St Oswald’s closes its doors for good
It is the end of an era for St Oswald’s Anglican Church in One Tree Hill, as their congregation voted to close their doors permanently due to an ongoing decline in numbers. After almost a century of service to the community, people were invited to bid their final farewell at the last morning service at the end of November.
The church felt it was the right thing to do, saying in a statement on their website that “we felt we could no longer be the kind of church we want to be – outward looking and involved. Mere survival was not an option, when we have people and resources that can be shared and used elsewhere in new Christian work in Auckland.”
The original building (later to become the hall) was erected on Saturday 1st May 1926. The new structure was designed by Dr. R.H. Toy who also designed the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, St Martin’s at St Chad’s in Sandringham and All Saints in Ponsonby. The completed and almost fully furnished church was dedicated by Bishop Simkin on 2nd November 1958. Since the very beginning, St Oswald’s has been fortunate to have had church members who have taken photos and recorded special services – these have been deposited with the Auckland Diocesan Archives.
Over the years, the parish has assisted local schools and provided ministry to the residents at the Logan Campbell Village. The church community has provided a regular space for local migrant people to practice their English, and they have also worked closely with the Auckland City Mission and the Anglican Trust for Women to help improve the lives of others.
Long-time parishioner, Ruth Dillon, was born in 1952, and her family have a strong family history at the church. She still recalls the day the new building was opened, and she has fond memories of going to Sunday School every week.
Ruth is sad to see it come to an end, but she hopes that someone will see the potential in preserving the unique architectural building.
“It is a big wrench to see it close down. I was confirmed at St Oswald’s, and my husband and I were married there. Both my parents’ funerals were held at the church, so the place has been a huge part of my life,” she says.
(Ruth Dillon pictured outside St Oswald’s Anglican Church)