St Theresas Parish logo

St Josephs Pauatahanui is a part of St Theresa's Parish. It is non-denominational and used

for weddings, funerals, baptisms and Christmas Carols in December.




St Joseph's Church Pauatahanui is a small and very historic church. It was the first Catholic Church built in the Porirua Basin and the second church in Wellington.

Read about the History of the Memorial Glass windows here.

It is expected that those using St Joseph’s will respect the spirituality and historical significance of the church and graveyard.

St Joseph's seats about 100 people.

Wedding Guidelines

As the church is no longer in use for regular parish worship, it may be hired for weddings by people with a valid marriage licence and prepared to respect the religious and historical significance of the building.

Who may perform the wedding ceremony?

The ceremony may be conducted by a recognised Catholic Celebrant for Roman Catholics, a recognised Religious or a Civil Celebrant for other parties.

Interested in viewing or a tour?

The church and surrounds are available for bookings through the parish office and anyone interested is welcome to make an appointment to have a look around the site.


Friends of St Josephs

If you have an interest in local history, in caring for sacred spaces including the gardens or being involved in events that are held in the church such as the annual Christmas carols afternoon  you’d be very welcome to join a group of volunteers “Friends of St Josephs.” We have working bees organised in spring, summer and autumn and it’s always enjoyable working alongside each other keeping the church and surrounds looking cared for and beautiful. Please contact Catherine Gibbs (via the parish office) if you’d like to join our friendly group.


Future plans

Visibility of the church has increased since the Transmission Gully expressway crosses over the farmland near the church grounds. We are expecting more interest in the church and its history so it is important we begin to plan for that. 2028 will be the anniversary of 150 years and we have established an archival collection for memorabilia and stories which is being collected by Susan Bieleski from Motukaraka Point. Anyone with interesting photos or information please contact Susan (via the parish office.)


Photos of church by Brian Harmer

Our History


St Joseph's Catholic Church is situated on State Highway 58 between Pauatahanui Village and Judgeford, opposite Bradey Road.

Land was bought by four local farmers for £20.
The church was designed by Thomas Turnbull and built by Blackie and Foster for £200 from timber milled locally by Woodman and Jones. Construction was completed in 1878 and the church was consecrated by Bishop Francis Redwood on Sunday 28 April 1878 as the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The porch and confessional at the west end were built and lining the interior in tongue and groove boards was completed.
The church was formally reopened and appears to have been called St. Joseph's from this time. The windows are unique in New Zealand made of transfer pictures on glass, faded but still visible with names of donor families from 1895.
The grave yard is almost full, it has graves from 1800s to present day, and now has room for small plots for cremated ashes only. The church is small and very historic. It has a small organ and bell, electricity but no water or toilets. Everyone welcome, to see inside the church please phone the Parish Office to arrange a time and key