A guide marks the anniversary of the Church of Auckland

by JOHN SHAW

The Auckland parish of St Michael’s, Remuera, is to publish a guide as one of the 90 wayse anniversary of his parish church is to be celebrated next year.

In its superb position on the Remuera Ridge, the imposing St. Michael’s Basilica is one of only two Romanesque Revival churches in New Zealand. The book provides a description of this early and distinctive architectural style and an account of the construction of the church during the Great Depression of the 1930s. There is also an in-depth study of the liturgical content and features of the church and the many examples of religious art and their provenance, with stories of the artists who created them.

The publication is presented as a visitor’s guide but will be of great value and interest to those who regularly attend Mass at St Michael’s. The publication of the book is seen by the pastoral council of the parish as a tribute to the generations who built the church and who have since preserved and enhanced it. It is hoped that the book will stimulate among all who visit it an increased appreciation of the church and its liturgy and a renewed sense of transcendence.

The genesis of the book was a parishioner’s Covid lockdown idea to produce a catalog of church content. When the idea was adopted as a parish project, further research expanded the original list into a 30-page book of nearly 5,000 words. The book has been completed with professional design and editing and over 60 color images specially taken by a leading Auckland photographer.

The parish expects most orders to come from current devotees of St Michael’s Massgoers. Still, former parishioners and members of the wider Remuera community are showing interest. The board does not see the book as a source of profit, but hopes to get enough orders to break even. Orders for the book are now open at $20 per copy. There will be a limited print run and the book will be available in early December 2022.

Orders can be placed on the parish website: www.remueracatholic.org.nz/guide-book

Martha J. Finley