Explore our parish archives

Interested in the former parishes, St Aidans and St Andrews? Or the former St Philips, Birkdale? Ask us about histories, photographs, newsletters and other documents in our archives.

You could also check out the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries. The library holds a community archive from the former St Andrews parish. There is an online index to that archive.

Read about our celebration on 2 July 2022 of the community services provided by the former parishes over many years.

Contact us.

Overview of the former parishes

Image of round window with the words 'the community of St Aidans' around the edge.
Logo used by The Community of St Aidans
Sketch of sailing boat on waves, with a cross forming the mast.
Logo used by
St Andrews Presbyterian, Birkenhead

The parishes which joined to form Onewa Christian Community had a long legacy of community service and involvement in public affairs. They valued their relationships with other churches in the area. Both were family-friendly congregations that over many years ran active and successful programmes for children and young people.

St Aidans, Northcote

The Presbyterian Church in Northcote (created in 1888) opened in a wooden building on the 97 Onewa Road site in 1889. The current brick church, later called St Aidans, opened its doors in 1932 and the original wooden church then became a hall. In the late 1970s the interior of the church was renovated, reversing the layout and replacing the fixed pews. Sets of extensions to the back of the church in the 1970s and early 1990s added lounge, kitchen and office spaces. The church developed Iona Close as a small retirement village (nine units for people living independently) on adjacent land.

The centennial history of the parish is Bridge of faith: the story of St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church, Northcote, 1888-1988 by Gillian and Geoffrey Vine, with additional research by Annette Hay and Don Boyd.

The Community of St Aidans evolved into a socially progressive church widely known for its variety of worship styles and diverse theologies. Leaders supported social activism. The congregation’s mission statement was: ‘We are an inclusive Christian community seeking to make a difference starting with ourselves.’

The St Aidans logo featured the rose window in the front of the church: the solid circle in the centre represented St Aidans church; ‘arms’ radiate outward. The outer circle represented The Community of St Aidans: all who used or were served by the church.

Brick church building.
97 Onewa Road, Northcote
Book cover: 'Bridge of Faith 1888-1988: St Aidan's Presbyterian Church Northcote'; features sketches of four church buildings over the years, set in an image of a window in the current building.
History of St Aidans written to mark 100 years

St Andrews, Birkenhead

The parish began in 1914, with a church built in Crescent Road (now Mariposa Crescent) to serve the growing Birkenhead, Birkdale and Glenfield areas. In 1928 the church relocated the building to 172 Hinemoa Street. The Presbyterian Church, Birkenhead became St Andrews in 1932. A new hall opened in the 1950s, and a major redevelopment of the building in the 1960s included significant extensions for Sunday school and youth group activities (dedicated in 1967). An upgrade to the entrance and foyer followed.

In 2014 the parish published a history to mark its centenary. St Andrews, Birkenhead: a centennial history is in three parts. It comprises a reprint of Malcom H. Johnston’s The Presbyterian Church in Birkenhead: the first fifty years, a series of memoirs contributed by Bob Duthie, and chapters on the church past and present by Ian Bogue and Pauline Fish. The coverage includes Sunday school, Bible class and youth group activity, the Boy’ and Girls’ Brigades, mainly music, a wide range of social activities over the years, the church op shop, ministries, evangelism and church renewal movements, community involvement, notable figures associated with the church and key decisions taken over the years.

The mission of St Andrews was ‘to be a Christ-centred, community-embracing congregation of Birkenhead, Birkdale and Beach Haven.’

The St Andrews logo featured a boat sailing ahead with vigour. The mast is in the shape of the cross, providing strong support for the full-blown sails.

Picture of book cover: St Andrews, Birkenhead A Centennial History 1914 - 2014 [by] Malcom Johnston, Bob Duthie, Pauline Fish, Ian Bogue
History of the former St Andrews parish including information on St Philips, Birkdale

St Philips, Birkdale

This church and hall opened at 136 Birkdale Road in 1962. A building firm erected the shell and volunteers lined and finished the interior of the building, which was soon further added to. In April 1973, the church became part of the St Philip’s Union Parish (of Presbyterians and Methodists), also known as Beach Haven-Birkdale Union Parish. The church was deeply involved in the Birkdale Beach Haven Community Project and made its facilities available for a range of community uses including a pre-school. Upon the dissolution of the union parish in the 1990s, the Birkdale church came back into the St Andrews parish. Auckland Council bought the building in 2013 for use as a community venue.

Book cover depicts two church buildings (one brick, one wooden) and reads: 'St Philip's Union Parish Beach Haven-Birkdale History 80 years approx.'
History of the Union parish

How we got to be Onewa Christian Community

In 2021 the Community of St Aidans, Northcote and St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Birkenhead pooled their energies to create a new kind of church.

The two congregations merged following a facilitated Circle of Trust® process. Retreats gave participants an opportunity to dream big for a new church. Priorities emerged through conversation together. These were: growing community, making new connections, good communication, a new expression of faith and using resources well. Those priorities set the foundation for our vision, mission and values.