Our History

Our Beginning

Chanel College was established in 1978, as the only Catholic school providing secondary education, in the Wairarapa.

Our school was formed at the joining of two existing schools – St Joseph’s College for Boys, founded by Monsignor Nicholas Moore in 1945 and run by the Marist Brothers, and St Bride’s College for Girls which had been established in 1898 by the Brigidine Sisters. Chanel College currently sits where St Joseph’s College once existed.

Our history is woven into all aspects of our college life. Our emblem combines the Brigidine Cross over a stylised M. These symbols represent the two groups from which our school was founded – the Brigidine Sisters and the Marist Brothers.

Annually scholarships are awarded to Chanel students, and are kindly supported by the St Bride’s Old Girls Association and the St Joseph’s Old Boys’ Association.

The College is owned by the Wellington Archdiocese and Cardinal Thomas Williams is named as its Proprietor. It was established to serve the Catholic community of the Wairarapa by providing a Catholic education for their children.

Chanel College became an Integrated School in November 1981, under the terms of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act of 1975. Paragraph 5 of the Integration Agreement states:

“The school is a Roman Catholic school in which the whole school community, through the general school programme and in its religious instructions and observances, exercises the right to live and teach the values of Jesus Christ. These values are expressed in the Scriptures and in the practices of the Roman Catholic Church, as determined from time to time by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Wellington .”

Our Namesake

The College is named after St Peter Chanel who was a Marist Missionary Priest, martyred on 28 April 1841, on the island of Futuna in Oceania. Marist priests worked in the Wairarapa in the early days of European settlement and they had a particular interest in education. St Peter Chanel is a patron of the Catholic Church in New Zealand.