100b Victoria Road, Devonport
St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Devonport
The first Presbyterian Church on the North Shore was established in Church St in Devonport in 1866, and later moved to buildings in Vauxhall Rd, now the Devonport Museum. In 1913 the congregation sought to construct a larger and more modern Church to worship in. The site at the corner of Victoria and Albert Rd, including burial ground, was available, having been gifted by Crown Grant in 1890.
On 29th July 1916 the foundation stone for St Paul's in Devonport was laid, and the opening service in the new church took place on 3rd December 1916. Architects were Grievson and Almer, and the builder was Mr W. Ball of Stanley Bay.
The contract for the Church and other costs amount to £3,050. At the time the population of Devonport was nearly 10,000.
The first part of the adjacent Church hall (designed by architects Bartlett & Bartlett, constructed by Mr G W Aldridge) was opened in 1956. The Upper Story was constructed in 1964.
For many years St Paul's Presbyterian Church in Devonport featured a bustling and active congregation. During the Second World War the site was used as an Advanced Dressing Station. A detailed history showing the importance of the building to the community can be found in the booklet "The First Hundred Years: 1866-1966."
However fast-forward to 2011, and the building was facing modern-day problems familiar to many Church properties. The congregation had dwindled, upkeep costs were growing, and eventually expensive earthquake strengthening would be required.
After a lengthy sales process, the property was sold by the Presbyterian Church to New Zealand chess grandmaster Murray Chandler, with settlement taking place in September 2013. The attached cemetery was gifted to North Shore Council.
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