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All Saints Church, Wairongomai

All Saints Anglican Church, Wairongomai, is framed from the road by an avenue of karaka trees and continuous low hedging, leading the eye to the beautiful church.  It is one of the most elegantly landscaped rural churches in the Wairarapa and is listed on the Wairarapa District Plan (HS159)

West-facing view of the church, taken from the drive.

View of the church framed by an old tree in the church yard.

The drive sweeps round the east end of the church, leading the eye over paddocks to Lake Wairarapa

View from the south-east

View from the north-east

The warm colours of the wooden pews, pray desk, lectern and altar contrast beautifully with the off-white walls.

Detail of the kneeler, which runs right across the church in front of the altar rail.

The three stained glass windows behind the altar, given in memory of Alfred and Hannah Matthews.

The windows show Christ the Good Shepherd, flanked on either side by Old Testament characters Rebekkah and Isaac, and inspired by the marriage of Isaac to Rebekkah. (Genesis 26)

Detail of the beautiful carved altar, which features the Agnus Dei - the  Lamb of God carrying a banner,
representing Jesus Christ as the sacrificial lamb, dying for our sins.

View of the church interior, facing the porch and west end.

Carved wooden font

Church porch, added in 1963, is in memory of Raymond W. Matthews

All Saints Church was consecrated in 1927. It was built by the Matthews family, who have a long association with the district, in memory of Alfred and Hannah Matthews, who died in 1926.

It was Alfred Matthew's desire to have an ecumenical church as a place for the whole community to use, particularly for baptisms, weddings and funerals and as a memorial to the pioneers of the district.

It was built by Watson and Johnson, at a cost of £1289 0s 3d. Apart from the addition of the church porch, consecrated on 22 May 1963, the church has altered little since it was first built.

New book published

A very few pioneer New Zealand families have lived and farmed their land for six, even seven generations. These New Zealanders and their stories, shaped by the land itself, are an important part of the history of Aotearoa. 
This is the story of one such family whose forebears, Charles and Elizabeth Matthews, arrived in 1842 on the sailing ship London. They settled first in Wellington but, drawn by the pull of the land, moved to Wairarapa and purchased the first acres their descendants still farm today. Seven generations have lived on Waiorongomai. 
Diaries written by Alfred Matthews, the memoirs of his grandson, Jack, and tape recorded conversations with more recent members of the family, all play a part in this history. It is the story of a family devoted to its farming, the development of one of the country’s leading Romney sheep studs and the passing on of a love of the land from one generation to the next. It is also dedicated to all the men and families who have worked on Waiorongomai over the last 160 years.

Published by Fraser Books, Wairongomai: the land and people is available from

Wairongomai Church is part of the Parish of South Wairarapa, under the leadership of Archdeacon May Croft.  It is at 2147 Western Lake Road, Wairongomai.

For details of services, and for enquiries about weddings, phone Archdeacon May Croft (06) 306-8424 or Raymond and Susie Matthews, (06) 307-7741.

More information
Further information - and views of Wairongomai Station, the lake and surrounding farmland is available at


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