Preparations were underway, exactly 200 years ago today, to celebrate Christmas with the first church service on New Zealand soil.
It was to take place at Oihi, Bay of Islands, led by Mission head, Rev Samuel Marsden, and attended by, among others, Thomas Kendall, New Zealand’s first Justice of the Peace who had arrived just days before as part of the Mission to introduce Christianity to Aotearoa.
Reverend Samuel Marsden : Led the first Christian Service on N.Z. soil
The 200th anniversary will be celebrated tomorrow with a huge gathering at Oihi.
Since December 1814 the Christian message has continued, J.Ps have served their communities and Christmas greetings have been exchanged.
“Especially at this Christmas which is a special milestone for J.P.s,” says President Colin Davis, “I wish all members of our Association Seasons Greetings, safe holidays and a prosperous New Year.”