Christ Church Cathedral Anglican Campaign seeks extra cash

Christ Church Cathedral

The Christ Church Cathedral restoration project needs funds says Christchurch’s Anglican bishop.

He’s hoping parishioners will be able to help with the Anglican Campaign. The project is due to be completed in 2027.

Budget shortfall

The $160m project’s $50m budget shortfall is being met from various sources says the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch Peter Carrell (pictured).

Big sums are coming from the public purse. They include $25m in government funding and $10m from the City Council.

In addition, all the diocese’s $44m insurance money has been committed to the project.

Fundraising to date has brought in about $24m. Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

“We are now appealing to the Anglican community in Canterbury and Westland to contribute” Carrell says.

Five-year plan

The diocese launched its five-year fundraising “Anglican Campaign” at the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch last Tuesday.

In a “twin” launch, it also set the campaign in motion at St Mary’s Church in Timaru on Wednesday.

The diocese’s campaign slogan makes its need for parish support clear: “With all of our hands the roof of our cathedral will rise again” it says.

The campaign is asking Anglicans to donate a portion of their income for up to a five-year period, if possible.

Asset debate – pros and cons

The plea for Anglican parishioners to help fund the Christ Church Cathedral restoration project comes amid ongoing debate about how the church should use its own assets.

The church’s nationwide assets in 2020 included tax-free property, cash, investments and trusts.

Given that the value of these assets was estimated at close to $3 billion in 2020, the church has been under pressure to use its wealth.

“We’ve had feedback which suggests that, of course, first and foremost Anglicans need to give lead in this” says Carrell.

“We’ve certainly given a lead by putting our insurance funds in, and now we’re wanting to give another lead by having individual Anglicans contribute.”

The report relied on self-reported figures and noted some assets might be unaccounted for.

In addition, some of the figures will have risen with real estate prices since 2020.

“It has proved difficult in practice to get a reliable picture of the total assets of the Anglican Church” the report says.

Charity finance expert, Dr Michael Gousmet, doesn’t think asking Anglican parishioners for money to restore Christ Church Cathedral is appropriate.

“The poor Anglican parishioners, they are being asked to fork out now. A lot of them are not young people, they are on the pension and they’re being asked for money.”

The Anglican Church easily had enough property and money to fund the cathedral restoration if it wanted to, he says.

He has calculated the church’s nationwide assets include $411m of cash and bank investments, $86m of investment property, $892m of property and equipment in church use, and $55m in endowment and special purpose funds.


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News category: New Zealand.

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