Old St Paul's Wellington New Zealand

Bringing the Stories Out of the Woodwork

Other Information

Detail from a section by Simon Carnachan drawn c1959-1972

Visit Old St Paul’s
Old St Paul’s is open to the public every day except Christmas Day, and welcomes visitors.  The building is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, a crown entity which is New Zealand’s lead heritage agency.

Old St Paul’s holds regular events, including musical concerts, and they have regular guided tours for visitors.  The church is also available for weddings and funerals.  They also have a magnificent children’s education programme.

Old St Paul’s also has a volunteer programme, which allows people to work there as tour guides and in other positions – contact Old St Paul’s for more information.

For information about the visiting hours, events and contact details at Old St Paul’s, see the Heritage New Zealand website.

Friends of Old St Paul’s
The Friends of Old St Paul’s was formed in 1965 to help save the church, and now assists Heritage New Zealand to raise the profile of the church, and to help the public to enjoy this wonderful building.

The organisation holds events at the church, and funds many projects there.  It is always interested in hearing from people who would like to become members of their organisation.  Their website is Friends of Old St Paul’s.


Elizabeth Cox is a New Zealand historian specialising in New Zealand architectural and social history. She worked at Heritage New Zealand for a number of years, and now is as an independent contract historian, carrying out research projects on a wide range of historic buildings, particularly for Conservation Plans and other management plans. Her website is www.bayheritage.co.nz

Rebecca Nuttall is a student in the Victoria University of Wellington’s Museums and Heritage Studies Masters course.


Thank you

Thank you to Peter Shepherd, who was the architect in charge of the restoration of Old St Paul’s in the 1960s, as he has kindly allowed me to use his copyrighted images to help illustrate this site.  All of his photos are copyright, and are not to be reproduced.

Thank you also to Jim Bentall, another architect who worked on the conservation project, as he has let me use his images taken in 1968-69.  All of his photos are copyright, and are not to be reproduced.

Thanks also to Paul Scott, who allowed me to use some of his beautiful images of the church, taken in 2015: http://paulscottinfo.ipage.com/nz/cathedrals/wellington/oldstpauls/tn.html

In addition to this project, I have completed 20 oral history interviews, commissioned by the Friends of Old St Paul’s, with people who were members of the St Paul’s congregation and clergy, and those involved in the saving of St Paul’s in the 1960s. These interviews a rich vein of information about the life of the congregation in its last decades. Thank you to the Friends of Old St Paul’s for funding this project.

Thanks also to Heritage New Zealand, particularly the wonderful staff and volunteers at the church, for providing me with a great deal of assistance and information.  Every time I visit they have a new tale to tell.  Thanks also to Heritage New Zealand for allowing me to use text originally written for the Old St Paul’s Conservation Plan.

Please note that this site is not a Heritage New Zealand website, but written by independent historians.


See also this project’s Facebook page to keep up with new stories www.facebook.com/osphistory

Image: Detail from an architectural plan of the church as it was in 1866, by the architectural firm Carnachan Kay Lenihan, c1959-1972.  Ref: Plans-81-0614. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22640273

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