Exhibition co-ordinators and parishioners Jennie Coleman (left) and Jan Cockerill, with the Rev Dr David Coles, put the finishing touches to 'Brides and Baptisms', a public display of historical gowns in St Peter's Hall. Photo by James Beech.
History will be both made and re-enacted when 150 years of
ministry and worship in Queenstown are celebrated by Wakatipu
past and present parishioners over a bumper weekend of
The 150th anniversary of the first service held in St Peter's
Anglican Church, built on the site given to the Wakatipu
parish by Queenstown founder William Gilbert Rees, will be on
The commemorative service at 10.30am is at the heart of the
activities when the Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, the Rt Rev Dr
Kelvin Wright, will lead the congregation with four former
vicars taking part.
Those special guests will be the Rev Geoff Neilson (1970-78),
the Rev Rory Redmayne (1985-89), the Ven Neil Fuge
(1995-2002) and the Rev Hugh McCafferty (2003-07), joined by
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden.
Participants are encouraged to wear period costume to match
the occasion of 150 years ago where everybody was keen to be
seen in their Sunday best.
The 150th commemorative banner, made by the Queenstown
Embroiderers' Guild, will be dedicated.
Queenstown musician Mark Wilson has composed a hymn to mark
the anniversary, which will also be performed at the service.
After the service, a tree-planting ceremony will be followed
by the Wakatipu Parish midwinter dinner. Vicar the Rev Dr
David Coles said celebrating a century and a-half of ministry
and worship was significant and the anniversary was not just
about the first Anglican church built in Wakatipu.
The celebrations begin tomorrow morning when parishioners and
others take a pilgrimage walk from all corners of the parish
to arrive at St Peter's by noon.
For those journeying from the peninsula, walkers will depart
Kelvin Heights Beach at 10am. Those from Arrowtown will start
ride at St Paul's Church at 10am.
Converging on the Boat Shed, Frankton Marina, they will be
joined by Dr Coles at 11am to walk the lakefront to St
Walkers from Sunshine Bay will leave the Reserve Fernhill Rd
area at 11am and those traversing from Arthurs Point will
depart the Coronet Peak Hotel at 11am.
The walkers and bikers will gather at St Peter's for games
and crafts, a sausage sizzle and soup.
The Queenstown and District Historical Society has organised
an illustrated talk on congregations in the early days and
heritage buildings in Queenstown.
Rosemary Marryatt, great-granddaughter of Rees, will give
insights from the founder's diaries, paintings and family
anecdotes from 5pm, followed by the opening of the ''Brides
and Baptisms'' exhibition with live music.
The display of gowns worn by ancestors on two of the most
important days of their lives continues in the parish hall
until September 8.