The foundation of the diocese of Wellington
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Scope of the work, 1829 to 1859; conditions of life; territorial boundaries and nomenclature; conflicting elements in the population; adherence to the prescribed limits; social, religious and political state of England; material available assessment and conclusion . To-day as a noble plan goes forward for the building of a worthy cathedral to the glory of God in Wellington, capital of the self-governing dominion of New Zealand, with its proud title of the “Empire City”, it is well to take a backward glance at the past. For the cathedral is to be no temporary erection of wood but is to rise in all its majesty with its foundations securely dug, a permanent witness to the vision of the pioneers of old who by their faith and toil planted the seed that has brought forth such good fruit. Just over a hundred years ago Wellington was no more than a dream of the future, its site the abode of the Maori, scarcely known to a handful of white adventurers, where the rites of tapu and makutu reigned unchallenged. It is not the purpose of this work to trace the development that has taken place in the course of' a century; space does not permit. But, for the conclusion of the study, the year 1859 has been chosen in no arbitrary fashion. This date marks the finish of the old and ushers in the new it is the turning: point in the history of the diocese of Wellington; it is "the end of the beginning". In 1858 the Venerable O. J. Abraham, Archdeacon of Waitemata, was consecrated first bishop of Wellington. The first general synod of the Church of England in New Zealand met in March of the following year, and in October the Wellington diocesan synod, its bishop in the chair, held its first session. The basic machinery by which the church is governed to this day was firmly established and its subsequent development has been along normal lines; for the fundamental beliefs have remained unchanged since that three years ministry close on twenty centuries ago. Synod has succeeded to synod, bishop to bishop, new parochial districts, parishes and archdeaconries have been formed at the demand of population and progress, the boundaries of the diocese altered, the constitution amended in its details, the old faces replaced by new. Time has marched on but the foundations, on which the whole superstructure has risen surely and certainly, stay the same, immovable, as they were laid in 1859.