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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  • Doors were locked when we visited, but the exterior of the building shows a lot of European architecture and design, and is very photogenic.  more »
  • This is a prominent cathedral at the heart of the Octagon, Dunedin's city centre. The facade is ornate but the interior is relatively simple. Along with the neighboring Town Hall, it forms a beautiful...  more »
  • Entered this afternoon and it was just wonderful to see. Almost 100 years in this State and you will be there just silent. Of course some candles lit, but unfortunately the crypt not visited. Maybe end of the week. A must to view.
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  • 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.
  • Very friendly staff. Beautiful inside. Reminded me of some of the European churches
  • Pretty architecture, free to enter and particularly enjoyed the unique Dunedin themed stained glass windows
  • Lovely building
  • Lovely church, nice building

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