Early Presbytery records show that Somervell (Remuera) had oversight of the St Heliers area from 1911-1915 when the Reverend Morgan Richards was inducted as minister of Tamaki West. The first service in St Heliers in 1915 was “an old tumble down, badly lit cobwebby carpenter’s workshop with duck boards leading to the door on the Long Drive.” – twenty five adults attended.
On Saturday 9th December 1916 the first church was built – in one day – on the site of the present St Heliers Library. A service was held in this building next morning. Eight years later this church was hauled up the hill by traction engine to 100 St Heliers Bay Road where it served for worship and later Sunday School space until it was moved to Glendowie to make way for the present church which was opened on 2nd September 1956. Re-siting of the Manse further back on the property enabled the Lounge and Community Centre extension to be built in 1990.
Our story, however, is really much more one of people than of buildings. It is the leadership and involvement of fourteen ministers, numerous Sunday School teachers, Bible Class and Youth leaders, musicians, choirs and organists; of flower arrangers, kitchen helpers, drivers, carers, cleaners and gardeners. It is the story of weddings, baptisms, confirmations, ordinations and inductions, and funerals. It is a story of service – in New Zealand and overseas in education, business, the arts, industry, the “mission field” and church.
It is, in fact, summed up in our motto “Reaching out and welcoming in”.
As our 1990 Jubilee record has it: “[our] gratitude for those who planted and those who nurtured the growing colony of Heaven in this eastern suburb of a most fortunate land…”