Cathedral means more to Christchurch than to church


The Christ Church Cathedral means more to the city than it does to the Anglican church, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says.

Dalziel said the future of the cathedral had divided the city because the decision rested with the church, rather than the city.

Dalziel went on to clarify her statement, saying “to the church it is a religious building, but to the city it is more than that”.

“It is the Christ Church Cathedral, it is a category 1 Heritage building [and] it sits at the heart of the city . . . it holds a very special place.”

She reiterated her earlier warnings that a church decision not to save the cathedral would lead to “years of indecision”.

Dalziel made the comment in Cathedral Square during last Sunday’s launch of an 8.4 metre-tall model of the People’s Steeple, built by United States master carpenter Marcus Brandt.

Brandt, who has the support of the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group, wants to rebuild the collapsed Christ Church Cathedral spire in timber and hoist it into place using ropes, pulleys and 500 volunteers.

On September 9, the Anglican synod will vote on three options for the cathedral’s future including, restoration, building a new church or handing it over to the Government to manage on behalf of citizens.

Asked if the Government wanted such a gift from the Anglican Church, Prime Minister Bill English said: “We’d have to consider what they think they mean by that”.

Christchurch Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner was a little more forthcoming. She said she was keen to hear more detail  in order to better consider what it means for the Government.

She also said the funding model of the existing restoration option – including a $10m pledge from the Christchurch City Council, a Great Christchurch Buildings Trust pledge of $13.7m, a $10m Crown cash contribution, a $15m suspensory government loan and the church’s insurance payout – would likely “have to remain the same”.


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News category: New Zealand.

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