Making lifelong disciples of Jesus
The Parish of Burnside-Harewood is comprised of two churches – St Timothy’s in Kendal Avenue, and St James’ at the top of Harewood Road. They offer between them a range of worship opportunities and activities to meet the needs of the very young to the very old and everyone in-between.
After World War II, Christchurch was pushing out its city boundaries to house the rapidly increasing number of young families living here. When St Aidan’s opened its doors in nearby Bryndwr in 1951, it soon became obvious that another worship centre was needed in the rapidly flourishing, but previously ‘green belt’ area of Burnside. To meet this need, a 20x12ft relocatable building was set on a site at the corner of Cranbrook and Banbury Streets, opening for Sunday School and Sunday Eucharist in early 1958. This was followed by the erection of two more “huts” in the next two years in an effort to cope with the ever-growing church congregation and other associated activities.
In 1962 the present site in Kendal Avenue was purchased and the “huts” moved to that site while plans for a permanent church went ahead, culminating in the opening of St Timothy’s in 1963 as a daughter church of St Aidan’s. It was a rather spartan building at the outset, but this did not stem the enthusiasm of the parishioners dedicated to proclaiming their faith with joy and song. Improvements and extensions to the building soon followed and in 1970 the Rev John Greenslade was appointed the first vicar of the Parish of Burnside. St Timothy’s was consecrated debt-free on 5 April 1994.
A hundred years earlier the early Harewood settlers were also working towards getting a church in their own district. The settlement of Christchurch began with the arrival of the first four ships in 1850. Those taking up land in Harewood found that hard work produced good results from the fertile land, and by the end of the decade they had established a thriving community. Still, the nearest church was Papanui, 3 miles of rough track away. In 1860 the Government made 5 acres of land available provided the community could raise money to build a church within ten years. After two years of fund-raising and pledges led by the Stanleys, Dureys and Nunweeks, the first wooden church of St James was opened on 13 April 1862. As part of the Parish of Papanui, St James flourished through the years and the present church at the top of Harewood Road was built debt-free in 1935.
In 1966 St James combined with the newly built A-frame church in Bishopdale to form the Mission District of Bishopdale-Harewood. This was a happy mix of the established Harewood families and the young and enthusiastic families of the new district of Bishopdale. Unfortunately enthusiasm was not enough to financially support two small churches, so in 1983 St Timothy’s incorporated St James into the thriving Parish of Burnside. The association of the two churches worked well, adding to the already wide range of worship and activities within the Parish, later renamed “The Parish of Burnside-Harewood.”