We had another enjoyable Van Outing this month to St. Saviour’s at Holy Trinity, the Anglican church for Lyttelton.

From the outside, it looks quite small but I was surprised how spacious it was on the inside. Rev John McLister told us about its history and how it came to be there. The original church Holy Trinity was badly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The St Saviour’s church which was once part of Lyttelton, but had been moved to be the chapel at Cathedral Grammar School in 1976, was transported back to Lyttelton to sit where Holy Trinity once stood. 

It is a lovely mixture of the two churches, with stained glass windows from both of them. John told us stories of how people had gone into the damaged church and retrieved many articles which are now still being used in the church today. There is a stunning Corona chandelier that was gifted to a church in Christchurch by Queen Victoria, but for some reason, it did not make it over the hill and remained in Lyttelton!  

The St Saviour’s Chapel had been built in 1885 by seafarers. Robert Falcon Scott and his crew from the Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions had worshipped at St Saviour’s. 

Beside the church is The Mariners bell tower which houses the Seafarers bell brought over from England in the 1800s. The bell was recued from the earthquake and a generous donor paid for the reconstruction of the tower. It was completed and blessed in 2020 and rings every Sunday.

The altar that is in St Saviour’s on Holy Trinity came out of Holy Trinity, but the altar of St Saviour’s now resides in the Chapel of the Snows which is in McMurdo Station, Ross Island in Antarctica. A fitting place for it to now find a home.

Afterwards we enjoyed a cuppa on the main street of Lyttelton at the Lyttelton Coffee Co overlooking the harbour.

For more information on the history of St Saviour’s at Holy Trinity click here: 

By Jo Cotton