SquareThe Christchurch Methodist Mission was previously known as the Christchurch Central Mission. It was founded in 1939, preceding the start of World War II by Rev. Gardner Miller, a Congregational Minister.

In 1950 after Rev Miller retired the Mission became part of the Methodist Church and Rev. Wilf Falkingham was appointed Superintendent.

Rev Falkingham led the work of the Christchurch Mission for 32 years, until 1982. He was awarded an MBE for his services to social welfare.

In 1958, the Central Mission amalgamated with the Cambridge Terrace Circuit. In 1974 a merger between the Central Mission and the Durham Street Methodist Church was achieved, with a change of name to "The Christchurch Methodist Central Mission".

Aldersgate Church

Following Rev Falkingham, the Superintendents of the Christchurch Methodist Mission have been: Rev. John Roberts (1982-1987), Rev. Timothy Langley (1988-1997), Rev. Dr David Bromell (1998-2003), and Rev. Michael Greer (2004-2009). Since 2010 the Superintendent title has been replaced by Executive Director with firstly Mary Richardson (2010 - 2014) and currently Jill Hawkey (2014 - present) having this title. 

The history of the Mission during Rev Falkingham's superintendency was recorded in Norman Gill's "Mission Accomplished: the establishment of the Christchurch Methodist Mission" (Christchurch, NZ: Christchurch Methodist Mission, 1991). This book, now out of print, covers the beginnings of the Mission, the Cambridge Terrace years, the Durham Street merger, aged care, Rehua hostel, Lifeline, the Methodist Children's Home and other child and family services, Goodwill stores, and some memories by staff. 

A history of the Methodist Mission since 1983 is waiting to be written! This history is closely related to developments in the community and voluntary sector generally, and especially the impact of neo-liberal economic ideology implemented by the fourth Labour Government after 1984, and continued by National after 1990.

Bicultural Partnership

Commitment to justice by reference to Te Tiriti o Waitangi involves the Methodist Mission in partnership in the first instance with Te Taha Maori (Maori within the Methodist Church of NZ).

Locally, the Methodist Mission has a treasured history of partnership with Ngai Tahu dating back to 1952, the Maori Affairs Trade Training Scheme, and the establishment of Te Whatu-Manawa Maoritanga o Rehua Marae.

In 1998, Maori social services that had been developed by the Methodist Mission (Te Roopu Manaaki) were transferred under the governance of the Rehua Marae Trust. A substantial grant was made to Rehua by the Methodist Mission over a three-year period to build the capacity of the marae trust and its social services.

In 2002, three land titles at Rehua held by the Methodist Mission were gifted to the Marae. The Methodist Mission was also able to assist in securing the marae's ownership of a Crown land title gifted to the Crown by the Mission in 1965 for the construction of Te Koti te Rato, the hostel built to accommodate participants in the Trade Training Scheme which was wound up in 1981.

tradeTrainees Rehua opening HostelGirls