The first St Patrick’s Church was opened in Kaiapoi on January 15, 1882 by Bishop Redwood, a cottage having previously been used as a Mass Centre.
According to one district history: “The Roman Catholics had been using Hutchinsons Store in Peraki Street for their Masses from the middle of the 1860s. By June 1881 there were sufficient numbers to build a church. It was decided to build it on the site of Hutchinsons Store. Designs were submitted to the building committee which chose a design submitted by Theodore Jacobsen. The church, dedicated to St Patrick, was a substantial timber building on a concrete foundation two feet in height. The nave was 44 feet long and 24 feet wide. The church was lit by single-lighted Gothic windows with margin lights of coloured glass in the sides of the building. There was a belfry surmounted by a spire on the western end. There was enough room for 200 worshippers. The church was opened by Bishop Redwood.” The cost was £1100, including the land, three acres in extent.
(Photo courtesy of Marist Archives, Wellington)