Christ Church - Russell 1835
I've been wanting to explore this church for quite some time, it has a huge history in NZ's culture. Christ Church in Russell also known as Te Whare Karakia o Kororareka also known as the Kororareka Church is the country's oldest existing church built in 1835. The earliest grave we could find there was from 1836.
The first missionaries based in Paihia rowed across the water to Russell to provide prayer services in peoples homes. Russell was originally called Kororareka and had the nickname of "hellhole of the Pacific".
The missionaries purchased the land from local chiefs Rewa, Wharerahi and Moka - the agreement between them was that Maori and Pakeha should have equal rights of burial.
In 1845 Reverend Robert Burrows was the first resident clergyman living in the vicarage on the hillside beside the church.
In 1845 during the Battle of Kororareka between the British and Maori, the church was hit by stray musket and cannon balls of which you can see holes in the outside walls of the church today.
We tried to take photos of the interior of the church but there was a service being held the time we were there but hopefully we will be back there at some point.