8 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town

in a “living, loving,

in a “living, loving, working Church”. 14 The celebrations continued during the week and included a soiree and a public meeting at which parishioners heard about the cost of the new church and listened to a forceful lecture on the topic of temperance. The building still stands and although maintenance has sometimes been a concern it is solidly built and should remain as a place of worship for many years to come. The old church was not sold, but instead was used as the Sunday school until it was sold in 1964 and moved to make way for the present manse. There was growing concern about the state of the Prebbleton manse and in 1887 the parish decided that a new manse should be located at Lincoln. It is probable too, that the demographics of the district had changed and that most of the congregation lived closer to Lincoln than to Prebbleton. An architect was engaged, plans were drawn up, and in 1888 tenders were called for the new manse. The building, now the parish office and Sunday school, was completed the following year and since then parish headquarters have been based at Lincoln. In 1972 the parish united with the Methodists of the Springston circuit to form a Union Church, the ministers of which are alternately Methodist and Presbyterian. The Methodists Although there has never been a Methodist church in Lincoln the Methodist presence in the district has been an important one. As early as 1864 J. Roberts, Methodist and then owner of the Springs, made his home available for services In common with all other denominations Methodists realised that the rapidly increasing population of the 1860’s demanded the building of a church and in January 1866 moves were made for a church on the corner of Shands Track and Boundary Road. When the vendor of the site withdrew his offer at the last minute, James Gammack, prominent local farmer and active in the Lincoln Farmers’ Club and the Lincoln Fair Company, immediately offered land at Springston. The church was soon built and the first 41. James Gammack, prominent local farmer. 110

service, conducted by the Revd T. Buddle, was held there on 29 July 1866. 15 It is said that one of the founders of Methodism in the district, W. Lawry, suggested that the church should be called “Springston”, a name which was also applied to the settlement then being established 16 . Springston became the centre for Methodism in the district and remained so until well into the 20 th century. Further churches were soon built, in Tai Tapu and in Broadfield, and although these were not far from Lincoln they were not as close as that originally planned on Shands Track. Members of all three churches were involved in one way or another with matters of interest to Lincoln residents. H.W. Peryman of Tai Tapu, like Mr. Gammack, was a farmer of wide interests who played a major role in the development of the district, and J.J. Herrick, also of Tai Tapu and a farmer, ran the mail coach from Christchurch to Lincoln via Tai Tapu, and for a time was an active member of the school committee. Samuel Early, a member of the Broadfield church, was a builder who in the late 19 th century owned the Lincoln mill as well as several sections in the village. In 1873 he helped build the Broadfield church on the western corner of Shands Road and Robinsons Road and when it needed urgent renovation in 1881 - it was said to rock a good deal in the nor’-westers - he and a Mr. Aitken did so free of charge. They not only replaced the roof and the windows and repaired the walls, but they also built a rostrum and a desk from the old timber. This labour of love so impressed members of the Broadfield congregation that they presented Mr. Early with an illuminated address as a mark of appreciation. 17 The church was finally demolished about thirty years ago and replaced by the house known as Tullymore. The Tai Tapu church still stands although it no longer serves its original purpose and was converted into a residence about twenty years ago. It was not long before the first church at Springston was too small and so in September, 1872 work on a new building commenced. Seven months later in April 1873 the new building was ready at a cost of 800 pounds with the old church joined to the new building for use as a Sunday school. The parsonage is all that remains of the Methodist buildings in Springston although the home built by Walter Lawry and named Harmony Villa still stands close to the corner of Ellesmere Junction Road and Waterholes Road. 111

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