Built of heart totara, it was a beautiful building which proudly stood aside the historic gum tree until January 1968 when it was burned to the ground by an arsonist. Firemen reported seeing flames roaring up the aisle where an accelerant had been poured.
Parishioners were in shock at the loss of their wooden church, with its tall, majestic bell tower, detailed interior woodwork, carved rafters and stained glass windows. The vicar, Rev Pat Gourdie immediately made plans for services to continue in the church hall. The determined congregation set about planning the re-building of their church. It was constructed by Greytown builder Ken Trotman, dedicated in 1971 and consecrated, debt-free on 6 May 1979 by the Bishop of Wellington, The Right Reverend E. K. Norman.
St Luke's Church, Present day
St Luke's Church, circa 1900
St Luke's Church, 1971 (newly built)
Dedication of St Luke's second church 1971.
1910 - St Luke's people on a Sunday School picnic at Tauherenikau.
St Luke's Church, 1928
St Luke's Fire, January 1968
St Luke's Church after the fire 1968
Gum sketch by Peter Scarfe.