Sancta Maria Parish, Addington/Beckenham


Mass was first celebrated in the Addington area in 1879 in the Addington School of the Sacred Heart School hall. By 1898 a church was built on Spencer Street, spearheaded by Fr Servajean SM, to serve the growing Catholic population in the area. The church operated as a satellite of the Cathedral Parish until 1920 when the Sacred Heart Parish, Addington was established.

The early Parish Priests of the Addington Parish include:

Fr James O’Connor  1920 – 3 May 1939
Fr James Hanrahan  1939 – 1960
Fr Tom Cloher  1960 – 1960
Fr John Finnerty  1960 – 1968
Sacred Heart, Addington opened in 1922. The church was enlarged in 1922, and eventually replaced by a new building in 1971.

St Peter’s Parish in Beckenham was officially established in 1928, although regular Masses had been held in the area from 1924. A new church was consecrated in 1928, which functioned as a school and church. When it was replaced by a new church in 1956, the old church became the parish hall.

St Peter’s Church, Beckenham opened and consecrated on 2 December 1956 by Bishop Joyce

The early Parish Priests of the Beckenham Parish include:

Fr Alexander O’Hare  1927 – 1929
Mons James Kennedy  1930 – 1963
Fr Francis  Kelly  1963 – 1965
Fr Edward  Brosnahan  1965 – 1976

St Martin de Tours was a satellite or sub-parish of Beckenham from 1944. Initially Mass was celebrated in the St Martin’s Public Library, with a church opening in 1955. The church closed in 1999.

Church of St Martin de Tours

On 1st April 2015 the parishes of Sacred Heart, Addington, and St Peter’s, Beckenham, amalgamated to become the Parish of Sancta Maria.  The parish has three Mass centres – St Peter’s Church, Beckenham, the Carmelite Monastery in Halswell Road, and Sacred Heart Church, Addington.  Sancta Maria (Holy Mary) was the name of the ship which brought Bishop Pompallier into Akaroa Harbour in 1840 and which began the Catholic Mission in New Zealand.


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Sancta Maria Parish, Addington/Beckenham