Friends of St John's Trust

Another picture of the church

Who are we?

The aim of the Trust is to provide funding to assist The Parish of Trentham to maintain and preserve the Church of St John building and graveyard.

A group of local businessmen and the vicar of the day, Tom Pearson, set up the "Friends" in 1976.

About the Church

The original Church was built in 1863 of totara, milled on site and in McHardies Clearing, on land donated by the Barton family. The sanctuary was extended in 1908,the sides extended in 1956 and the foyer added in 1986.

It is the oldest church building still in regular use in the Wellington area and is one of Upper Hutt's oldest buildings.

The Lych Gate is a War Memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Great War and was used in ANZAC day Services in early Upper Hutt times.

The graveyard has 917 plots and several areas of ashes plots containing memorials to many pioneering families, Barton, Benge, Cruickshank, Robinson, Schwartz and Whiteman all being prominent. Amongst one of the earliest burials in 1865 is Fanny Matilda Robinson who died in July of that year aged two.

The graveyard also contains some trees of note, the redwood being the most notable. It was planted in 1908. Nearby is a cypress that was one of an avenue, the rest being destroyed in the 1968 Wahine storm. It was planted in 1878. The two newer cypresses alongside grew from a bonfire of the damaged trees after that storm. The graveyard also boasts several excellent tulip trees and has nine different fir trees.


The Trust Board is seeking new Friends, (associate members) to assist in the preservation of this special Upper Hutt building and historical graveyard. The Friends are a Charitable Organization registered with the Charities Commission.

The cost of a membership is $20.00 per year or $200.00 for a lifetime membership.

The Secretary can be contacted at P O Box 40-326, Upper Hutt, or by email at

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Last Updated September 23 2014