Welcome to Saint Georges Thames. A remnant of the Goldfields of the Coromandel Peninsula, Saint Georges Thames stands as a witness to a time when Thames was bigger than Auckland, supplied the Auckland province with food! and had around 30,000 people living and working in the borough. Today the church is open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, and Saturday Mornings.
One of the fifty volunteers from the spire groups (named after the fact that Saint Georges is the only church in Thames with a Spire) is on duty to welcome visitors and to explain the beauty and specific features of this 19th century wooden gothic building - probably the best wooden gothic church still in regular use as a parish church in New Zealand.
The Thames Anglican Parish was established in 1865 as a Pakeha unit. For half a dozen decades before that a Maori Anglican Church, enabled by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) was active, established in the gold fields. In fact an early ordination to the diaconate of a local Maori leader was the first ordination in the district.
The first Saint Georges church was built in Rolleston Street, on land gifted by Chief Taipari, in 1865. Quickly it proved too small a gathering place for three Sunday services and plans were underway to built the new Saint Georges which opened in 1872.The much larger Saint Georges, based on the Gothic stone European churches, has been a central feature of the town ever since. ~ the spire rising above the Central Business District and visible by land and sea for miles. In fact the only church spire in the town, Saint Georges has given that name to the daily hosting rota of women and men who as a group are on duty half a day a month each to ensure that there is a welcome for visitors, tourists and seekers alike.
The Thames Anglican Parish holds an inclusive ministry of serving Christ in prayer, action and worship. Theologically moderate its leadership tends towards liberal in an otherwise Christian evangelical/fundamentalist faith expression in the religious community. Websites that feed and nourish the leadership and ministry support group are:So the focus of the church's practical life is to empower seekers, to encourage a questioning growth following the Anglican process where scripture, story and reason are all engaged in study workgroups and sharing opportunities in the exchange of faith.