Under the responsibility of the Wellington Archdiocese and Bishop Viard, the Christchurch Country Mission was established in 1862 with a church built at New Headford on Shand’s Track in 1871, on land donated by Patrick Henley. A large presbytery that doubled as a school was also built beside the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
This Country Parish covered the area outside of the city, up to the Conway River in North Canterbury. Fr Jean Claude Chervier SM was the first parish priest until 1896. From this base separate parishes were established by Fr Chervier, with the remaining area becoming the Lincoln Parish.
The Church of the Reparation was built alongside the original church on Shand’s Track, and opened on 19 September 1880 by Bishop Moran of Dunedin. When Fr Chervier left the Mission in 1881 to relocate to Leeston he continued to serve New Headford until the appointment of Father Foley SM as Parish Priest in 1882.
As the need arose for a new church, the foundation for the first St Patrick’s Church in Lincoln was laid in 1955, with the church completed and opened by Bishop Joyce on Sunday 18 August 1957. The new church incorporated some of the kauri floor and the bell from the Church of the Reparation. Parishoners contributed the altar, tabernacle and other furnishings to the new church.
The Parish Centre was built in 2001 directly connecting to the east of the Church. St Patrick’s Church closed following the earthquake on 4 September 2010, and was demolished in December 2014.
Parish Priest Fr Job Thyikalamuriyil turned the first sod on site on June 20 2018. The church was dedicated and opened on Sunday 19 May 2019.
Some of the early priests who served in the parish include:
Fr J.C. Chervier SM (1871 – 1892)
Fr J. Foley SM (1892 – 1900)
Fr R. Richards (1900 – 1908)
Fr J. Lee MSH (1908 – 1909)
Fr E. Drohan MSH (1909 – 1911)
Fr J.B. Duall SMA (1912 – 1913)
Cathedral clergy [Fr James F O’Connor; Mons Kennedy; Fr Bridgewood] (1913 – 1915)
Fr D. Leen (1916 – 1923)
Fr A. O’Hare (1923 – 1927)
Fr O. Gallagher (1928 – 1933)
Fr P. Madden (1934 – 1936)
Fr F.B. Seward (1936 – 1944)
Fr Brown (1944 – 1945)
Fr J. Maguire (1945 – 1952)
Fr H.J. Hayward (1946 – 1947)
Further reading on the Lincoln parish:
The Catholic Parish of Lincoln A Historical Outline. John Goulter Lincoln Parish Council 1982