.
The United Church of Port Chalmers has come full circle since the very early settlement of the province. With the need for places to worship, few builders and contractors and a fledgling community, numbers didn’t easily necessitate the large churches that now exist around the city and its suburbs.
As a result, it was generally accepted that most of the early churches welcomed different protestant groups to share in worship. This meant whoever built first would also host other denominations in the area. In Port Chalmers, early worship included Anglicans, methodists and congregationalists and Presbyterians worshiping together.
Overtime, as settlement took hold, and church congregations swelled, each denomination would build their own places of worship.Port Chalmers Presbyterian Church included congregations at Purakanui, and later, the establishment of Emmanuel at Sawyers Bay.
When the tide turned on church membership across the country, numbers began to fall. Decisions were made and church closures once again saw congregations coming together to worship. The Presbyterian Church of Port Chalmers, alongside Methodists and Congregationalists, informally merged in 1964, and the United Church of Port Chalmers was formed.
Watkin-Creed, Methodist Church Demolished 1973.
Today, our weekly services are held at Emmanuel on Sunday mornings. We are a small inclusive community in good spirit. We also share worship with the Anglican congregation at Holy Trinity any time there is a fifth Sunday in the month. Our spaces are open to community groups, cruise ship passengers and their crews during the summer, and for concerts and other events during the year.
Emmanuel Church, Station Road, Sawyers Bay.
As has been the case traditionally, we are governed by our parish council, who oversee the running and management of our parish. Our interim moderator is joined by a group of excellent preachers who deliver a variety of thought provoking services, and help with the pastoral needs of our community.
Iona is a Historic Places Category 1 building, and our restoration committee has been responsible for the recent work the church has undergone. They continue to work on the ongoing work that is characteristic of a building of Iona’s age and type.