Churches were important buildings in rural townships – especially when British immigrants who shared a religious denomination settled together in New Zealand. Among the early settlers near Rangiora in Canterbury was a group of Baptists from Norfolk. In 1857 they began holding services in their homes, and in 1863 they built this chapel, called Little Bethel, on Victoria Street in Rangiora. It was the first Baptist chapel in Canterbury and possibly in New Zealand.
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