The following represents a concise history of the Karori Anglican Parish.
1847 - Four acres (1.6 ha) of land were given for a church, schoolhouse, vicarage and glebe by the Hon. Mr Justice Chapman of Homewood. A further acre was added in 1877 by Mrs H C Johnston.
1866 - The first church on the site, built of wood was opened and consecrated on 12 August. It was added to four times and was taken down in 1925. Part of it lay within the nave of the present church. Links with it survive in the rimu cross on the south wall of the chancel and in the geometric glass in the chapel. It was finally dismantled in 1925.
1872 - The parochial district of Karori and Makara was formed with the Rev W Ballachey as the first resident clergyman. The first vicarage was built at Karori on the site of the present one.
1881 - The first parochial hall was opened at 300-304 Karori Road. It was sold in 1917.
1911 - The present St Mary's Church, designed by F de J Clere and built by Meyer & Illingworth, was one of the first churches in the region to be built of ferro-concrete. Its design, sometimes described as Spanish, shows the influence of the Californian mission style. The woodwork is jarrah. It was opened on All Saints Day (1 November) and later consecrated in 1916.
1923 - The present parish hall was built. Today this area is used by The SMASH Club.
1924 - The first subdivision of the glebe was made and the sections sold. The last section, on Friend Street, was sold in 1940.
1925 - The parochial district of Karori and Makara became the Parish of Karori and Makara.
1926 - In the first addition 15 feet (4.6m) were added to the nave and a baptistery was formed. Clere & Clere were the architects. More space was needed to accommodate boarders at Marsden Collegiate School established in Karori that year. Mrs Hannah Henderson and Mrs Elizabeth Tustin were the first women elected to the Vestry.
1930 - The first curate, the Rev M E Holmes was appointed.
1931 - W F England’s property at 415 Karori Road was bought as a site for a church at Karori West.
1936 - St Mary’s was first floodlit, for the 70th anniversary.
1960 - The two storey addition was made to the current Parish Hall giving the areas that are now the offices, meeting room, kitchen etc and The Early Childhood Education Centre below.
1963 - The St Mary’s church burial ground (Karori) closing order was issued.
1964 - The parochial district of Makara-Karori West was subdivided from the Parish of Karori.
1966 - To mark the centenary of St Mary’s the church was lengthened by the addition on 3 bays, a vestibule and porch and the chancel was rearranged. There was a new altar, the choir was transferred from the chancel to the north transept and a new organ was placed in the south transept. The architects were Porter & Martin and the builder Unit Construction Co. The additions were consecrated in 1973.
1984 - The name of the parochial district was changed to the parochial district of St Philip's, Karori West (with St Matthias, Makara), and the name of the parish to the parish of St Mary, Karori.
1986 - The first woman curate, the Rev Pat Muxlow, was appointed
1993 - The vestibule and porch were redesigned by W H Alington, architect, to form a gathering area with a memorial wall adjacent. The builders were McKee Fehl Constructors.
Many of the furnishings are memorials. The modern stained glassed windows in the nave and gathering area were designed by Beverley Shore Bennett, a parishioner and made by Miller Studios, Dunedin.
|Thomas Fancourt||1865 - 1870|
|W D Lewis||1870 - 1871|
|William Ballachey||1872 - 1881|
|Alexander Dasent||1882 - 1897|
|P L M Cameron||1897 - 1899|
|A L Hansell||1899 - 1914|
|G Y Woodward||1914 - 1929|
|F M Kempthorne||1929 - 1950|
|H A Childs||1951 - 1964|
|E K Norman||1965 - 1973|
|G S Baker||1973 - 1987|
|M R Smart||1988 - 1998|
|John Hughes||1999 - present|