Auckland’s Religious Legacy in Neo-Gothic Splendour at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral

Parnell is Auckland’s premier suburb and also its oldest. Commanding an impressive position on an elevated ground looking over the city and the charming port, Parnell is known for its scenic ocean vistas and its religious institutions. Home to several Church of England establishments, its core charities, the Diocesan Library and the residence of the Bishop, the picturesque hamlet is also home to a number of breathtaking churches of historic significance.

These include a number of Presbyterian and Wesleyan churches, St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Chapel and of course the neo-gothic wonder that is St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Reputed as the first church to have been built in the city of Parnell, the wooden structure is also renowned as one of the largest of its kind in the globe. Beautifully executed according to the design of B.W Mountfort, the church has a decidedly neo-gothic air about its form and architecture. Built in 1863, the church dominates its landscapes even today due to its iconic bell chimes and imposing facade. Having been relocated from its position on the other side of the road, St. Mary’s was moved to its current position next to the Selwyn Court and the New Holy Trinity Cathedral in 1982.

Devoted to St. Mary, this ancient religious institution has stood the test of time, remaining a focal point of the town’s many attractions and its community’s consciousness. With Venerable Archdeacon Kissling serving as its first incumbent, the church went through extensive renovations which included enlargements of its already monumental size under the care of its later incumbent Venerable Archdeacon Maunsell. Nearly 159 feet in length with a 32 foot broad nave, the church is approximately 48 feet in height from floor to summit. Complete with captivating screens and a pulpit contributed by Parnell resident M. J. Gay the two aisles within the church are 12.5 feet each.

National Park Service and it’s Legacy

Artist George Catlin has been credited with presenting the notion of a governmental organization to protect our wilderness and wildlife. His essays reflected anxiety toward the continuing development and its effects of the westward expansion over the natural wonderland. George Catlin expressed the theory of creating a policy or agency to protect the wilderness. The lands of Yellowstone and Yosemite received protection under specific preservation laws in the mid 1800’s. Later the National Park service had begun to be established.

The potential for a booming tourism market inspired many keen investors to band together and lobby for the creation of a National Park service. Most importantly supportive conservationist lobbying began for the preservation of wildlife and natural resources. President Woodrow Wilson officially signed legislation for the creation of the National Park Service on August 25th 1916.

Congress created the national park service as a chapter o the United States department of the Interior. The national park service has since grown to employ over 100,000 people and boast many thousands of volunteers. As a cabinet office to the executive branch of government the National Park service is run by a secretary elected by the president. The national Park service receives a yearly budget of over 2 billion dollars.

The national park service has been actively involved in caring for American monuments, historical properties and parks since 1916. National parks are a place of beautiful picnic spots equally dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife. National parks are available to the public providing spectacular natural scenery and a place to enjoy healthy family entertainment for a lazy afternoon or the whole summer long. The chief duty of the national park service is a commitment to the conservation of historical properties, scenery, wildlife and properties contained within a national park. The national park service promotes public education in reflection of the American landscape. Receiving millions of visitors to over 391 units per year the national park service is a flourishing society.

Yellowstone national park became the world’s very first national park under the National Park Service. Yellowstone was previously privately managed with sometimes uncertain success. Yosemite received some protection as a state park originally but was soon to join in under the protection of the National park Service with others soon to follow. Mount Rainier, Glacier, Crater Lake, and naturally, the beautiful Sequoia, all thankfully receiving protection and conservation under the care of the National Park Service.

It was soon recognized that parks not in the western states should also benefit from the care of the National park Service and Acadia National Park in Maine was also included. Philanthropist John Rockefeller Jr. was among others who assisted in the gradual acquisition of eastern lands. In 1926 the Great Smokey Mountains, Shenandoah and Mammoth cave were all to be included for protection from the National Park Service. In fact later the eastern states with their many historic sites such as battlefields and war memorials became an even larger area under protection from the National Park service.

The National park Service has sustained continual growth and expansion over the past few decades. Presidents agreed to the importance of protecting the American heritage and supported laws even including additional laws and clauses. The National Park service protects living history and educational opportunities as a legacy and shall continue to care and protect the environment for many decades to come by order of their mission statement. To “Conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

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