Akaroa’s first Anglican church was built in 1851. As the community of English parishioners expanded, so did the need for a larger church. Surprisingly, St. Peters was constructed in the French section of town in 1864 based on architect Arthur Purchas’s modest Gothic Revival design. Transepts were added in 1877 to expand the Totara timber structure. The Category 1 New Zealand Historic Place is referred to as a Selwyn Church because it was commissioned by the Most Reverend George Selwyn, New Zealand’s first Anglican bishop from 1841 through 1868. St. Peters is now multidenominational serving both Anglican and Presbyterian parishioners.