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All Saints Church, Dunedin
All Saints Anglican Church exterior, Dunedin, NZ.JPG
All Saints Church
General information
Type Church
Architectural style Neo-Gothic
Address 786 Cumberland Street, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand
Coordinates 45°51′44″S 170°30′51″E / 45.8623°S 170.5141°E / -45.8623; 170.5141
Design and construction
Architect William Henry Clayton and William Mason
Designated: 27-July–1988
Reference #: 2136

All Saints has been open since 1865, and is presently in the Dunedin North parish which includes the northern part of the city of Dunedin, New Zealand and is made up of the former parish of All Saints and the former parish of St. Martin's North East Valley. It is part of the Diocese of Dunedin. The parish boundaries include North East Valley, Pine Hill, North Dunedin, Ravensbourne and Leith Valley. The building is the oldest church still used as a place of worship in Dunedin. All Saints Church is the chapel of Selwyn College, Otago. The College was built around the church and the college and parish have a close relationship. Selwyn College was built as an Anglican theological college in 1893, from the beginning it also housed non-theological students from the university. All Saints' is located close to the campuses of the University of Otago and the Otago Polytechnic.


The nave of the church was designed by William H. Clayton and built in 1865; the transepts and chancel, designed by William Mason were added in 1873. All Saints is an example of gothic revival architecture. A notable architectural feature is the polychrome brickwork. The bricks came from the brickworks in Filleul Street, Dunedin. Also used in the building is Oamaru stone, an early use of the stone in Dunedin. In 1969, All Saints undertook a restoration project, in which the foundations, hardwood floor, and slate roof were replaced. At this time a nave altar was installed with altar rails designed by Ted McCoy.

The building has a Category I listing with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.


Notable art works in the church include a large rood hanging above the sanctuary carved by leading sculptor Frederick George Gurnsey (1868–1953) who also carved the aumbry door and the pulpit. A small Christus Rex by the eminent New Zealand sculptor Ria Bancroft is above the pulpit. In 2017 a set of ceramic sculptures of the Scriptural Way of the Cross by Whanganui sculptor Kirk Nicholls was installed. In 2019 an appeal was launched to install a stained glass window in memory of the Ross Sea Party and in honour of Rev. Arnold Spencer-Smith.


All Saints' parish was organised before the Diocese of Dunedin was formed in 1869; for the first few years of the parish it was part of the Diocese of Christchurch. The land was given by James Allen Senior, father of James Allen and the foundation stone laid on 11 February 1865 by Henry Harper 1st Bishop of Christchurch. The church was built rapidly (admittedly only the nave and narthex) and opened on 23 July 1865. The church was consecrated on 21 April 1869. At the 1886 Annual General Meeting the parish discussed an offer from the Bishop Samuel Tarratt Nevill 'to take over the Parish Church for the purpose of making it the Cathedral of the Diocese, and to facilitate the legal transfer by contributing 2,000 pounds towards liquidating the debt on the property, at that time 2,600 pounds.' The AGM agreed to the bishop's offer however the project failed, 'the General Synod hesitating on legal grounds to sanction the transfer of the property.'


1. Rev. E.H. Granger 1865–1872

2. Rev. R.L. Stanford 1872–1879

3. Very Rev Alfred R. Fitchett Alfred Fitchett 1879–1928 (Dean of Dunedin 1894–1929)

4. Fr. William Hardy-Johnson 1928–1935 (Rector of Rosslyn Chapel 1923–1928)

5. Ven. L.G. Whitehead 1935–1948 Algy Whitehead also Warden of Selwyn College

6. Fr. Charles Harrison 1948–1964

7. Rev. Canon Arthur Philip Atkinson Gaze 1964–1980 (Cousin of Arnold Spencer-Smith)

8. Rev. Dr. John Irwin 1980–1983

9. Fr. David Best 1983–1997

10. Rev. Canon Erice Fairbrother 1999–2002

11. Fr. Tim Hurd 2002–2009

12. Rev. Canon Michael Wallace 2010–

Notable Parishioners

One of the founders of the parish Alois Duffus Lubecki (d.1926) was a Polish Prince, son of Prince Alois Konstanty Drucki-Lubecki (1814-1864). Alois Duffus Lubecki was a member of Diocesan Synod, Diocesan Standing Committee and the Diocesan Trust Board. He endowed scholarships at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland

Newspaper editor and proprietor George Bell (editor) (1809-1899) served as churchwarden.

