Centennial Chapel

12 June 2024

St Andrew's College Centennial Chapel exterior

The Dedication of the Centennial Chapel held on Tuesday 25 October in 2016 was an historic occasion at St Andrew’s College. Staff, students and members of the St Andrew’s community gathered to share this momentous occasion and celebrate having the Chapel back at the heart of the campus once more, as the Chapel had been absent since the devastating 2011 earthquake. The Centennial Chapel stands as a testament to resilience, community spirit, and the enduring value of education.

The College extends heartfelt gratitude to the numerous donors who made the Centennial Chapel possible. Through initiatives like the STEP and Buy a Brick fundraising campaigns, their contributions breathed life into this beautiful building. Their generosity exemplifies the spirit of community and commitment to education that defines St Andrew’s College.

A New Beginning

The Centennial Chapel replaced the Memorial Chapel, which suffered extensive damage during the earthquake and was subsequently decommissioned in 2013. Rector, Christine Leighton, reflected on the occasion: “It was truly magnificent and humbling to celebrate our new Chapel’s return to the heart of our community. Many of our Old Collegians, who were present at the dedication of the Memorial Chapel in 1955, marveled at how elements from the old Chapel seamlessly blend into our new sanctuary.”

Preserving Heritage

The Centennial Chapel pays homage to its predecessor by incorporating carefully salvaged heritage items. These treasures now form the elegant “memorial wall” within the Chapel. Notable features include:

  • Doors: The original Chapel doors, weathered by time and history, now grace the entrance to the Centennial Chapel.

  • Stonework: Gargoyles and stonework, once part of the Memorial Chapel, find new purpose in the architectural design.

  • Stained Glass Windows: The vibrant stained glass windows, each telling a story, have been meticulously restored.

  • Plaques: Commemorative plaques honor the legacy of those who contributed to the Chapel’s restoration.

  • Original Bricks: Over a thousand original bricks were reclaimed and integrated into the Chapel’s structure.

  • Restored Bell: The Chapel’s bell, lovingly restored, now hangs in the new bell tower—an echo of the past.

Award-winning Architecture

We are proud to have the Centennial Chapel recognised with the below awards:

  • New Zealand Architecture Awards 2018 John Scott Award for Public Architecture;

  • New Zealand Architecture Award for Public Architecture;

  • Canterbury Heritage Awards 2018 Future Heritage Award Winner;

  • Canterbury Architecture Awards 2018 Public Architecture Award Winner;

  • Christchurch Civic Trust Award 2017;

  • New Zealand Commercial Project Awards 2017 National Education Category Winner and Gold Award Winner;

  • NZ Interior Design Awards 2017 Winner Civic.

A Versatile Space

The Centennial Chapel seats 750 people, making it an ideal venue for worship services. However, its purpose extends beyond religious ceremonies. The Chapel hosts:

  • Celebrations: From weddings to milestone anniversaries to funerals.

  • Assemblies: Students and staff will gather here for important school events.

  • Presentations: The Chapel’s serene ambiance provides an inspiring backdrop for academic presentations.

  • Musical Events: Concerts, recitals, and choral performances.

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