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95 Remuera Rd, Remuera,
Auckland 1050, New Zealand


The story of Saint Mark's Church starts in the mid-1800s. At that time, the church of Saint Paul, based near the Imperial garrison at Fort Britomart, served most of the town. However, Auckland's growing farming communities were without an accessible place to worship.

Bishop Selwyn, the first Bishop of New Zealand, had established Saint John's College in Meadowbank to train clergy and teachers for the church. He decided to establish a number of "chapelries" to serve the rural communities and the growing number of Anglican families living in them. Within a few years seven of these chapelries had been established, including one at Remuera dedicated to Saint Mark.


The first church, prefabricated at Saint John's College, was opened for worship on 30th May 1847. A decade later that building was deemed to be too small, and it was removed from the site to allow for the construction of the present church, which dates from 1860.

The nave (where most of the congregation sit) and a small chancel (the section near the altar reserved for the clergy and the choir) were built first. In 1871, two small transepts (the two parts forming the arms of the church's cross shape) were added, and these were extended in 1878 and 1879. The tower was built in 1883 to house the bell and a new organ, and a parish hall was built in 1897.

The church has remained much as it was then, except for additions to the vestry and the porch, and the extension of the sanctuary in 1953 following a fire.


In the early years there was no full-time vicar at Saint Mark's. Worship was conducted by students from Saint John's College or by visiting clergy. The first more permanent incumbent was Mr H.W. St Hill, a local schoolmaster who took up duties as a lay reader at Saint Mark's in 1851, and was ordained in 1853. A number of other clergy held temporary appointments, including Reverend John Kinder, who is probably better known for his work as a photographer and painter. He served at Saint Mark's in the early 1860's. The first permanent vicar to serve the parish was Reverend E.H. Heywood, who took up the position in November 1863.

A Growing Community

The development of the physical building over these early years reflected the developing community in the Remuera/Newmarket area. A choir was formed, a Sunday School was started, and arrangements were made for services to be conducted in other parts of Remuera to serve parishioners who lived too far away and could not travel to Saint Mark's.

The parish had now grown to the point where it needed to reduce its geographical responsibility. In 1905, a second church was built several kilometres to the east of Saint Mark's, and was dedicated to Saint Aidan. It established its own, separate parish in 1913. In 1916, a third church was built to the south of Saint Mark's in Ranfurly Road in Epsom and was dedicated to Saint George. In 1926, it too formed its own independent parish.

Saint Mark's, now a thriving, well-established church, had responsibility for the western part of Remuera, the northern end of Epsom, and the borough of Newmarket. What had begun as a rural chapelry was now very much a city-fringe, suburban parish.

Today, Saint Mark's remains a vibrant worshipping community in the Anglican tradition.

Saint Mark's Graveyard

The church's graveyard has its own interesting history. The first burial was in 1849, and the last in 1963. The names of many well-known early Aucklanders appear here, including James Dilworth and his wife Isabella, Alfred Buckland and his two wives, Eliza and Matilda. In 1968 the decaying and illegible headstones were removed from the churchyard, and the surviving ones placed in a specially designated area behind the church. A roll of honour can be found in the church's south transept behind the organ console, recording the names of all those buried within the grounds.

Saint Mark's Church is open every day. You are welcome to visit and enjoy the sense of history that surrounds it, and the presence of God who continues to dwell there.

Click here to preview our book on the history of Saint Mark's, which is available for sale.

Our History



The Windows of Saint Mark's

When you enter Saint Mark's church, your eyes are immediately drawn to the stained glass windows. The installation of these windows over more than 100 years means that they illustrate and illuminate the story of the parish family, the local community, and the city of Auckland.

A book detailing the history and meaning of our stained glass windows has been published and is available for sale. Click here for more information.

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St Marks

As we continue to do all we can as a nation to thwart the progress of the COVID-19 virus, churches and all other places of public gathering remain closed. The Church, as the gathered people of God, cannot meet person-to-person, but we are fortunate to have more means than any generation before us to stay in contact with one another. This website is one of the ways that the Parish of St Mark’s, Remuera remains a gathered people. We also remain in communion with one another by email, video conferencing and – not least, the telephone. And, vitally, we remain in communion with God through prayer. We are here for you. Get in contact with us via the means that suits you best (please see the contact list).
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his
countenance upon you, and give you peace.

                                                                 Numbers 6:24-26

The Reverend Dr Tony Surman
Vicar of St Mark’s Anglican Church
Remuera, Auckland 1050
 Tel: (09) 520 2258


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