History of St Peter’s Church building
St Peter’s is understood to be the oldest public building in Whanganui still in use for its original purpose. The building was originally built on Victoria Avenue in 1866 to be the second Christ Church. It was in use there until 1920, when it was replaced by the present building in Wicksteed St. It was then dismantled, transferred to its present site, re-erected, and dedicated as St Peter’s in February 1922. It underwent strengthening following its near destruction by ex-tropical cyclone Giselle (the “Wahine storm”) during April 1968.
The circular window above the sanctuary depicting the Star of David is the only stained glass window remaining in St Peter’s which belonged to the original church. Other beautiful windows have been added since.
The Early English design of the church is the work of H C Field, who was the Wanganui Town Board surveyor at the time. Native timbers were used in its construction, including rimu, totara, matai, and kauri.
A full description of the church and of the early history of the parish can be found at: St Peter’s Heritage