A Pilgrim on God's High Road - Canon Wilford in New Zealand 1904-1932
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis examines the life of Canon John Russell Wilford, an Anglican clergyman working in the Diocese of Christchurch, in New Zealand from 1904 to 1933. This thesis concentrates on four of Canon Wilford's projects during this time: church building at Waikari, the 1910 missions in Prebbleton, the redevelopment of College House and the building of St George's Hospital. These projects were inspired by Canon Wilford's faith in God and his interest in the Canterbury Pilgrims. Each project also demonstrated Wilford's abilities as a fundraiser and an organiser. The development of faith was Wilford's main concern in the Waikari and Prebbleton parishes. This thesis examines how he tried to do this with church building in Waikari and the General Mission in Prebbleton. It also examines the fundraising methods used by Wilford for the Waikari churches and how he became interested in the Canterbury Pilgrims there. The thesis looks at Wilford's role in the organisation of missions to develop faith in the Prebbleton parish in 1910. It also considers Wilford's Anglo-Catholicism and how this related to the missions as well as his interest in the Pilgrims. Wilford was Principal of College House for the majority of his time in New Zealand and this thesis covers his attempts to rebuild the College and how he felt inspired by God and the Pilgrims to do so. As his campaign to rebuild the College was not successful this thesis will examine why this was the case. Wilford also felt inspired by God and the Pilgrims to build a private Anglican hospital. This plan resulted in St George's hospital. This thesis looks into fundraising methods used to finance the hospital and Wilford's religious, charitable and technological aims for the hospital.