St John the Evangelist Parish, Leeston

D 1130 Leeston 3

Originally part of the Country Mission based at Shand’s Track, the first church was built in Leeston by Fr Chervier SM and opened on 5 December 1869. Attributed to Benjamin Mountfort, the church was dedicated to St John the Evangelist. 

The first church at Leeston

The parish of Leeston was formally established in 1892, as a result of the growing congregation in the rural Selwyn area.

The original wooden church was replaced by a larger brick church which opened 1 April 1894. This gothic church was designed by Maurice de Harven Duval, a Belgian architect based in Timaru. 

The church was dedicated to St Mary of the Holy Rosary, and consecrated by Bishop Grimes SM. The earlier church became a school and hall and was demolished in 1980.

These are the parish priests who served in the early years of St John the Evangelist Parish in Leeston:

Fr Chervier SM   1869 (PP in 1880) – 1906

Fr Goggin SM   1900-1906

Fr Maloney SM   1906-08

Fr Hills SM   1908-1911

Fr Taylor SM   1911-1912

Fr Bowden SM   1912-1918

Fr Hoare   1918-

Fr Timothy Creed   1918-1959

Fr J Sarsfield O’Brien   1959-1967

Fr William John Mahoney   1967-76

Fr Bill Costigan   1977-1982

Mons Matt Duggan   1982-1983

Fr D K O’Sullivan   1983-2000

Pentecost 2020 saw the amalgamation of Leeston, Lincoln and Darfield to become the new Selwyn Parish. 


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St John the Evangelist Parish, Leeston