History and Mission ~How we began in Island Bay

Island Bay Presbyterian Church, Wellington

 At 3pm On Sunday 9 October in 1898, about 130 people crowded out the then recently erected little wooden church on The Parade, Island Bay, for the official opening of Island Bay Presbyterian Church.

The church only held 120, so a number of people had to stand at the doorway for the service. The church’s first service was conducted by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly, the Reverend James Patterson, who was minister of St John’s Church, Willis Street.

We then came under St James’ Newtown, sharing the ministry of Rev Shirer for 30 years (still the longest serving minister of IBPC!). Island Bay was still a rural community and after 20 years the Sunday School had grown to 60, while adult membership was only 11. Sunday School was held 10:30am on a Sunday , with the service at 3pm. Tennis courts were also installed where the church now stands and were a large feature of church life for 60 years.

IBPC became an independent congregation in 1918 with a strong Sunday School and youth activities. The Current church auditorium was built in 1965, with the old church being used as a hall. This was demolished in 1992 with the current hall and lounge being added.

Particularly notable past members were Sir Arnold and Lady Frances Nordmeyer. Sir Anrnold was a Presbyterian minister who was elected as our local Labour MP and was a key archetect of NZ’s system of social welfare. As Finance and Health ministers he introduced free health care and the pension. Both were enthusiastic members of IBPC with Lady Frances overseeing yearly productions.

“Connecting people with God and each other”

You may have noticed the statement Connecting People with God and Each Other on the top of our documents. This statement reflects the heart of what we are about as a faith family in action.
In all we do, we strive to help connect people with God and each other, and deepen those connections in the love of Jesus Christ. There is a hymn we sing written by a local composer, with the words “how much love we have been given, how much love we have received, that we might be called the Children of God.” Indeed, we are blessed that God drew near to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God wants to be known, and wants us to rest in that knowledge and love. God also wants us to participate in sharing this relationship with our community, to love our neighbour as ourselves, helping others find their own connection with God. Connecting People with God and Each Other reflects what we most value. It expresses our heart at IBPC.

Tēpu Mō Tātou (Berhampore Open Table)

Here are some of the things you can do to contribute to our congregation’s on-going relationship with social housing complexes in South Wellington:
– Pray about your own presence with Jesus and with those excluded from power in our world through disadvantage, oppression, affliction and isolation.
– Make soup for our weekly lunch in the flats.
– Consider joining the team that helps deliver Kaibosh food to the flats, or the team that collects bread for distribution on a Wednesday afternoon.
– Make emergency meals for the freezer (individual meals).
– Donations of money to support this work is also needed. This project is very cost-efficient, being largely volunteer lead and run, but it still requires $5,000 a year to keep going. If you wish to make a cash donation visit our Giving page.

Global Mission

Could you be involved in our global mission work as a national church? There are opportunities in Myanmar, India and Vanuatu.