Presbyterian Links

From the College Archives:

Did you know that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is holding its 2014 General Assembly at Saint Kentigern College in Pakuranga, and that the College has had Presbyterian connections since it was founded?

From the formation of the Saint Kentigern Trust in 1948 the Moderator of the General Assembly has been designated an ‘Official Visitor’ to the Trust schools, and in 2014 the incoming Moderator is the Rev Andrew Norton – also the minister of the local Presbyterian church, St Columba at Botany, and the parent of an Old Collegian.

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The first discussions about the formation of a Presbyterian boys school in Auckland in fact took place in the vestry of St Andrew’s Church in Symonds Street and the College boarding house, Bruce House, bears the name of the first Minister of that church, a man who was one of the truly great nineteenth century pioneers laying the foundations of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand.

The historic links with St Andrew’s Church which in the early days of the College were marked by an annual ‘Kirking’ Service have been maintained through the naming of the Christian Education prizes at our annual Prizegivings. At the 60th Jubilee celebrations of the College in 2013, St Andrew’s parish presented a framed painting of their historic church.

Photographs of events, like the one attached to this article, are held electronically in the College Archives; the original portrait of David Bruce has hung in Bruce House for sixty years.

It is interest to note that two of the five Headmasters in the history of the College have been Presbyterian ministers. The foundation Head, Dr Adam MacFarlan came from the Church of Scotland and third headmaster, the Rev David Williams had formerly been the College chaplain. Two members of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board are Presbyterian ministers, as also are the chaplains to the College and the Schools.

Whilst Saint Kentigern has historic links with the Presbyterian church, it is important to realise that today the students at the College come from a culturally diverse community with families of many denominations and faiths. The Chapel of Saint Kentigern is a place where the Saint Kentigern community comes together to explore the Christian values upon which the College is founded and celebrate special occasions.

The College Archive Centre is open to students at lunchtimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Other enquiries to: