Hororata – St John’s Anglican Church

St John’s Anglican Church in Hororata is the third building to be used as a place of worship in the small farming community.

cob-cottage-223The first religious services in Hororata began in 1866. They were held in the living room a cob cottage belonging to Bentley Coton, Hororata’s first smallholder. Bentley, from Yorkshire, and his wife, Sarah Jane, arrived from England on the ship ‘Mystery’ in 1859.

Bentley and Sarah lived in the cottage until his death in 1913. Coton Cottage can still be visited in Hororata, although access is limited due to damage caused by the 7.1 Canterbury Earthquake. The nearby Museum is, however, open on fine Sunday’s from 1.30pm, September through May.

In around 1881, a wooden church called St John’s was erected in Hororata. It was built by Jesse Prestidge, an involved and well-known character in the region. Prestidge ran a brewery in Hororata.

Wooden ChurchTo make way for today’s stone building, the wooden church was moved to a spot across the road (where it remains today and is used as a village hall) and the current church erected and consecrated in 1911. Its construction was made possible by a bequest of $10,000 by one-time New Zealand premier Sir John Hall in his Will.

P1010240Unfortunately, St John’s was extensively damaged in the 7.1 Canterbury Earthquake on September 4, 2010. Masonry from the tower crashed through the roof. The church pipe organ, originally installed in Christchurch Cathedral, was smashed to pieces. Some of the headstones have been toppled or damaged, but many remain, and are listed below.

Please consider a small donation to keep the site and the work going


BARSON, Emma (d. 12th November, 1912). Also her husband Thomas (d. 28th May, 1913). Thomas, a gardener, commited suicide with a shotgun. According to NZ Truth, Thomas killed himself rather than face charges, although the nature of his offence is not noted.

BARSON Emma 1 (Small)

BARSON Thomas death newspaper

BARSON, Margaret (d. 20th February, 1910). Daughter of T & C BARSON.

BARSON Margaret 1 (Small)

BARSON Margaret death newspaper

BARSON – Rosie, Frederick and Willie. Infant children of Thomas and Emma BARSON. (No dates on memorial). New Zealand BMD info gives Frederick’s year of death as 1886 (age 17 months) and Willie’s year of death as 1889 (age 3 hours). No record found as yet for Rosie.

BARSON infants 1 (Small)

BEATTIE, Helen (d. 10th July, 1917). Age 38. Wife of Robert BEATTIE.

BEATTIE Helen 1 (Small)

BEATTIE, Ruby Rebecca (d. 15th February, 1899). Age 3 months. Also her brother, Stanley Valentine BEATTIE (d. 15th May, 1902). Age 11 weeks. Children of John and Rebecca BEATTIE.

BEATTIE Ruby Rebecca 1 (Small)

BROWN, Alexander (d. 20th October, 1937).

BROWN Alexander 1 (Small)

BROWN, Isabella (d. 3rd July, 1898). Wife of James BROWN. Nee TROUP.

BROWN Isabella 1 (Small)

BROWN, James (d. 19th May, 1899). Also his wife, Jean (d. 20th June, 1909). Also Agnes WHIT (d. 2nd October, 1895) age 95.

BROWN James 1 (Small)

BROWN, Mary (d. 17th June, 1882). Also her husband, James Brown (d. 29th April, 1913).

BROWN Mary 1 (Small)

DENNIS, Samuel (d. 18th February, 1928). Also his wife Sarah Ann Potts DENNIS (d. 28th July, 1931).

DENNIS Samuel 1 (Small)

GRAY, Frank James (d. 27th March, 1886). Age 9 years 6 months.

GRAY Frank James 1 (Small)

GRAY, James (d. 13th February, 1892). Also his wife, Isabella (d. 20th January, 1896).

GRAY James 1 (Small)

GRIFFITHS, Frances E. (d. 30th June, 1889).

GRIFFITHS Frances E 1 (Small)

GRIFFITHS, George (d. 6th July, 1896). Also his wife, Louisa (d. 9th November, 1927).

GRIFFITHS George 1 (Small)

HALLIDAY, Albert William (d. 10th May, 1951). Also his wife Isobel Anne.

HALLIDAY Albert William 1 (Small)

HARRIS, Minnie (d. 13th December, 1893). Age 21. Daughter of John and Catherine HARRIS. Also Catherine (d. 30th March, 1935).

HARRIS Minnie 1 (Small)

KELTIE, James (d. 14th March, 1919). Born in County Down, Ireland.

KELTIE James 1 (Small)

KELTIE, Jane (d. 19th January, 1925). Also her husband, Thomas KELTIE (d. 25th January, 1926).

KELTIE Jane 1 (Small)

LEE, Alice (d. 14th May, 1880). Age 33. Also her husband, Moses Henry LEE (d. 7th December, 1908). Age 63

LEE Alice 1 (Small)

LORETT (d. 11th May, 1899). Age 78. Also his wife, Ann (d. 29th March, 1923). Also their children Joseph, Sydney Herbert, Veronica and Joseph.

LORETT Joseph 1 (Small)

MANSON, David (d. 23rd April, 1886). Also his brother, James MANSON (d. 28th December, 1886). Age 27.

MANSON David 1 (Small)

MANSON, John Brown (d. 26th October, 1880). Also his wife, Jane Allison (d. 25th April, 1880). Ann commited suicide, by hanging.

MANSON John Brown 1 (Small)

McKIE Thomas (d. 8th July, 1897). Age 54. Also his wife Mary C. Brown (d. 2nd July, 1883). Age 19. Also William James McKIE (d. 23rd February, 1909) age 21.

McKIE Thomas 1 (Small)

NAPIER, Elizabeth McDonald (d. 9th February, 1893). Also her husband George NAPIER (d. 28th November, 1907).

NAPIER Elizabeth McDonald 1 (Small)

OLIVER, Myra (d. 12th August, 1902). Age 3 years. Daughter of Herbert and Janey Oliver. Newspaper reports it as an accidental death, she was run over by a traction engine.

OLIVER Myra 1 (Small)

PHILLIPS, James (d. 23rd March, 1913). Also his wife Amelia (d. 15th November, 1937).

PHILLIPS James 1 (Small)

ROBINSON, William Edward (d. 22nd November, 1918). Age 30. William was a miner and served in Egypt, 1916, and on the Western Front, 1917-18.

ROBINSON William Edward 1 (Small)

RONALDSON, Catherine Miln (d. 1st August, 1891). Also her husband Rev. James RONALDSON (d. 20th March, 1910). Also their son, James (d. 14th May, 1879) age 19. Catherine (nee Miln) was one of the first settlers, arriving on the Sir George Seymour on 16th December, 1850. She is the sister of another early settler, John Miln. Catherine was born in Perthshire, Scotland. In 1858, Catherine left New Zealand for Scotland where she married Rev. James RONALDSON. She and her husband and family returned to New Zealand on the Dunedin in 1887, her husband having given up his position in Scotland due to ill health. They moved to a 400 acre farm near Hororata.

RONALDSON Catherine Miln 1 (Small)

ROSEVEARE, Francis (d. 27th February, 1929). Age 26. Son of Samuel and E.

ROSEVEARE Samuel 1 (Small)

SWAN, Michelle Gaye (20th Nov – 2nd Dec 1959).

SWAN Michelle Gaye 1 (Small)

TEAGUE, Maggie (d. 24th October, 1901). Age 24. Newspaper reports of the death cites Maggie as the daughter of Thomas Kilby of Hororata and that she was the wife of W. Teague. However, on her headstone is inscribed “Erected by her father T. Keltie”.

TEAGUE Maggie 1 (Small)

TROUP, John (d. 16th February, 1899). Erected by his mother.

TROUP John 1 (Small)

WATSON, Elizabeth Manson (d. 18th October, 1891). Age 31. Wife of William WATSON. Also their infant son David Archibald (d. 10th September, 1891) age 1 day.

WATSON Elizabeth Manson 1 (Small)


10 thoughts on “Hororata – St John’s Anglican Church

  1. Great website. Im looking for Stacey burials. They were in Hororata certainly from 1893 through to at least 1903. The first mention I haveof this family is in 1875-76 when they were at Selwyn Forks. William Stacey and his brothers John and Daniel plus brother in laws William Sleeman and Henry Barker all lived in the area in these early days. Sadly I havent found any burials of the children I know died during this period on the Council database.

    Posted by daffyscrapper | November 16, 2014, 10:25 am
  2. Can you advise if the headstone of WATSON is still erected or was it damaged in the earthquake please………

    Posted by Barbara Corrigan | September 5, 2015, 2:32 pm
  3. I understand that my mother’s baby sister, Winifred Herbert, was buried here in 1912. I am not sure if there was ever a headstone. Could you tell me who would have a plan of the cemetery so that we could find the site.
    Many thanks
    Sheryl Burns

    Posted by Sheryl Burns | November 15, 2015, 10:31 pm
  4. John Brown Manson and his wife were my Great Great Grandparents Would love to hear from anyone else with a connection to this family

    Posted by Gillian | February 6, 2016, 2:37 am
  5. John THORNE a former Postmaster at Hororata buried at St John’s.

    Born: 16 Nov 1840 – Newnham, Gloucestershire, England
    Christened: 27 Dec 1840 – Newnham, Gloucestershire, England
    Died: 14 Dec 1923 – Hororata, Canterbury, New Zealand
    Buried: 16 Dec 1923 – Hororata, Canterbury, New Zealand
    Father: John THORNE (1809-1882)
    Mother: Amelia BONE (1814-1884)
    Marriage: 9 Apr 1861 Place: Newnham,
    Gloucestershire, England

    Posted by Russell Thorne | April 29, 2017, 3:02 am
  6. Name: Mary Ann Thorne (nee DAVIS) wife of John Thorne of Hororata
    Sex: F

    Birth: 14 May 1840 – Eastington, Gloucestershire, England
    Death: 11 Sep 1922 – Hororata, Canterbury, New Zealand
    Burial: 13 Sep 1922 – Hororata, Canterbury, New Zealand

    Posted by Russell Thorne | April 29, 2017, 3:19 am

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