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How to find us: Click below for a Google map of St John's location.


The Church

See below for details on parking and a map of the complex.

The present St John's church building has stood as a landmark for over one hundred years.  The parish members are very

proud of this architectural gem in the heart of the city.

Photo of Church Designed by the well-known Wellington architect, Thomas Turnbull, the third church at the Willis Street-Dixon Street corner was built in the colonial timber Gothic style.  The kauri timber used in construction of the exterior of St John's by the builder James Wilson came from a sawmill in Courtenay Place about 2 kms from where the church stands.  Within the church itself the timber is kauri, totara and red pine, the main beams being kauri.  The tower is divided into three storeys:†a vestibule where morning teas can be held after Sunday services, a staircase landing and a bell chamber.  The vestibule which was completely refurbished in 1993, was gifted with splendid kauri arches by the building contractors, Fletcher Construction, made from recycled timber.


The interior of the church is spacious with expansive use of†native timber in the curved rows of pews and chancel.  There is much to be admired in the craftsmanship of the joinery and the decorative style used in the roof beams and balcony supports.  Memorial windows set in the north end of the church are lit up in the evenings: a magnificent sight for anyone passing the Willis Street site.

The building is historically significant and has received a B classification from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.  Partly shielded from the Willis Street traffic by pohutukawa trees, it offers the visitor a captivating insight into New Zealand's colonial past.

Although the Church is not open during the weekdays,†we are always pleased to take visitors through it on request.

Church Earthquake Resilience and Strengthening October 2012

Like many Wellington buildings,earthquake strengthening is an issue for the St John's church building.  This link provides details.  Session and Council have concluded that we can continue using the Church for services but the known risks are outlined in a notice displayed at the front entrance to the Church.  It is included i the link above.  Plans for earthquake strengthening of the Church building are now being developed.

The Mackay Chapel

Dedicated at Easter 1994, the chapel is a long awaited and valuable addition to the worship facilities at St John's in the City, thanks to a very generous bequest from a former member, Miss Margaret MacKay.

A feature of the chapel is the magnificent Aitken stained glass windows depicting the Last supper. They were made in Edinburgh in 1903 with the objects based on Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century painting on the wall of a convent in Milan. Originally part of the Aitken family parish church, Lochend, in Campbelltown, when the Church was demolished in 1985, the windows were carefully removed and stored in Edinburgh. A descendant of the family was largely responsible for the idea that these windows should be brought to Wellington and installed in St John's.

Aitken Memorial Windows, received from Lochend Church in Scotland in 1985

With generous assistance from numerous individuals, commercial and church organizations in New Zealand and Scotland, the Aitken memorial windows eventually arrived in Wellington.  They have been cleaned and restored and now provide a magnificent spiritual focus for worship and a priceless treasure for St Johns in the City and Wellington City itself.

The chapel is open for meditation from 8:30 to 4:30 pm Mondays through until Friday. Evening services are also held in the chapel on Sunday evenings.

Spinks Cottage

From the early days, a Sunday School had been attached to St John's Church.  After a fire in 1884, a larger building was thought necessary. Accordingly, an adjoining property, including an early colonial house known as Spinks Cottage, was bought late in 1884.

Spinks CottageThe cottage, which had been used as a home and a school for some years by the family of William Spinks, a local storekeeper, became the home of the church officer.  In 1967, it was renovated and made part of a small church hostel for young men and women who attended Victoria University of Wellington.  Early in the 1980s it was moved again to make way for church redevelopment, expenses being met by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.  Now alongside Dixon Street,† Spinks Cottage, which was originally built between 1858 and 1863, has been refurbished and has received a B classification from the Historic Places Trust.

Downstairs rooms are accessible by booking through the Church Office located at the bottom of Troup House.  They are now mainly used as a youth centre.  St John's is considering the possibility of establishing a cafe in the cottage as of 2006.

Troup House

Situated on MacDonald Crescent, Troup House is a modern four-storied building†that was commissioned in 1993.  This new building replaced the original wooden Bible Class rooms and the gymnasium that was used as recently as 1992 by the Boys Brigade.  The first floor of Troup House holds the Youth Group Room as well as the Youth Coordinator's office.  The second floor is leased to Capital City Pre-School, which caters for children from three to five years of age. The top two floors are presently occupied by tenants, including the BGI and Wellington Bible College, both of whom have relationships with St John's.

The Church Office is located at the bottom of Troup House, just up some steps near the main door to the Conference Centre through the Courtyard.  Alternatively, access is possible at the top of Dixon St before it turns into McDonald Crescent, at the top of the Cottage, by walking past four covered carparks.  The office provides space for our two Ministers, and office staff, together with a meeting area.  The extension to Troup House to accommodate the Office was completed in July 2004.

The Conference†Centre (aka The Church Hall)

We are fortunate to have a modern Hall complex which was opened in March 1994.

This modern facility has a large, well-equipped kitchen, conference and seminar rooms, and an acoustically designed multiple use hall on the ground floor.  While priority must be given to the use of the Centre by our Congregation, we are always pleased to let it out to community groups and others for a myriad of occasions ranging from seminars, public forums and lectures to wedding receptions.

The top floor of the Centre, which is primarily used by the Girls and Boys Brigade and Sunday School,† has several teaching rooms, as well as a small kitchen and gymnasium. There are also changing rooms with shower and toilet facilities. Once again, these facilities can be used on request by other groups, when available.

For further information on what is available and the cost, please refer to Visitors Information.


Options for parking during services are as follows:

There is parking available in the following places:

•  very limited number of disabled parking spaces in the church grounds immediately in front of the church;

•  behind the church and in the basement garage of the St Johnís Centre, primarily for the elderly and infirm or those with small children. Please note that parking spaces 4, 5, 9 and 10 are to be kept free at all times, including Sundays. The organistís carpark, no 16, is solely for the use the organist at all time. (access from Willis Street);

•  free two hour parking on Willis Street between Dixon Street and Ghuznee Street (and further South) and on Dixon Street and McDonald Crescent (west of the church);

•  12 parks are available to the west of the New Zealand Film Commission building at 119 Ghuznee Street. They are available on Sunday mornings. At other times, this is a tow away area;

•  Paid parking is also available at a number of carparks around the church. The cheapest option at the time of writing is the Wilson Parking Building at 151 Willis Street (just north of the Dixon St intersection) at $1/half hour on Sunday mornings.

•  Paid parking behind the St Peterís apartments, across Willis St from St Peterís Church. The cost is $5 for 6 hours on a Sunday.

Monday-Saturday: Please consult the church office if you require a

parking space at any time during the week. Generally, we can provide one. By directing you to a space we know is not in use, we can avoid potential

conflict with those who have prior parking arrangements with us.


Please note that the stylistic map below of the St John's site requires editing to show a change in our layout - The church office is now accessed from the Courtyard at the bottom of Troup House, having shifted from Spink's Cottage.

Stylistic Map of Church Buildings and Contents

Copyright © 2003 St John's in the City