Driving through the fields of Canterbury there’s not much to see other than black-and-white cows, brilliant green grass and clear blue sky; you rather come to take it all for granted, though you shouldn’t. Then you reach the beautiful white limestone St Martin’s Church at Duntroon. It’s just like many a church in Britain but it looks like it was built yesterday, though it actually dates from 1901.
In its day both the architecture and the building work were celebrated as being of extremely high quality. The stonework is crisp and clean; the roof is a carpentry delight, with none of the rot and disturbance common in Cotswold churches; and being in New Zealand the whole thing feels warm and welcoming but cool and calm at the same time.
One might wonder, of course, how much the church gets used these days. Its foundation was ‘a controversial bequest’, which might suggest there have always been limits to its popularity – and I notice there’s great provision for bells but there aren’t any. That would make a great project for someone.