Apostolic Church

Built in 1960, the Apostolic Church at 859 Colombo Street was replaced by a motel complex after being demolished in 2002.

By 1925, the Apostolic Church of the United Kingdom, centred in Penygroes, Wales, had twelve members in New Zealand, some of whom were Welsh expatriates. The formation of a congregation in Wellington, the first in New Zealand, was acknowledged at an international convention held in Penygroes in 1929.

The establishment of a Christchurch congregation was initiated following a ‘Back to the Bible’ campaign held by an English representative, J. F. D. Thompson, in the former Art Gallery Hall on Durham Street on 17 November 1935. Following this, communion service was held for the first time on 7 December. On 29 December, services were held in the No More War Memorial Hall (143B Worcester Street). A Christchurch church was officially established after a convention held on 11 January 1936 and the Worcester Street property remained the place of worship. In 1943, the New Zealand Apostolic Church became independent of the Apostolic Church in Britain. 

In 1945, the Christchurch congregation relocated to a two storey, brick shop at 159 Cambridge Terrace, next to the Limes Hospital. The congregation remained here until 1952, when it purchased a building at 98 Victoria Street. This building, however, was dilapidated and in need of renovation. Rather than commit to restoring the building, it was decided to purchase a site and construct a church.

The property selected for the new church was 859 Colombo Street, situated on part of Town Reserve 58. The site was occupied by the former house of Stephen George Barrett, who, along with his wife Catherine Cowan Barrett, had owned the property since 1925. However, Catherine died in 1931 and Stephen had died in 1953. 

In 1957, the property was transferred from their son, Archibald George Barrett, to the president of the New Zealand Apostolic Church Council, James David Eynon, Marcus Goulton of Wellington, and the Christchurch pastor, Ivor Lawrence Cullen. It was then transferred to the church trust board. The property at 98 Victoria Street was sold to the Hard of Hearing League in November 1958. 

The house occupying the site was demolished and a new church building was constructed according to designs provided by David A. Stock, a consulting engineer. The construction work was voluntary but overseen by A. D. Jenkins.

The church was constructed with steel portal frames and stone walls. The eastern façade, which faced Colombo Street, had a stainless steel cross on the wall which was illuminated by two fluorescent lights. On either side of the cross were two glazed windows with coloured glass. 

Entry into the church was through a vestibule at the southwestern end of the building. Inside the vestibule, a door to the north led into the main interior of the church. To the south was a vestry, while a passage leading westward opened onto a kitchen, a storeroom, and separate toilets for men and women.  The main room of the church faced eastward, with a seating capacity of up to 160 people. At the eastern end was the baptistry and a platform, while at the western end a folding door opened into a prayer room. 

The church was formally opened on 6 February 1960 with a service conducted by James David Eynon.

In the 1980s, services were also held by pastors Ron Temby and Rex Norman Meehan in the Limes Room in the Christchurch Town Hall.

On 27 October 1983, Alan Raymond Symon broke into the church and set fire to it. However, the building was not seriously damaged. 

In 1992, the property was transferred to the Presbyterian Church Property trustees.

In 2002, an application was made to build a motel complex on the site and the church building was subsequently demolished.