St. David’s is a country church located at 591 Matangi Rd.
It is now owned by the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Australia and New Zealand. Contact is Rev Ovidiu Motofelea, St George Orthodox Parish, 021750431
History to December 2019
St David’s was built in 1933. The design is typical of early settler churches in New Zealand. The foundation stone was laid in November 1932 by Bishop Cherrington (the first Bishop of Waikato) who in February 1933 also consecrated the church after it was completed at a cost of £500.00. The architect was Mr Edgecumbe of Edgecumbe and White. The builders were Mssrs Murphy and Short. The bell and windows are from St Peter’s, a church built in 1876 at the southern end of Victoria Street in Hamilton, which was demolished when the present Cathedral was built.
The funds were raised by the local community through bring and buys, dances, country picnics, children’s fancy dress parties and other social functions along with the generous donation of the land, harmonium and altar. The ministry was supplied from St Peter’s Cathedral with services operating once per week until petrol rationing in the 1940s reduced these to fortnightly.
The falling attendances in the post-war years further reduced services to once per month.
St David’s had become part of St Francis Co-operating Parish which formed in 1976 when Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations came together and established the present church district which includes the St Francis Church, St Andrew’s Tauwhare and St David’s Matangi. Services under St Francis continued until 9 December 2018.
Prior to the amalgamation there were three churches in Matangi. The Waikato East Charge of the Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church were both operating in 1915. In 1918 the Methodist Church was built and utilised by both congregations until the Presbyterians established their own building on the land given by the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church closed in 1970 and was demolished in 1975. The Presbyterian Church closed in 1963 and was sold in 1975. The Methodist Church was sited at 598 Matangi Road, and the Presbyterian Church is now incorporated in the property at 600 Matangi Road.
St David’s is a designated Historic Site, protected in the Waikato District Plan for its form, materials, and facades visible from the street.
Further information and photographs can be found on the Matangi website https://matangilink.nz/st-davids/
“Bishop’s tribute to workers” Waikato Times 6 February 1933. Hamilton City Council libraries Newspaper collection.
Gallagher, V. (1985) “St David’s Anglican Church” p19 Matangi Primary School 75th Jubilee 1910 – 1985, A School and District History. W.J.Deed Printers Ltd., Waiuku. N.Z.