The first small Catholic chapel of St Mary's in Whanganui opened in 1857, mainly to serve Catholic settlers and Irish troops stationed in the town. The church in this photograph, the second St Mary's, opened in 1877. There were other Catholic missions serving Māori further up the Whanganui River. This church was closed in 1973 and a third St Mary's opened in 1977 in Campbell Street. This contains the font, stained-glass windows, statues, vessels, organ and part of the altar rails from the 1877 church.
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Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.