In July 2021 we turned 180 years old. To celebrate, we are lighting up our building and sharing our stories.

St Paul’s foundation ceremony was held in 1841. The year before, Apihai Te Kawau, Paramount Chief of Ngāti Whātua, signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi at Māngere on 20 March 1840. Soon after he sent a delegation of seven chiefs to the Bay of Islands and offered Governor Hobson land around the present centre of Auckland city for a new capital. In October of that year, the tuku (strategic gift) of land was finalised and a site for Auckland's first church was selected on Emily Place, holding the most prominent position.

The start of construction was celebrated by the whole city, and over the next year, the inhabitants of the town watched as the beautiful church was built. In 1843 the building was opened with much celebration. Once completed, the spire of St Paul’s was the highest structure in Auckland City and the church stood as a light on the hill, visible for miles around.

After the cutting away of Britomart Point, St Paul's opened its third and final building on Symonds Street in 1895. Today, St Paul's continues to be a place of light for our local community, existing to serve the needs of those in our parish and beyond. Slowly we are restoring and completing St Paul’s Symonds Street and our “Light It Up” celebration is our chance to raise the funds to light the exterior of our beautiful church and tell 180 years of stories as the Mother Church of Auckland, a place where we celebrate the Light of the World who is Jesus.