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St Aidan's, Alfredton

St Aidan's from Castlehill Road

Opened in the early 1900s, when Alfredton was a thriving community, St Aidan's Church has been central to successive generations of farming families. St Aidan's can be found about 100 metres up the Castlehill Road, just off State Highway 52 (map).

The foundation stone, laid on 21 November 1901

Church porch, showing the coffin door 

Detail of the belfry and spire

The beautiful wooden altar and stained glass windows

St Aidan's was originally part of the Anglican Parish of Eketahuna, and more recently of the larger Pahiatua parish.

The Anglican Church put St Aidan's on the market and - reluctant to see the church sold and moved away - the Algie family, who have a long involvement with the Alfredton district and St Aidan's, bought the church.

The Bishop speaks to the congregation of Eketahuna and Alfredton families and friends

On 21 March 2010, the Bishop of Wellington, the Rt. Revd Dr Tom Brown, deconsecrated St Aidan's. (A church must be deconsecrated if it is no longer under the control of the Bishop, although services can continue to be held there.)

Debbie Murray-Aynsley reads the Bishop's Declaration.

Vicar Wendy Scott reads from Alfredton, the School and the People, by June Edmonds (1986)

Neil Algie, whose family has bought the church, addresses the congregation.

Congregation talking together after the deconsecration.
The Algie family have plans to restore the church for use by the community for special events, including weddings.

Wedding at St Aidan's, circa early 1900s

East end of St Aidan's, showing Sanctuary, altar and Stone-Wigg memorial windows

St Aidan's in 1903, showing the road to Masterton winding in the distance

History of Alfredton

Joseph Masters, responsible for establishing the small farm settlements in Masterton and Greytown, had had even bigger plans for Alfredton. The plan of streets and roads - most of which were never built - can still be seen on cadastral maps of the Alfredton area, and were subject to much speculative buying and selling of sections.

Two main problems contributed to the failure of Joseph Masters' plan for Alfredton. The soil was poor and the climate much harsher than the lower reaches of the Wairarapa, and it was hard to eke out a living. But it was Premier Julius Vogel's decision in the 1880s to take the railway line north from Mauriceville to Eketahuna, rather than through Alfredton, that stopped Alfredton in its tracks.

Further reading
Alfredton, the School and the People, by June Edmonds (1986)
Wedding in Alfredton


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