This is the third St Andrew’s Church in New Plymouth. The original St Andrew’s was built in 1863 on the present Top Town site in Devon Street and was destroyed by fire in 1884. The present building was erected in 1932.
We find encouragement from the fact that the first church was opened when New Plymouth was in a state of siege through the Taranaki Wars, the second after the disaster of a major fire, and the present building in the midst of the Great Depression.
St Andrew’s was the first Presbyterian Church in Taranaki. It was established by Rev John Thom, a Minister of the free Church of Scotland who came to New Zealand in 1856 and ministered to congregations at Turakina and the Hutt before coming to Taranaki in 1860.
St Andrew’s has been designed in the style of a traditional English Gothic revival church. The architect was F de J Clere of Wellington. It has been constructed principally in reinforced concrete, which has been plastered, and then clad in Waiwhakaiho stone. The roof is slate and the spire on the tower is sheathed in copper.
Many of the beautiful windows have been installed in memory of past members of the congregation, ministers and office-bearers.
The tapestry is a collection of work by the St Andrew’s Young Women’s fellowship in 1988, to celebrate 125 years.