The merging of two schools
Marian College opened in 1982, with the merging of two similar Catholic secondary schools for girls.
St. Mary’s College, opened by the Sisters of Mercy in Colombo Street in 1893, had a proud tradition of Catholic education, while McKillop College in Shirley, administered by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, had provided both boarding and day facilities.
With the onset of integration, these two schools merged into a larger secondary school on the McKillop College site in North Parade. The Catholic Bishop of Christchurch is the proprietor.
Marian College was officially opened on March 25, 1982, the feast day of the Annunciation of the Lord, which celebrates Mary’s role in becoming the Mother of God. The school crest is a simple “M” with a coronet, the symbol for Mary.
Following the February 22, 2011, earthquake, Marian College was forced to shift site after the banks of nearby Dudley Creek slumped and its land suffered significant damage. Marian was subsequently hosted by our brother school, St Bede’s College, for the rest of that year.
At the beginning of 2012 the school reopened in Barbadoes St in fully refurbished buildings. A consultation on the future location of the college took place in July 2016.
On 11 March 2019, the Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Paul Martin, announced a new Marian College to be built in Christchurch’s north west on a new three hectare site. The new College site will neighbour St Joseph’s Primary School and will be on land bordered by Vagues Road, Main North Road and Northcote Road with the main entrance off Lydia Street.
The new Marian College in Papanui is expected to open its doors to students in 2023.