New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Christmas 2002

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Christmas is an appropriate time to venture into these six delightful churches, notable for their distinctive interior designs and unusual architectural approaches.

Issue information

Awe-inspiring Churches of New Zealand

Inspiration is a feeling that must have been familiar to the architects behind the stunning church interiors and exquisite choice of materials that were used for this Christmas issue. Take for example, the neo-gothic splendour of the $1.30 stamp, which highlighted Palmerston North's Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. The $2.00 stamp featured Christchurch's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Designed by Francis W. Petre in 1999, it's obvious to see why this fine example of New Zealand architecture remained his masterpiece.

Christmas was an appropriate time to venture into these fine examples, and four more besides, of delightful churches, notable for their distinctive interior designs and unusual architectural approaches. Offering a place of refuge from today's hectic lifestyle and a place of worship for the faithful, churches of all denominations continue to be important parts of their communities.

A Festive First Day Cover

Three stunning stained glass windows graced the Christmas 2002 first day cover - a timeless reminder of the story of Christmas.

Product Listing for Christmas 2002

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Saint Werenfried, Waihi Village'  gummed stamp.

The Catholic Church of Saint Werenfried can be found in the tiny village of Waihi on the shores of Lake Taupō. Part of the Roman Catholic mission to Māori, the church was built around 1889 by the Rev Father JW Swiers in honour of his patron saint, Saint Werenfried. Its design reflects both European and Māori cultures, with two stained-glass windows depicting both Christ and the Virgin Mary as Māori.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'St David's, Christchurch' gummed stamp.

St David's Anglican Church was designed by Samuel Hurst Seager, a leading architect who endeavoured to adapt the best English styles to New Zealand's materials and climate. Celebrating its centenary in 2002, the church's striking interior is largely native rimu timber, designed according to the English Arts and Crafts movement style. Its simple design reflects the natural qualities of its materials.

Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, Masterton' gummed stamp.

This Greek Orthodox Church sits incongruously, yet fittingly, in a Wairarapa paddock. Privately owned, it was moved to its rural site in the late 1970s and opened in 1980. Owner George Pantellis and local artist Stephen Allwood have completely renovated the church, which is decorated from floor to ceiling with icons.

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Palmerston North' gummed stamp.

Located in the heart of Palmerston North, this spacious neo-Gothic structure with its luminous cream spire was built and dedicated in 1925 as St Patrick's Church, and became a Cathedral in 1980. Noted for its simple, unadorned design, high arched ceilings and beautiful stained-glass windows, the Cathedral offers a tranquil ambience conducive to devotion and contemplation.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Cathedral of St Paul, Wellington' gummed stamp.

The Cathedral of St Paul is a landmark in New Zealand's capital city. This massive reinforced concrete building was built in three separate stages between 1954 and 1998 according to a design by architect Cecil Wood. Among its unique features are its tapestry kneelers, each one carrying the name of the congregation, school or organisation that made it.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch' gummed stamp.

The Catholic Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament open in 1905 after six years of tenacious and dedicated fundraising by its first Bishop, John J Grimes. It is the masterpiece of Francis Petre, an architect renowned for his innovative yet simple basilican forms. Three beautiful semi-circular windows above the main entrance represent The Blessed Sacrament after which the Cathedral is named.

Single Stamp Single 40c 'Saint Werenfried, Waihi Village' self-adhesive stamp. $0.40
First Day Cover First day cover with six gummed and one self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.80
Self-adhesive Dispenser Dispenser box containing 100 x 40c self-adhesive stamps. $40.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 4 September 2002
Number of stamps: Seven
Denominations and designs: Gummed: 40c Saint Werenfried, Waihi Village, Tokaanu; 80c St David's, Christchurch; 90c Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, Masterton; $1.30 Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Palmerston North; $1.50 Cathedral of St Paul, Wellington; $2.00 Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch; Self-adhesive: 40c Saint Werenfried, Waihi Village, Tokaanu
Stamps and first day cover designed by: CommArts Design, Wellington
Cost of unaddressed first day cover: $7.80
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 35mm x 35mm (square); Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type: Gummed: De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: JAC NON DC PS1 B100
Number of colours: Four process colours plus gold and image overgloss
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Number of stamps per dispenser: 100
Perforation: 14.25 and diecut
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A format only.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 3 September 2003.