St Mary's Church, Upokongaro

Okau Rd, SH4, Kaiwhaiki, Wanganui
Upokongaro, Manawatu
Built in 1877, this little Anglican church has an unusual 3-sided spire. The architect was E.C Morgan.

St Mary’s is the oldest church in Wanganui still on its original site. A memorial stained glass window, Christ of Ascension, was placed in the church in memory of the Avalanche shipping disaster on September 11, 1877.

The Avalanche was returning to Wellington with 21 Wanganui people who had returned Home to England for a visit. It collided with a clipper, The Forest, in the English channel, and sank.

The name of the town Upokongaro literally translated means 'without a head', what that meant to the Maori and Pakeha settlers here is not certain.

There did used to be a river-crossing by ferry here, now only a pub and a small country school remains.

St Mary's can be seen in the Burton Brothers photograph below, other photos were taken here dating back to the 1860s.
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  • The Tower
    The Tower
  • St Mary's  Upokongaro
    St Mary's Upokongaro
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