Church of the Good Shepherd

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Church of the Good Shepherd


The Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand is a small Anglican church used by various denominations. Built in 1935 as a memorial church to commemorate early settlers, it is one of the most photographed items in the country. It has a Category I heritage registration by Heritage New Zealand.

Walter Ernest Detheridge Davies became the vicar of Fairlie in February 1933. The Fairlie cure extended up to Mount Cook Village and Davies realised that the Mackenzie Basin needed its own church; he first suggested this to parishioners in September 1933. Davies also suggested that a large window should be incorporated so that there could be a view from within the church of the lake, based on the 1930 design of St James Church at Franz Josef on the West Coast. The idea was taken up by various local runholders who thought that it would be an appropriate way of acknowledging and commemorating their pioneering ancestors. The land for the building was given by the owners of Braemar Station, which is (mostly) located on the eastern shore of Lake Tekapo. A generous amount of land belongs to the church so that the building will continue to be sited on its own. Esther Hope, a local artist from Grampians Station, provided sketch designs for the proposed church. The Christchurch architect Richard Strachan De Renzy Harman (1896–1953) based his 1933/1934 design on Hope's drawings.

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