Police have arrested a man in his 30s following a fire at St Margaret's Church in Christchurch this morning.

Firefighters were called to St Margaret's Presbyterian Church on Farrington Ave, Bishopdale, at 5.44am.

Southern fire communications shift manager Andrew Norris said the church was well-involved by the time firefighters arrived but no one was hurt.

This afternoon police have arrested a man who has now been charged. He will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Monday morning.


The church, which was founded in 1964 when the suburb of Bishopdale was developed, has been extensively damaged.

According to the St Margaret's website, its buildings are well-used by a wide range of community groups.

The building is described as "a multi-purpose hall which doubles as the worship centre on Sundays".

Meanwhile, emergency services were also called to a fire at St Joseph's Church in Grey Lynn, Auckland, this morning.

A fire communications spokeswoman said the fire, in a room on the property on Great North Rd, had been extinguished and staff were using a ventilation van to extract smoke from the building.

There were no reports of injuries and three crews attended the incident, she said.
Emergency services were called to the scene at 11.06am.