Nurses' Memorial Chapel

Christchurch, New Zealand

Nurses' Memorial Chapel

The Nurses' Memorial Chapel at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand, is registered as a Category I heritage building. The chapel is significant as New Zealand's first hospital chapel, and as the country's only World War I memorial solely dedicated to women, and is worldwide the only chapel dedicated to nurses.

Sibylla Maude and Mabel Thurston, both former matrons of Christchurch Hospital, first thought of a chapel at the hospital. Rose Muir, the matron from 1919 to 1936, wrote to the hospital board in July 1924 reiterating the need for a chapel. This request was approved in principle in January 1925. The hospital board provided the land and paid for the foundation and the basement, and was in turn granted the use of the basement. The Ministry of Health did not permit the hospital board to fund any other part of the building, and the government did not provide any of the funds either, but suggested that the public should fund the chapel. A fundraising campaign commenced in November 1925.

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