Standing beside the Waimate North Mission House this old church has a stamp of confident authority about it. It has always impressed me that Maori took to Christianity as if it had been awaiting their discovery. In the north, the Catholics and Anglicans competed for souls which many natives handed over while quietly retaining some of their old beliefs for comfort!
I felt all this history as I sketched St. John the Baptist's and if anybody would like to test my impression let them visit the churchyard where, next to where I sat, is the most unusual wooden grave-'stone' I've ever seen; a unique mixture of Maori and old world Anglican. Go see.
© DON DONOVAN