St. Oswald's Memorial Church

St. Oswald's Memorial Church

The little land mark stone church, St. Oswald's, on State Highway 1 was severely damaged in the Kaikoura Earthquake.


St. Oswald's Memorial Church was built in 1927 in memory of Charles Hector Heaton Murray by his parents, then gifted to the Nelson Anglican Diocese. Following the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010/2011 most stone structures built before 1930 throughout the NZ Anglican Diocese became unviable to insure for earthquake damage.

As a result of the November 14, 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake this landmark building suffered significant damage.

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More about us

Until the Saint Oswald’s Memorial Church was structurally damaged in the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake it offered an unconditional haven for locals and travelers alike. A place to come together and worship, to rest, reflect and be at peace.

Built over 90 years ago in 1927 first and foremost to honour a beloved son, it has provided a place of remembrance worship through the Anglican faith. The church was also a much loved community facility for families and locals to unite and to celebrate special occasions. The little landmark stone church sits right beside State Highway 1, at Wharanui, Marlborough in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Located 60 kilometres south of Blenheim and 70 kilometers north of Kaikoura.

Charles and Jessie Murray built the stone church in memory of their son, Charles Hector Heaton Murray (known as Hector) who died in 1924. The name Oswald was chosen after the King of Northumbria, considered as a saintly king, was killed as a young man in the Battle of Maserfield in the mid 600's AD. Here lies the connection to Hector who also died too young at the age of 19.

Nearly 100 years on, heartbreak has returned to the Murray family. In 2022 Leicester and Laura Murray tragically lost their much adored son, Wilson at the age of 21. Once repaired and restored to its former glory, Saint Oswald Memorial Church will honour the two beautiful sons and provide their final resting place together.

At the end of 2023 ownership of the church moved from the Nelson Anglican Diocese to the care of the Saint Oswald Memorial Trust. The Trust acts as a custodian of the church and was formed in 2017 by Leicester Murray, Bruce Murray and Marty Westenra as the great grandchildren of Charles and Jessie Murray.

After suffering severe damage in the 2016 earthquake the church needs extensive strengthening and repair work before it can be used again. The trustees and their families hope not only to repair the church, but to enhance the facilities for future generations to enjoy.

Use of funds

Funds raised will be used to repair the church to its former glory.

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Latest update

Funds Raised  20 February 2018

Since the St. Oswalds Give a Little Page started in May 2017 over $19,000 has been raised.

Since the 7 Sharp story on 19 February

over $12,000 has been raised.

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Latest donations

Penny on 15 Jul 2024
All the best with restoring this beautiful and special wee church
Rebecca on 20 Jun 2024
Inspired by Mary.
Clement on 20 Jun 2024
Lyn on 20 Jun 2024
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 20 Jun 2024
Good Luck

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