Christ the King Parish, Burnside


Burnside was named for the small creeks or burns that formed the headwaters of the Waimairi stream.

In 1949 Bishop Lyons purchased 27 acres of land bordering Ilam, Burnside and Greers Rds. The rapid expansion of Christchurch, in particular in the North West of the city made it necessary for the Diocese to provide facilities for worship and education in that immediate area. At a time when private car ownership was low, with Catholics either biking or walking to Mass, news of the establishment of a Burnside Parish was welcomed. Fr Seamus Clenaghan was appointed the first parish priest.

With land already secured, by the end of October 1958 foundations were laid for a school and priest’s house. Sunday 8 March 1959 was the official opening of the parish of Christ the King, Burnside. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Edward Joyce at the temporary chapel in the classrooms, attended by a congregation of 500. That same day the Bishop blessed and opened the school.

The church was opened and blessed on Sunday 1 November 1959. In those early days Fr Clenaghan organized a free bus to take parishioners to Sunday Mass. The Parish continued to grow from strength to strength and a number of groups were established whose Mission Statement was to help the Parish ‘become a vibrant, loving, serving, worshipping, evangelising and sacramental community‘.

The Church was extended in 1978 to create extra seating areas, and again in 1996 to incorporate a Parish Centre, replacing an earlier relocatable building.

Parish Priests of Christ the King:

Fr Seamus Clenaghan  (1959 – 1969)

Fr Colin Curnow   (1970-1974 Co-Pastor until 1980)

Fr Bede O’Gorman  (Co-Pastor 1974 – 1980)

Fr Paddy Cahill    ( 1980 – 1985)

Fr John Coleman   (1985 – 1987)

Fr John Cunneen (1987 – 1990)

Mons Bill Middleton (1990 – 2014)

Fr Rick Loughnan   (2015 – current)

Further reading:

A History of Christ the King Parish Burnside, Christchurch; 50th Jubilee 1959-2009


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Christ the King Parish, Burnside