St Paul’s Anglican Church is on Wellington Road. There had been plans for a church here as early as 1916, but wartime financial constraints prevented it being built. It was originally built as a memorial to Rt Rev Alfred Willis, the first Anglican Bishop of Tonga 1902-20. When he arrived from Hawaii in 1902, he found the Anglican community worshipping in a shed in Siaine. A temporary wooden church was built there in 1904 and moved to this location in 1910, a schoolroom extension being added.
This church was built at the cost of £3,032 and consecrated on Ascension Day 1931 but fell into disrepair with huge cracks in the walls. In 2014 it was reopened after $340,000 makeover, all of it raised locally. The interior was widened to make it into a three aisle church, and a new bell tower was added. It was also given a new altar, a new baptismal font and new candle stands, all carved from red mahogany and displaying beautiful carved wooden dolphins, whales, turtles and seashells. When the restoration was complete, it was rededicated in the presence of the Queen Mother, Halaevalu Mata’aho, and her grandson, Prince Tungi. St Paul’s is very much the key Anglican church for Tonga.
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