Get Adobe Flash player

St Alban's, Pauatahanui

Stained glass windows in St Alban’s Church at Pauatahanui4 Paekakariki Hill Road, Pauatahanui


Every Sunday





Dignified Worship in our historic church


St Alban's has a fine Allen electronic organ with swell and great manuals and a full pedal board. There is a good variety of 8', 4', 2' stops for the manuals an also several mixtures. The great and swell can be coupled to the pedal.


St Alban's at the head of the Pauatahanui inlet has special historic significance in the Pauatahanui area. In 2006 we celebrated the 110th anniversary of the church, designed by the Diocesan architect Frederick de Jersey Clere. Prior to 1896 Anglicans worshipped in the chapel built for "all denominations of Protestant Christians resident in Pauatahanui and neighbourhood".


St Alban’s Church is a simple, but elegantly composed and proportioned, Gothic Revival timber building and is an eloquent expression of the style executed in local materials. The church architect was Frederick de Jersey Clere. The plan is a plain rectangle, with a small porch at the south-west corner, a small vestry wing at the south-east corner and a semi-circular apse at the east end. The exterior of the church is distinctive for its dramatically sloped roof, tall bell-tower, gable screen, and rhythmic arrangement of timber buttresses and lancet windows. The roof is sheathed in corrugated iron and follows around the apse in a series of triangular segments, the walls are clad with weatherboards and the joinery is entirely in timber. The vestry and porch have low gabled roofs. The buttresses are placed on the sides of the building only and do not extend around the apse - these heavy-looking elements, shingled on the top edges, give strong pattern to the exterior of the building and add considerable visual interest. The bell-tower is sufficiently tall to be seen over the wider Pauatahanui area, despite the many mature trees surrounding the building.


A special visitor to Saint Alban’s (from June 2008 Messenger)
"A few weeks (May 2008) ago we had a visitor at St Alban’s from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, who was in Wellington to visit her family. This town was where the ship the Inconstant was built in 1847. While entering Wellington Harbour in October 1849 the Inconstant failed to make a course change and hit rocks near Pencarrow Heads. The ship, with its fittings, stores and cargo was put up for auction on 23 November 1849. This ship itself, ended up as Plimmer’s Ark and can now be seen under the old BNZ building."

Plimmer's Ark, formerly the ship InconstantThe bell from the ship Inconstant was given to St Alban’s by John Plimmer, one of the subscribers to the new (1895) church building fund. Our visitor was interested in our history and was delighted when we suggested that she ring the bell at the beginning of the service.

Read more about the Inconstant and John Plimmer.


Some years in December St Alban's hosts a performance of Handel's Messiah. Check the News of Pauatahanui Anglicans or the Messenger for the date.


On ANZAC Day (25 April) a Service of Remembrance is held at St Alban’s. Following the service wreaths are laid at the Pauatahanui War Memorial.

Burial Grounds

Around St Alban’s there are two burial grounds. The burial ground surrounding the church is administered by the St Alban’s Burial Ground Board of Managers. The burial ground between the highway and the driveway is the Pauatahanui Burial Ground and dates back to 1860. Here there is a collection of old fashioned roses tended by volunteers. These roses grow amongst the graves of the early settlers to the area. The early and mid-summer months are when the blooms are at their best. However in the autumn many of the roses have beautiful hips and others throw blooms well into winter. 


If you would like to be part of the team who care for the roses in the Pauatahanui Burial Ground please leave a messge on the Parish Office phone - 233 9781.

Francois Juranville in full bloom, November 2006Helpers maintaining the roses in the Pauatahanui Burial Ground adjacent to St Alban’s Roses in the Pauatahanui Burial Ground adjacent to St Alban’s

Stronghold of Faith by Helen Balham tells the history of St Alban's. It is available from the Parish Office. Read about our connection with St Alban's Abbey in The Tale of the Tile


Pauatahanui Song by Sam Hunt

On the shell-bank this morning
I counted seven flights of
bird: the blue white-faced heron,
terns and shag and wild duck,
pied stilt, oyster-catchers and
an old man black-back, biggest
bird of all and the boldest.

On the shell-bank this morning
I watched as your small town woke,
the little Anglican church
pointing to God as if He
were some place else — the church has
got it wrong again! God lives
in Pauatahanui
and will do, long as you’re there.

On the shell-bank this morning
the old man black-back and I,
a couple of small-town toughs
cautiously eyeing each other.
I have no idea what he
plans to do today. For me,
I thought I might roam on up,
join God! Like see if you’re home.

On the shell-bank this morning,
our world afloat, your small town
beached at the top of the long tide,
and God not quite sure where He
should be, and me not knowing where
for sure you are, but wishing
you could join me and the birds
on the shell-bank this morning.


Published in Stronghold of Faith by Helen Balham which tells the history of St Alban's, Pauatahanui.

Copies $10 from Parish Office.


More information about Pauatahanui Inlet:

Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet

The Pauatahanui Inlet Community Trust