The St Stephen's Story

The foundation stone of the first church of St Stephen was laid on the present site in December 1882, but regular Church of England services were first conducted in Tamahere more than 15 years earlier.

The first St. Stephen's Church and adjoining cemetery were consecrated in 1891 and that church served the local community until it was destroyed by fire in June 1970.The only item to survive the fire was the wrought iron cross which is now on the wall of the sanctuary, behind the altar of the present church.

The response of the Tamahere parishioners to that fire was immediate and effective- the new St Stephen's was built on the same site as the old at a total cost of $37,000 and was dedicated on 18th June 1972.On the centenary of the dedication of the original church (15 May 1883) the new church was consecrated and continues to be an important focus for the Tamahere community.

In 1976 a church hall was moved from Leamington, Cambridge, to the St Stephens site.This hall was later doubled in size when it became obvious that more space was needed for activities connected with the long series of Christmas Festivals.

In order to ensure that the church continues to serve the evolving needs of our faith community we have built on to the 1970's structure to provide extra space for both our ministry and the administration of the Mission District.These alterations, which were completed during 2003, have maintained the architectural integrity of the church.

Today the church, the cemetery, the hall and the park-like grounds occupy a generous space set apart from the busy State Highway One that passes by.