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Our New Home


Eleven years after earthquakes destroyed the land that was home to Marian College, the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch is building a visionary new home for the College. We invite you to join with the Diocese in creating these new facilities, enabling young women to fulfil their potential for generations to come

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tūāhuriri  Education Committee gifted Marian College with the name ‘Māhutonga’ (the Southern Cross), for its new site, reflecting the journey the community has undertaken. In 1982, Marian College was formed by the amalgamation of St Mary’s College (founded in 1893 by the Sisters of Mercy from Ireland) and MacKillop College (founded in 1949 by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart from Australia). Since then, Marian has had many homes, and has been part of many communities, truely reflecting the essence of Māhutonga.

The 2011 earthquake left the Shirley site unsuitable for school use and rebuilding, and St Bede’s College generously opened its doors to us to site share for the rest of the school year. In 2012, we relocated to the Catholic Cathedral College site in Barbadoes Street - a location that was always intended to be temporary. Throughout this time, it was always clear that we needed our own space to continue educating girls to live out our motto “With Mary in Faith”.

The site on Lydia Street in Papanui will allow us to be part of a Catholic hub of schools and the North Parish. Families can walk together to St Joseph’s, St Bede’s, and Marian. With a home of our own, we will carry on Marian College’s mission of empowering young women to be confident, committed, faith-filled learners into the future. The unique and sustainable design utilises an existing warehouse in which the school will be built. This allows for covered sports courts, a significant reduction in materials sent to waste during construction, and an innovative design that students and staff can enjoy every day.

The design for our new school reflects the Special Character of Marian, a Catholic community with a love of faith, learning, and service for the common good. The design is integral to our graduate profile, with our goal for a student to be a young woman who “understands and lives her faith with courage, commitment, perseverance, and respect.” From the green elements, which connect us to God’s creation and reduce our impact on the Earth’s resources, to the chapel being front and centre when you enter, the Catholic faith is at the heart of the school.

While in our temporary facility and location, Marian has held true to our values and mission. Our students continue to thrive and feel cared for, included, and nurtured. Our community has witnessed the resilience of the school as a whole; like all Cantabrians, we have carried on throughout earthquakes, a pandemic, and challenges to rebuilding strongly.

The College is a family school, with strong pastoral care of students. Past pupils keep in close contact and reflect on how the College shaped their lives. Marian College cares and provides for the whole person and, as a result, is well supported by the communities it serves. After years of planning, construction has begun. We are counting on the continued support of our community to make this vision a reality.

Whether Marian College is part of your family’s past, present, or future, we hope that when you are asked to help, you will consider making a gift to complete our journey to our new home.

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Tātou ko Mere e whakapono ana

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