St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin

4.4
#4 of 7 in Historic Sites in Dunedin
St Paul's Cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin in New Zealand and the seat of the Bishop of Dunedin.LocationThe Cathedral Church of St Paul occupies a site in the heart of The Octagon near the Dunedin Town Hall and hence Dunedin. The land for St Paul's Church was given by the sealer and whaler Johnny Jones of Waikouaiti.HistoryThe first parish church of St Paul was built on the site from 1862 to 1863. It was made of Caversham stone and could accommodate up to 500 people. It was not, however, well constructed. The stone weathered badly and the tall spire was removed after just a few years. The man consecrated to be the first Bishop of Dunedin, but never enthroned, Bishop Henry Jenner, visited the diocese in 1869. He officiated at St Paul’s and gave a lecture on church music illustrated by the St Paul’s choir. He is remembered as the composer of the hymn tune "Quam dilecta".In 1871 Samuel Tarratt Nevill was elected as Bishop of Dunedin. Initially he made no mention of the need for a cathedral for the diocese and it was not until the 1876 synod that he broached the subject. The issue was avoided by forming a commission to investigate the whole matter. The commission later recommended that St Paul’s should become the mother church. However, Nevill favoured St. Matthew's Church, Dunedin, and the impasse remained. In the early 1880s the question was revisited and again no resolution was reached. However, in 1894, 18 years after the issue was first raised, all sides agreed to the proposal for St Paul’s to become the cathedral. The cathedral chapter was formed and took up the responsibility for running the cathedral from 1895. Thomas Whitelock Kempthorne of Kempthorne Prosser Ltd was a generous supporter of the cathedral and a memorial stands inside.
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St. Paul's Cathedral Reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • By the time we got to Dunedin I had become used to the fact that everything in NZ is on a smaller scale than the UK. A cathedral is not quite the edifice you encounter at home. In fact, this was about...  more »
  • I liked, it is a very beautiful place of worship, stained glass windows, the organ, that will probably not, looks not like that, but it is composed of more than 3500 pipes! A magnificent cathedral to visit
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  • Amazing architecture and ability to walk around the building and bask in the atmosphere - some building work in progress at the time but not invasive.  more »
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  • Built in 1918/9 the front part of the Cathedral ticks every "this is a Cathedral box". Sitting high above the city square, the front leaves you in no doubt that it commands respect. Inside the entrance is just as grand with high stone pillars supporting a very high ornate ceiling. Then I believe back in 1919 they run out of money and the alter end of the Cathedral was not completed. Some years later they decided to complete the cathedral and instead of completing it in the same style to complete the Cathedral look, they tacked on some exposed concrete pillars and breeze blocks for modern church look. It looks so out of place and wrecks the cathedral ora. It turns 5 star cathedral into a 3-4 star church. Such a pity. Go to the front and take photos just of the back section, looks much better.
  • Espouses modern-day, politically correct value systems. Propagator of socialist dogma, forsaking 500 years of Western culture and tradition. The building is nice, at least at the front, though the concrete breeze block addition at the rear does nothing for me - perhaps emblematic of what the Anglican creed has become: a nice facade, with a cheap, tawdry, addition tacked on.
  • Lovely building. Grand but peaceful. Interesting mixture of neo gothic and modern. Very well designed and the old and new parts contrast in a way but also blendo well together. Very uplifting. Went to evensong. My partner is not particulaly religious but found it meaningful. Calm and deep. Lovely dean (vicar/ptiest) seemed humble and very genuine. It took me to another level altogether. Few people in the congregation but that was fine. True devotion. The choir are excellent. There is a real quality here in general. Thoughtful and open. Can only say a big thank you. Thanks - it remains in my mind.
  • Beautiful Anglican Church
  • Beautiful cathedral.

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