Church Name: St John the Evangelist
(Photo courtesy of Maurice Newton, Halswell)
The first Mass at Little River was in Mrs Keenan’s on the Coach Road. After a while they used to go to the Main School and had Mass there. Then they shifted to the Māori Hall. Then that was not satisfactory so they shifted to the old library up near the doctor’s house.
The parishioners decided to buy a place and have their own church. They bought the old school and half acre of land from a Mr Allan. in 1892 and renovated, it for £100 a sacristy and sanctuary being added at a later date. It lasted until 1924 when it was replaced.
Little River at different times came under the Lincoln and Akaroa parishes. The Lincoln return of 1895 does not mention it but in 1902 the reference is “Small chapel of wood at Little River, good order, no details about cost, Catholic population 78. Two statues, one bell, one confessional. One acre of land.”
The Akaroa 1903 return refers to: “Little River, St John’s, wooden , figures re cost not available. Date of erection, L. River (building having being bought and renovated).” In 1905 the entry was: “Wooden church at Little River. The building was purchased in 1892 and renovated. A sacristy has since been added. St John the Evangelist.”