Welcome to the Friends of First Church of Otago
The Society of the Friends of First Church was established in 1957 with the following objectives:
- The care of the Church and its preservation for posterity
- The adornment and furnishing of the Church
- The safeguarding of the amenity of the Church and the beautifying of its surroundings
- The encouragement of research into the history of the Church and the publication of suitable literature
The Friends are a group of people drawn together by their appreciation of First Church as a place of worship, as an iconic historic building and as one of New Zealand's significant architectural treasures. The building is regarded as the most impressive of New Zealand's nineteenth-century churches and is listed by Heritage New Zealand as a Category 1 structure. Designed in Neo-Gothic style by architect Robert Lawson (1833-1902), and opened in 1873, it is regarded as Lawson's masterpiece.
Further information about the Church and its history is available on the Heritage New Zealand website and the New Zealand History website and Te Ara (The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is the complete guide to our people, environment, history, culture and society) website.
Membership of the Friends of First Church is open to all people who appreciate the church building and its history and who wish to support its preservation and enhancement. For more than 65 years the Friends have contributed generously to the Church in many different ways. Examples of the range of their contributions are the Victorian-style tiles laid in the church foyer in 2021, the provision of items and souvenirs for the Church Heritage Centre, memorial garden seats and the planting of shrubs and trees in the grounds, and the silver baptismal set.
The Committee of the Friends of First Church is committed to upholding the Friends' founding objectives and is seeking to increase the profile of the Friends in order to advance those objectives.