What: The Re-Opening of St Peter’s Anglican Church, Church Corner, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch


When: Sunday 28 February 2021, 10am start.

St Peter’s has been transformed from this to this:


The oldest Anglican stone church in the city of Christchurch, St Peter’s has taken 10 years to rebuild, at a cost of 5 million dollars, but now on the 10th anniversary of the earthquakes, is finally ready and the parish and community are so excited!  The repaired and refurbished church is a sign of hope and resilience, and the parish a hub of community activity connected with more than a dozen community groups. The bell will ring for the first time since the earthquakes during the service as part of the Re-Opening event.


For over 150 years St Peter’s Anglican Church has stood in the heart of Church Corner, at the junction of three main roads heading south, east and west, in and out of Christchurch. But the story of the building is one of both continuity and change.


  • Following the Canterbury settlement from Ngai Tahu, the Rev’d Octavius Mathias purchased land from the Canterbury Association and gave this land the church stands on today. Octavius’ great great grandson Richard will be present.
  • The first wooden church, using timber from Akaroa, was built in 1858. Quickly proving too small the church was extended in 1861. In 1874 Benjamin Mountfort was engaged as architect and an addition was made in stone. His great great great nephew is our current Vicar, The Venerable Nicholas Mountfort.
  • In 1900 the wooden section was rebuilt in stone from Benjamin’s plans but reworked by his son Cyril. In 1928 the Tower was designed by Cecil Wood and finished from local Halswell and Mount Somers Stone. In 1976 the church was reordered inside by Don Donnithorne.
  • In 2015, following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes, Hugh Tennent was engaged as architect. The church is strengthened to 100% of building code, expanded to include a hospitality space and toilets, and reordered.
  • Buried near the church are many local celebrities such as Nurse Maude, Mayor Henry Wigram, and Superintendent William Moorhouse.


  1. Listen to Rev’d David Winfield talk about the restoration project to a CTV reporter in 2017.
  2. Listen to Rev’d Nick Mountfort and Rev’d David Winfield discuss the project and the building with Star News (and CTV) in 2019.
  3. Read about the opening and what has been achieved here: The Star 22 Feb 2021


Spokespeople will be available for comment after the Re-Opening service, including Bishop Peter Carrell; Rev’ds Nick Mountfort and David Winfield; the Archbishop and Primate, Philip Richardson; and Suzanne Price, Recovery Manager, Church Property Trustees (CPT).


RSVP: To arrange an interview please contact:


Diocesan Media Officer:

Jo Bean