“Polynesian Church (1861) – The committee for promoting the establishment of a Church in Honolulu, in communion with the Churches of England and America …”
“… having taken into consideration the King of Hawai‘i’s desire to receive a mission from the Church of England headed by a Bishop, are of opinion that measures should be taken for fulfilling the desire thus put, we trust, by God into the heart of His Majesty.”
“That having respect to the importance of these Islands as a probable centre of Christian influence in the North Pacific Archipelago, as well as to the immediate needs of the actual population of the Hawaiian group, an earnest appeal for support be made to the Church at home.”
“That as it appears by letters from the Bishops of California and New York, that there is a readiness on behalf of the American Church to unite in this effort …”
“… the committee hail with gratitude to God such an opening for common missionary action between the two great branches of the Reformed Catholic Church.”
“That the Bishops of California and New York be requested to convey to the Church in America most earnest invitations from this committee to unite in the work.”
“The city of Honolulu contains, besides its native population, European and American residents. The French Roman Catholics possess a cathedral, with a Bishop, clergy, &c., and the American Congregationalists have also places of worship.”
“The King offers on his own behalf and that of his subjects and residents who desire the establishment of the English Church, a yearly payment of £200 and to give the site for a church, parsonage, &c.”
“It is also probable that a grant of land may be made for the future support of the Mission. The resources of the Islands can probably not do much more at present than this, and the committee appeal with earnestness to their fellow Churchmen to assist in sending forth labourers into this part of the Lord’s vineyard.”
“The two venerable Societies, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, immediately signified their approval of the movement by liberal grants in its aid.”
And so was formed the mission of the Church of England (Anglican) to the Islands.
“A farewell service for the Mission party was held in Westminster Abbey, when the Bishop preached, and the Holy Communion was administered to a large number, chiefly the friends and supporters of the undertaking.”
“The Mission party, consisting of the Bishop of Honolulu and family (Right Reverend Thomas Nettleship Staley,) the Rev. G. Mason, M.A., and the Rev. E. Ibbotson, embarked at Southampton for the Isthmus of Panama, on the 17th of August, 1862.”
“The weather was propitious. On the twelfth day of the voyage Molokai and Maui were passed, looking beautiful in the setting sun. In the morning the vessel was off Honolulu.”
“Full of thankfulness and hope, the Bishop and his companions held their last service in their little barque. Scarce had they risen from their knees, than they were greeted with the sad tidings, brought on board by the pilot, ‘The Prince of Hawaii is dead!’” (Prince Albert, son of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma.)
“Every member of the Mission felt this as an almost fatal blow. The baptism of the Prince had been anticipated as the inauguration, so to say, of the work.”
(“It was found on inquiry, that a Congregational minister had been summoned to baptize the little fellow privately, his distracted parents having first sent to the British man-of-war, ‘Termagant,’ which had lately arrived in port, to see if there were a chaplain on board. Alas there was none.”)
“(A) wooden temporary church was erected, to be used until the completion of the cathedral. This structure stands on the land given for the church by Kamehameha IV., one of the very best sites in Honolulu; and near to it are the Clergy House on one side, and the Female Boarding School on the other.”
With Honolulu as the base for the mission, at Lāhainā, “The Female Industrial Boarding School … (also) carries on there an English school for boys, supported mainly by the Board of Education. This is in addition to the spiritual work of the Mission, which with services, as at Honolulu, in both the English and the Hawaiian language”.
In Kona, “The Rev CG Williamson, trained at S. Augustine’s, Canterbury, and ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Oxford, assisted by the Bishop of North Carolina, who was then in England, arrived in the Islands in March, 1867, to take part in the Mission.” Likewise in Wailuku, Maui, “The Rev GB Whipple, brother of the Bishop of Minnesota, opened his station early in 1866”.
“The Church is growing rapidly in the outside districts, such as Kona, Wailuku and Lāhainā. The local judge on Molokai, who is a member of our Church, states that there is a nice opening on that island; and, as the King lives a good deal there, a resident clergyman would not be out of the way.”
Initially the church was called the Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church but the name would change in 1870 to the Anglican Church in Hawai‘i. In 1902 it came under the Episcopal Church of the US. (Information is from Project Canterbury.)