Politician James Allen served as churchwarden.

William Larnach of Larnach Castle

Dr. Richardson (after whom the Richardson building at the University Of Otago is named)

Artists Frances Hodgkins and William Matthew Hodgkins

Choie Sew Hoy and Eliza Prescott who lived in a house known as Canton Villa at 798 Cumberland St (the site to the north of the vicarage is now owned by the parish).

Thomas Sherlock Graham


Worship at All Saints' is in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The Church describes its teaching as orthodox and draws richly from the Christian tradition. Incense and bells are used for High Mass.


The first organ at All Saints was donated by the first vicar in 1871: "(Mr Granger) has to act as organist- or rather harmonium player- and later he presented the Church with an organ." Mr. Granger left All Saints in 1872. This organ went to Holy Trinity Church, Lawrence, New Zealand in 1874. The second All Saints' organ (1874-1905), has a label on the back: 'John B. West, Organ Builder, Dunedin, New Zealand’, however, it appears that this label has been pasted over the position occupied by a former label and it may be a Halmshaw & Sons organ. This organ was re-located to the original wooden 1863 St Peter’s Church in Queenstown, New Zealand in 1906. The third and current organ was built by Bevington & Sons, a London firm founded in 1794. Two of the most notable Bevington organs are in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Bevington organs won medals at exhibitions in Paris (1855 and 1867) and London (1862), and are held in high regard for the quality of their construction and voicing. The firm was absorbed into Hill, Norman and Beard in 1944. All Saints' Bevington organ was built in 1877 for St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Christchurch. In 1905 the organ was transferred to All Saints. It was restored in 1969 by the South Island Organ Company. The two manuals have tracker action, and the pedals have tubular pneumatic action. In recent years a Bourdon pedal stop has been added.


The Church presently has a baby and toddler group, runs a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd course, and has a long association with the Student Christian Movement. All Saints’ also has a branch of the Association of Anglican Women (successor organization to the Mothers' Union) and has an active branch of the Guild of the Servants of the Sanctuary. In 2015 the parish launched All Saints' Fruit & Veges, a vegetable box scheme to offer the community fruit and veges.

All Saints' Hall

All Saints' Hall was built as the Cumberland St Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. It is constructed from timber from the Bell Hill Methodist Church (1862-8) designed by George Greenfield. During a gale in 1862 the Bell Hill church was badly twisted and deemed unsafe until the addition of a transept designed by William Mason permitted its reuse in February 1863. Its poor design and inconvenient position prompted its early demolition. From the sale of the Bell Hill property in 1868 £150 was set aside for the building of a new church. A weatherboard schoolhouse able to accommodate 150 worshippers was built on a quarter acre of freehold next to All Saints given by James Allen. The hall was erected in 1869, but the Wesleyan Methodist congregation didn't last very long - until about 1872.

The front portion of the hall has windows designed by prominent Dunedin architect Basil Hooper and installed in 1911, Hooper was an All Saints' parishioner. The University of Otago creche was established in the hall in 1968. Araiteuru Maori club (with Muru Walters as leader) used the hall before Araiteuru Marae was built.

Social Housing

In the 1960s All Saints' Parish purchased land beside the vicarage and built four single-bedroom units to house elderly people. For several years in the 2000s some of the units were rented to Selwyn College, to fund parish activities. In 2019 the parish entered an agreement with the Salvation Army to lease the units for those in need of temporary housing. In 2020 Dunedin North Parish demolished St. Martin's Hall in North East Valley and in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity may in the future build units for social housing, although no agreement has been entered into.

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