New Christchurch Cathedral beckons

Christchurch cathedral

A new Christchurch Cathedral is a step further ahead with the Catholic diocese advertising for a Fundraising and Development manager.

The role is newly created, and the successful person will work closely with the bishop, general manager and senior leadership team to provide revenue growth, supporting the diocese’s mission.

In the position’s Candidate Brief, the diocese states that it is in the midst of an exciting chapter in its history with many upcoming fundraising opportunities.

However, the single fundraising opportunity identified in the Candidate Brief is the Cathedral Precinct development.

“Currently in the planning stages, the Cathedral Precinct development in the central city will strengthen the future of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch.”

The Candidate Brief refers to this opportunity as a “once-in-a-lifetime project” that includes “a cathedral, diocesan offices, parish offices and other associated buildings.”

Earlier in the year, following the Christchurch City Council’s revised CBD roading plans, the future of the Cathedral precinct was put in doubt.

Michael Gielen, Bishop of Christchurch, expressed concerns about the project’s viability.

He stated, “I am committed to creating thriving parishes and building a worthy cathedral within the Diocese of Christchurch.

“However, I am aware that the cathedral represents a significant financial commitment for the diocese.

“It will be a legacy of my tenure as bishop, and I want to ensure that any decision regarding the development project is made with utmost care and comfort, as anyone in my position would.”

The project was then further set back when Christchurch’s “The Gathering Group”, mounted a Canonical legal challenge to the Vatican

The Gathering Group sought to halt the sale of land and the construction of the new cathedral.

Gielen responded by way of a letter read out at all Sunday Masses.

In the letter, he informed Catholic congregations that the further sale of land, parish mergers and the construction of the new Christchurch Catholic Cathedral have been suspended until the diocese receives a response from Rome.

In April, it was reported that new City Council recommendations might allow the Christchurch Catholic Cathedral precinct and a 600-space parking building to proceed after all.

Bishop Gielen has assured the diocese that he will collaborate synodally on future plans.


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