Some History of
The Church of The Immaculate Conception - Geraldine


Sanctuary and High Altar

Altar boys

A step from the nave leads up to the sanctuary which is 21ft. wide by 20ft. deep. The floors are made of terrazzo, a compound of crushed marble fragments arranged to blend with appropriate carpets.

The High Altar stands in a central position below a tall three paneled Gothic window which makes a fine background. This magnificent structure, which is of Gothic design, carried out in the purest and best of Oamaru stone, marble and greenstone, is full of religious significance. In a panel beneath the table there is a large bas-relief sculpture of Leonardo da Vinci's ‘Last Supper.’ The harmony and proportions of the structure are excellent, and a manifestation of skilled workmanship.
This magnificent Altar is the gift of Miss E. Burke and Miss H. Burke, of Orari.

The Statues

Two statues adorn the side altars, one of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the other of Our Lord of the Sacred Heart.

The statue of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus in her arms, with the Infant's arms extended and in His right hand a chalice. Under the feet of the Virgin is the crushed head of the serpent, and the apple. The whole statue is beautifully symbolic of the teaching that the sinful human race would only be redeemed by the incarnation of Jesus, and it honours Mary, who was chosen by God to be the mother of His Divine Son.

The second statue is of Our Lord of the Sacred heart. It portrays Our Savoiur with the heart surrounded by fire as symbolic of the burning love of God for man, and the hands bear traces of the wounds suffered in the redemption of mankind.

Both these devotional statues are artistically decorated in oils and gold leaf. They are symmetrical and life-like, and the facial expressions are tenderly portrayed. Both are outstanding examples of the craftsman's art.

The terra cotta figure of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, constructed in Germany, stands in a niche above the main door. This magnificent statue, standing as it does, 5ft. 10ins. in height, is illuminated at night by a specially constructed flood light.

All three statures were a gift coming from the generous hands of Miss M. Sullivan, Timaru.

The Credence Table

The Credence table, beautifully constructed of brass and oak, is in memory of the late Mr. T. Lloyd.

The Sanctuary Lamp

The solid metal, heavily nickel-plated sanctuary lamp is the gift of a generous donor.

The Altar Rails and Gates

In keeping with the general plan the Altar Rails are of Gothic design set in a terrazzo foundation and richly adorned with Italian marble and New Zealand greenstone, and have been erected as a memorial to the Maloney and Lysaght family.

The finely ornamented brass gates, reflecting highest artistic tastes, enhance the appearance of the Altar Rails, and are in memory of the late Jeremiah Connolly.

The Altar Chimes

The highly polished brass chimes produce a deep reverential tone by being lightly tapped on the gold-like resonant bars with a padded mallet. That is the gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Coleman of Geraldine.

Prie-Dieus and Tables

The beautiful Prie-dieus in the Sanctuary, and the tables in the Sacristy, Choir-room and Porch, have been donated by Miss Burke of Woodbury.

The rich and ornamental Altar Cover, together with the heavily-woven curtains for the Confessional, are the generous gift of Mrs. H. Rowe.

The Stations of The Cross

The stations of the Cross are panel stations in high relief, fitted in Gothic frames. These frames are painted in old ivory cream, with the letters and titles in gold frames also picked out in gold, and the inside panel, old ivory cream shade. The use of old ivory cream painted figures is a recent departure from the traditional practice of colouring the figures. The whole effect is calculated to inspire deep and solid devotion.

The Organ

The positive real pipe organ, replacing the reed instrument hitherto used in the old church, is to be the gift of the 1936 choir. The organ is so designed that a skilled organist is not required for its manipulation. It has a single key-board and fourteen stops, and anyone who can play a harmonium correctly can obtain perfectly the absolute effect of a two-manual pedal organ, and can also transpose.

The Choir

The Choir under the supervision of Mr. W. H. Jackson has made splendid headway, not only in the Gregorian Chant, but also in other devotional music. The Masses selected give ample scope for beautiful light and shade effects. At choir practice every Wednesday evening, every care is taken to bring out everything that is in the rich and melodious church music. A special feature of the choir work is the solo singing of Mrs. J. J. Laffey. The organ is in the capable hands of Miss Gresham. In the new church, with the magnificent new organ, the motto of the Geraldine Choir will certainly be ‘Excelsior. Excelsior!’

The Baptistry

In the Baptistry there is a beautiful font carried out in Oamaru stone and make to harmonise with the surrounding architecture of the church. This is in memory of the late Bridget and William Earl.

The Bell

The splendid, 10cwt., G-toned bell, manufactured in London, England, is in memory of the Charles family.

Web Designed first in 1999, updated 2010 and again for mobile in 2016 Lea Hullett