A history of the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church

In 1862, the Rev. Decimus Dolamore was invited to Christchurch and he was the pastor for Baptist services that took place in the Town Hall. Differences of religious views divided the membership, but later the “Strict and Particular” united with “General” Baptists in the beginning of 1871.

Baptist Church, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch [ca. 1885]
In the late 1870s,  the congregation of the  needed more space. A half-acre section was purchased on the corner of Oxford Terrace and Madras Street in October 1878 for £1,325. A competition to design the new church was held in 1881. Eight designs were submitted. The prize went to local architect Mr E.J. Saunders. Tenders were considered too high and the plans were pruned. In September 1881 the lowest tender of £3,130 from Morey and McHale was accepted. The foundation stone was laid on 14 October 1881 and the building opened on 9 July 1882.

In 1931, the church celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. We have just digitised the souvenir pamphlet which contains a history of the church as well as the programme of jubilee events.

The interior was refurbished in the late 1980s. The Church was seriously damaged in the 4 September 2010 earthquake but the front facade was propped up and was to be repaired. It was totally destroyed by the 22 February 2011 earthquake. The side walls fell outwards and the roof collapsed.

One year after the earthquake, local artist Peter Majendie of the Sidedoor Arts Trust created a temporary art installation called 185 Empty Chairs.  The chairs were placed on 185 square metress of ready-lawn grass, just as the pews of the old church building had been placed – except facing the opposite direction.

White chairs at Oxford Terrace Baptist ChurchWhite chairs at Oxford Terrace Baptist Church

Whipping up some winter woollies

I have rediscovered my love of knitting this winter. Not that I had ever successfully completed much aside from a few very simple baby singlets, a heap of beanies and the requisite scarves you give to your Mum, Nana, Aunties, sisters and besties. My sister was expecting her first baby and I thought it would be nice to make her something special for the new addition to the whānau. So, being a lady on a mission I hunted out my knitting needles. These were finally located, lodged between shelves and the back of the craft cupboard, referred to more commonly by those who live with me as The Junk Cupboard.

I settled on a patten from The Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss. It was filled with lots of delicious little projects. As I’m still a relative novice, I settled on a simple moss stitched baby blanket (which turned out to be a perfect fit for the car seat!) There is something soothing about knitting for little people, even selecting the wool was fun and considering my lack of patience there was the added bonus that the project didn’t take all that long to complete.

Buoyed by my success on completing this (and being a little sick of k1 p1,) I decided to look for something more challenging that I could make for my nearly 3 year old. The project I decided on can be seen on the front cover of The Close Knit Gang and much to my amazement I managed it with a minimum of unpicking and unrepeatables. It turned out gorgeous – hand made but still looking funky and current (I knitted it in brighter colours). I really liked this book, lots of great patterns, easy to follow and it gives suggestions on alternate colourways if you don’t like the ones pictured.

I am currently creating a cute wee hoodie for a nephew from Wonderland , after getting side tracked along the way making the fingerless gloves, in Knitting for Children 35 Simple Knits Kids will love to make. These were requested in Crusader colours naturally, by my rugby mad 8 year old who was finding his hands were cold when scootering to school on some of our colder mornings. They were quick and easy with the pair finished in two evenings. He surprised me again earlier this week by flicking through a copy of another book I had brought home, Easy Kids Knits and has put in an order for himself. I have that lined that up for my next project as the hoodie is nearly done.

After that though I am going to be at a bit of a loose end, so any recommendations on good books for patterns or your favourite recent projects that are still relatively easy would be most appreciated!