Anglo Catholicism in the Diocese of Christchurch, 1850-1920
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this thesis is to trace the origins and growth of anglo catholicism in the diocese of Christchurch from 1850 – 1920. New Zealand church history is a comparatively virgin field, especially in the analysis of movements and ideas. Anglo Catholicism has received scant attention from the standard authorities on New Zealand anglican history, such as Parr, Purchas and Morrell. It seemed important that this neglect be remedied before eyewitness accounts of some part of the seminal period were lost forever. This thesis is also an attempt by the author to examine critically his own religious tradition. A major source of information has been the Christchurch diocesan newspaper. The city's major newspapers have also been of some assistance. The diocesan archives and the parish papers of St. Bartholomew’s, Kaiapoi and. St. Michael's, Christchurch have yielded a considerable amount of source material. The private correspondence of Canterbury Association members was consulted in the Alexander Turnbull and Canterbury Museum libraries, The Canterbury University library provided many early Canterbury books and papers. Conversations, interviews and letters provided a limited but valuable amount of information. A few secondary sources, principally theses, have afforded leads to further information and suggestions for general conclusions. The thesis begins with a brief survey of the movement in England, followed by a closer study of the influence of tractarianism on the Canterbury Association and early Canterbury anglicanism. There follows an account of the abortive beginnings of ritualism at Kaiapoi, in the Carlyon case. From here the gradual emergence of anglo catholicism is traced through the establishment of the movement at Phillipstown and the formation of the Community of the Sacred Name. The "capture'' of St. Michael's in 1910 and the sources of opposition to this development is then analysed. The Perry-Gosset case, which involved an unsuccessful attempt to end episcopal protection of anglo catholicism a at St. Michael's, marks the end of the seminal period. The thesis concludes that anglo catholicism made little progress in the first 30 years of the Canterbury settlement because the Christchurch diocese had so many inherited advantages that it did not need a strong church movement to assert its denominational identity. The Christchurch diocese was predominantly low church, but included a small anglo catholic party. The anglo catholics found it difficult to make any headway against the inertia which preserved the status quo of a pre-Oxford movement church. Anglo catholicism managed to establish itself in the early part of the twentieth century because of a weakening in the predominant New Zealand religious tradition of colonial evangelicalism. By 1920 the period of origins was over and anglo catholicism had been partially accepted into the mainstream of Christchurch anglican life.