Always dreamt of living in a unique home? These eight churches for sale from across New Zealand are ready to be converted
Deconsecrated churches are tricky renovation projects, but with some hard work and vision, their unique features can be transformed into elegant homes. When looking at churches offered for sale, be aware that if they are not renovated they will not have a bedroom or bathroom, but they have to state this to list the property on the internet. The full online advertisement will carry a disclaimer to say there is no bedroom or toilet/bathroom. Buyers in most cases will have to factor in connection to mains water and sewage, etc.
To get inspired, check out how this Dunedin family transformed a church into their dream home here and see our pick of churches for sale around the country below.
1. Rimu beauty, Dunedin
Wow what a ceiling! This rimu beauty in Dunedin is the sort of feature that churches bring to the mix of making very special homes once converted. Pretty arched windows flood the church with light.
Built of triple brick this church has so many possibilities and has already housed a variety of businesses over the years. It is on offer along with the manse at 5 Kilgour St, but both are able to be purchased separately.
Anyone who’s seen the wonderful things the British do with barn conversions will immediately see the potential this church has for creating a very special home.
2. Little gem, Owhango
This little darling in Owhango has a lovely cottagey feeling about it already. There’s a kitchenette off the church which means there is running water on the site. Situated on a generous block there’s plenty of space to add further accommodation options and landscape the grounds.
Owhango is an old mill town south of Taumaranui and is a 45-minute drive from Mt Ruapehu so this could be converted into a lodge for winter weekends.
There’s plenty of other activities in the area for keen trampers and nature lovers.
3. Ultimate challenge, Lawrence
This hall in Lawrence is not for the faint-hearted but it offers someone with vision the chance to own something utterly unique. St Patrick’s Hall is the work of architect Robert Lawson, who was also responsible for designing Lanarch Castle, and it has been given a class 1 historic classification by Heritage New Zealand.
The exterior wooden structure has a significant presence, with its clerestory-like roof and steeply pitched windows. There’s lots of work for a sander here!
Inside the voluminous space is dramatic and offers endless options for configuration. This is the ultimate challenge for keen renovators.
4. Decorative detail, Te Aroha
This Te Aroha church has plenty of charming details and the added bonus of having a small attached flat with a kitchenette and bathroom where you can live while you tackle the nave of the church.
Built in 1890, it has lots of decorative flourishes on the exterior, including a very pretty belfry. Inside the nave, the wooden ceiling is a feature and the original lectern remains.
Bring your architect and see how you can make this into a welcoming home, close to the town centre.
5. Beautiful views, Southland
Someone has already made a start at converting this lovely little Southland church with pretty windows framing beautiful views out to the snow-capped Takitimu Ranges.
The exterior has had a coat of paint and the large site is a blank canvas perfect for planting a green retreat. Inside there’s plenty of potential to create flexible living spaces for a welcoming home.
Halfway between Invercargill and Te Anau, 19 families have moved to the small town of Ohai over the past few years so it’s on the move.
6. Finishing touches, Kerehepi
Some of the hard yards have already been done in converting this appealing Kerepehi wooden church into a home, but there’s still plenty of scope for you to add your own decorative flourishes and also take the kitchen and bathroom to the next level.
There are two bedrooms and a spiral staircase installed to a mezzanine level offering further options. The living area makes the most of the beautiful stained glass window and wooden ceiling.
Surrounded by a romantic cottage garden this church is already on the way to becoming a special family home.
7. Sea views, West Coast
When do you get a chance to live in a sweet little church on the West Coast that also offers a view of the sea from the balcony that leads from the upstairs bedroom?
This sweetie has had all the major conversion work done, with two bedrooms and an open plan living and kitchen with wood burner that opens out to a courtyard. It has pretty feature windows, lovely wooden floors, and is surrounded by a mature garden with fruit trees.
There’s plenty of opportunity to put your own stamp on this property, which is only a short walk from the beach.
8. Two for one, Dannevirke
St Albans church and hall in Dannevirke come as a package on a very generous site that will offer challenges aplenty for aspiring renovators. The church has beautiful timber walls and ceiling and could be an exceptional living space.
The trick will be how to connect the dots between the church and the generous hall. There is already a bathroom in the hall so the site has some of the necessary plumbing already in place.
Time to roll up your sleeves and be prepared for some serious hard work.
Words by: Sarah Beresford.