Christchurch super-parishes sorted

Super-parishes are the way to go in Christchurch, with major changes planned for later this year.

A plan to merge 12 of Christchurch’s Catholic parishes into five super-parishes has been given the go ahead by Bishop Paul Martin, who announced his final decision last month.

The decision was six months in the making, based on feedback from parishioners about proposals outlined in June.

The outcome is a plan for the parishes that is largely unchanged from those original proposals, although Martin admits it won’t suit everyone.

“I don’t discount the fact that there are some people who continue to struggle or are uncertain with the proposal,” Martin’s letter to parishioners says.

He also notes there was “a high level of concern for the elderly, disabled and those without vehicles and their ability to get to mass.”

“It will be a priority for each of the parishes to make sure that everyone who wants to go to mass can do so.”

Even taking the concerns of some about the proposed changes, Martin says he thinks most people are prepared to step into the new era.

“I believe there is a majority support and enthusiasm for the proposal outlined and a clear direction has emerged,” he says.

The mergers will take effect on 31 May.

The five new parishes will be Christchurch North, Christchurch West, Christchurch South, Christchurch Central and Christchurch East.

The plan will involve building two new churches, expanding another and building a new cathedral on a block north of Cathedral Square.

Martin says he is “satisfied” the merger could be financed by fundraising campaigns and the sale of surplus assets.

“We have been very conservative with our projections to ensure this can work”.

The original Catholic Cathedral on Barbadoes St will be demolished and around 8 hectares of surplus land and buildings in eight parishes with a rateable value of about $26.7 million could be sold.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , ,