Church Name: St Ita

The church of St Ita at Hinds was opened on November 5, 1911 on a one-acre site west of the township, at a cost of £550, including furniture. Prior to then Mass had been celebrated in the Hinds School, but the installation of a different type of desk at the school made it difficult for an adult congregation to use it.

Ashburton Parish Priest Dean James J. O’Donnell chose Hinds as a Mass centre because it was equidistant between the southern boundary of the parish and the parish centre at Ashburton. He named it after St Ita, patron of his Irish home county, Limerick. He had earlier named the Rakaia church after St Ita for the same reason, and even earlier, while stationed at the West Coast town of Ahaura, had named a new church at Totara Flat St Munchin’s, after the church in his home town.

St Ita’s became part of the Tinwald parish in 1965. With Mass being celebrated only monthly, attendances dropping, and the parish again being served from Ashburton, the decision was made to close the church in 2005. The closing Mass was celebrated in April 2005 by Bishop John Cunneen and Ashburton Parish Priest Monsignor James Harrington.

The building was gifted to Diana, Lady Isaac for her Heritage Village on the outskirts of Christchurch, and moved there in April 2006. An oak tree, planted in the church grounds by Bishop Denis Hanrahan to mark the 75th anniversary of the church, was also moved to Christchurch with the building.


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