Why we bought The Vicarage

Having raised our family in Geraldine, Brigitte and I decided to restore this iconic building so visitors to Geraldine can enjoy the old building, our charming town and our beautiful rural hinterland. In this way we will continue to contribute to the wellbeing of this special town that we call home. The Vicarage is classified by Heritage New Zealand as a Category Two protected building and had fallen into disrepair since the last resident vicar moved out in 2000. We bought it in late 2017, aware that it was going to be a challenge to satisfy the modern building code, town planning and heritage requirements. The unexpected reward has been the hugely positive feedback from the people of Geraldine and in June 2021 we were honoured with a Highly Commended Award at the Canterbury Heritage Awards.

I was born and bred on a farm near Geraldine and grew up in the Geraldine district. Over six generations, the Barker family have been strong supporters of the community and its institutions, if not regular with our attendance at Church. I knew the last eight Vicars, some better than others, and some were family friends. The Church was once the focal point of small rural communities like Geraldine.  I’m not sure that these connections properly qualify us to own a Vicarage but they do provide an association and a respect which has made the renovation all the more poignant. These Vicars were “called to serve” their communities and there is no question, they all helped to make Geraldine a better place. Michael Barker