Marvel at the Beauty of Saint Mary’s Church

Saint Mary’s ChurchMarvel at the Beauty of Saint Mary’s Church


The artistically and historically significant Saint Mary’s Church is a must-visit if you’re touring the East Cape. This stunning Anglican Church, which sits just off the East Coast Highway, is a peaceful spot that holds a bunch of surprises.


Why you should visit Saint Mary’s Church


Saint Mary’s Church holds much spiritual and historical value. It was built on the site of a former fort and is classified by Heritage New Zealand as a Category I Historic Place. Infused in Maori culture and honoring fallen Maori soldiers, the church is dear to New Zealanders and the residents of the East Cape region, in particular.


Saint Mary’s Church was built in the 1920s to commemorate the Ngati Porou soldiers who died in World War I. The names of these soldiers and those who served and died in World War II are displayed on a plaque in the church.


These Ngati Porou soldiers are also honored all over the church’s incredibly detailed interiors. References to these brave men are shown in the wood panels and stained glass windows.


Maori culture is evident in the woven wall panels known as tukutuku, carved pews, carved gate, and memorial. One of the most charming elements in the church is the vibrantly colored pew cushions that were crocheted by the women of the parish. Each pillow shows the dedication and skill of the ladies who created them.


Going to the church


Saint Mary’s is located in the town of Tikitiki in Gisborne. There is no admission fee to enter the church, though donations are welcome. Please note that this is a place of worship as well as a tourist spot.


If you want to know how to get there and learn more about the historically significant tourist spot, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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