We have been a Christian presence in the area of Birkenhead since 1911. Rooted in the Anglican tradition we are always striving to be faithful to our Prayer Book heritage as well as exploring new ways of being a worshipping community.
Our worship is centered on The Eucharist – Holy Communion – ‘The Breaking of Bread.’ The Eucharist is the Sacrament of thanksgiving given by Christ for the continual recalling of his life, death and resurrection. It is the family meal of the Church in which we are strengthened in our union with the living Christ and with one another for service in the world. From this foundation we offer our ministry of service to the local community.
We are a Church that has witnessed baptisms, weddings and funerals for generations and continue to offer these Sacraments and Rites to the community. The small white painted Church, with warm stained-wood and white interior and a lovely war memorial window, is a place of worship, fellowship and a special focus for the Anglican community in Birkenhead
Like many of the church members the building did not start its life in its present location, or even as a church. The church reflects the history of many NZ communities.
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History of the Parish
In 1908 with no building in Birkenhead the Anglicans began to hold services in the Foresters Lodge Hall, built in 1905 to replace an earlier one destroyed by fire. The Ancient Order of Foresters was a benevolent society founded in the United Kingdom in 1745 and established in New Zealand in the 1860’s with a total of 107 Lodges.
In September 1910 the small congregation with lay readers held a meeting to initiate the purchase of a suitable site for a church. A highly successful fund raising concert was held on November 21st 1910. On January 1st 1911 purchase of the now-vacated two storied wooden Foresters Lodge Hall for £325 was completed. It was located next to the Council Buildings, now the site of the Birkenhead Library, in Hauraki Street – later renamed Hinemoa St.
The congregation was increasing throughout 1911, and meetings were held about converting the hall to a church, and providing additional seating. A first organ was purchased. Mr. Woodhouse provided funding for a font and church bell. Glacier-etched windows, a gas light, hangings, altar coverings, carpet and brass fittings were added, described as looking “very reverent” in the Church Gazette, December 1911. The belfry and lectern were in position by February 1912.
In 1913 further additions and alterations were carried out, the transepts and sanctuary added, and a Sunday school room below. The building was renamed “All Saints” with a large congregation present.
In 1915 a scroll was added over the northeast window in memory of Teddy Woodhouse, and 1916 a lectern presented by Mr. Keith. In 1918 a sanctuary chair, sermon desk, and oak hymn boards were gifted, and a gas lamp was placed outside the church. The church and hall were relocated to their present site in Hinemoa St in 1923.
Restoration of the church, both inside and out took place between (2008 – 2011). All Saints continues to offer a supportive community of faith for the people of Birkenhead.