Governance and Groups


Session is responsible for the governance, spiritual oversight and pastoral care of the congregation and leadership in mission. The ministers and elected elders meet as a Session on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Deacons’ Court

Deacons’ Court looks after all the physical resources of the church, property and finance. Deacons’ Court meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Heritage and Visitors Centre

Situated within the church building itself, the Centre provides a focal point for our welcome and outreach to visitors and tourists. The Centre is run entirely by volunteers.

Friends of First Church

The Friends of First Church is an Incorporated Society that is made up of people interested in the preservation and enhancement of the Church’s buildings and grounds. It is open to anyone who has an interest in the care and development of the historic building and its site. Over the years, ‘The Friends’ have raised many thousands of dollars to enhance visual and physical aspects of the church and grounds.

Association of Presbyterian Women

The APW meet regularly for fellowship and discussion. The Association also raises funs to support overseas mission work.

Other groups

The Handcraft Group, Bowls, Mah-jong, Indoor bowls and others groups meet regularly to develop their skills, contribute to worship or just for times of fun and fellowship.

The involvement of the church in supporting Friday lunchtime concerts  are further ways in which the church connects with its city community.

The church also provides a Sunday School programme at our 12 noon Service and a Youth programme.

The church provides on a periodic basis opportunities for study prayer and discussion. These events are advertised in the weekly bulletin and the monthly Magazine.

Members of the church play active roles in the governance of Presbyterian Support (Otago), Amnesty International, The Night Shelter Trust and a number of groups with church, cultural and social justice interests.

Wider Activities

First Church commits about ten percent of its income each year to support the wider work f the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. This activity includes supporting overseas aid and development work, training of ministers and the support of national ministry and mission activity.

Through the Presbyterian Church we are associated with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the World Council of Churches and support the National Council of Churches annual Christmas Appeal.

Each year we celebrate Otago Anniversary, various clan and Scottish Heritage events and the Samoan and Cook Island constitutions signing celebrations as well as white Sunday and all the main Christian Festivals. We join with other city churches for various shared worship events especially Good Friday, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost and the World Day of Prayer. We hold the Graduation Service for the Otago Polytechnic and the St Columba day service and a Carol Service for Columba College. We also participate in the weekly Radio Church broadcasts on Community Radio.