Sitting proud on the Tekapo lakefront, with turquoise waters and the Southern Alps as a backdrop, the historic stone Church of the Good Shepherd draws worshippers, photographers and travelers from far and wide.
Built in 1935 to commemorate early settlers, the Church of the Good Shepherd continues to be a place of worship for local residents and visitors.
The builders of the Church were instructed that it must blend into the alpine environment, and that even the matagouri bushes surrounding the building were to remain. Rocks on the wall line were not to be removed. The church was clad in unchipped local stone and lichen was left on the stone to give it a natural look.
A large window was approved by local runholders who thought a view of the lake from within the church would be an appropriate way of acknowledging their pioneering ancestors. The original roof was wooden shingles, but had to be replaced with the present slates in 1957. The cupboard in the Vestry is made of wood from the Tekapo bridge, demolished in 1954.
The foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Gloucester, and the completed Church was dedicated by the Bishop of Christchurch. Even before the church was finished, 'The Press' in Christchurch commented: "The whole effect of the little church is striking and has won the admiration of all who have seen it".
Close by the Church, keeping watch over the lake, is a bronze sheepdog statue, a tribute to all the working dogs who have made sheep farming possible in the Mackenzie region.
The church is currently closed during the day, however visitors are welcome to wander the grounds, and guided tours may be arranged. Interdenominational services are held regularly throughout the year. A koha (donation) is sincerely appreciated to help maintain this special site.
For enquiries regarding weddings, guided tours or church services please contact the Parish: