Our History

A short history of the buildings

St John the Baptist is the oldest remaining Selwyn church on the North Shore in Auckland with spacious grounds and several old oak trees.

Originally a daughter church in the parish of Devonport, it was accessed by boat from Little Shoal Bay by pioneer parishioners. Bishop Selwyn, the first Bishop of New Zealand, dedicated the church on 24 June 1860, the feast day of John the Baptist.

Historical photo of St John the Baptist, Northcote church building

The original Selwyn church was a typical rural model – a rectangular nave with an eastern chancel and western porch. This original old nave is seen in this turn of the last century photo showing the additional higher transepts that were added during the first forty years.

Historical photo of the St John the Baptist church buildingIn 1913 further extensions were made to raise the roofline, adding aisles and the now distinctive belfry. While more space was created some of the “Selwyn” character was lost.

In 1990 substantial alterations were made. This linked the church with the hall, created office and new meeting spaces. The architect’s re-working manages a melding of “Selwyn” and contemporary styles.

The Lychgate, in front of the main church building

In 2012, the Lychgate was finished. Seating at the Lychgate provides a grand view of the Waitemata Harbour.