Hauraki Plains Co-operating Parish History:
With the opening up of the Hauraki Plains in the early 1900's, the community decided that they needed more permanent places of worship.
A Presbyterian church was built in Turua in 1917. Hard work from the whole community to build the church quickly meant that it was known as "the church that was built in a day"
The first Anglican Church in the area was built in Turua in 1923. Before this, the services were either held in private homes or in the Presbyterian church. Reverent Monteith, who later became a bishop was the first Anglican priest in the area.
Methodist churches were built in Ngatea and Waitakaruru in 1924, and a Methodist minister joined the community.
The county headquarters were established in Ngatea. People realised that Ngatea was to become the centre of the Hauraki Plains. In 1931, St Pauls (Anglican) was built in Ngatea.
Strong local support saw churches of different denominations were built all over the Plains as the area became more populated. Churches were seen as the focal point of each small community. Weddings, baptisms and funerals were held in each local church. Weekly church services were always well attended.
In 1966, the Methodist and Presbyterian churches combined to form the Union Parish. One minister covered both congregations.
Many of the small community churches were proving expensive to maintain. Over the years, these churches were sold. Some remained on their sites and became private residences. Others were transported away to serve purposes elsewhere.
In 1976 the Union and Anglican congregations combined to form the Hauraki Plains Co-operating Parish. Buildings from each of the three contributing parishes were combined to form a new complex in Darlington St. St Pauls Anglican church was joined with the Methodist Schultz Hall to form the new Church. A smaller St Andrews Presbyterian Hall was added at the rear.
Ministers from the three contributing parishes are appointed in rotation to meet the different traditions of the congregation.
Ministers have been Ted Body, Brian Flower, Ross Scott, Doug Wakeling, Neil Lackey, David North, Linda King and our current Minister Alofa Asiata.