CHRISTCHURCH NORTH METHODIST PARISH
A number of Methodist Families came to Canterbury in the First Four Ships, among them the Quaife family. In a whare, quite close to where, in later days, the gate led to the Midland Cricket Grounds in Hagley Park, Mrs. Quaife opened the first Sunday School in Canterbury. In 1852 the Quaifes moved to Papanui, where they again opened a Sunday School. In the early 1850’s there were 200 people living in Papanui and only a rough track connected them to Christchurch where 700 people lived.
The first Methodist Service in Papanui was held in 1851. Regular services began in 1854 when Mr. E. Connal preached in a barn “a little distance along Harewood Road” where the present Church now stands. Mr. James Reese owned the barn. In 1858 Mr. Reese sold to the Church for 150 pounds, the acre of land on which the Papanui complex and parsonage still stands.
In 1864 the Papanui Methodist Church was part of the Durham Street Circuit. In 1870 the Frieston Church, Harewood, was opened. In 1871 the St. Albans Circuit was separated from the Durham St. Circuit and Papanui continued to be part of the St. Albans Circuit until 1901. The newly established Papanui Circuit comprised of Papanui, Harewood (Frieston), Upper Riccarton, and Riccarton Village. The boundaries of the Papanui Circuit were reviewed in 1920 and the Circuit then consisted of Papanui, Frieston and Belfast.
1960 saw the closure and demolition of the Frieston Church. In 1974 discussions took place with the St. Albans Circuit about the formation of a new Circuit and in February 1975 the new Papanui Circuit including Papanui, Belfast and St. Davids (Wairakei Road) was established. 1977 saw the closure and sale of the Belfast Church.
The 1987 Conference recorded the change of name to the “Christchurch North Methodist Parish”. On February 1st 1997 St. Johns (Bryndwr) became part of the Christchurch North Parish and the Parish now consisting of three congregation – Papanui (Harewood Road), St. Davids (Wairakei Road) and St. Johns (Bryndwr Road) continues to operate as a three Church Parish.