ChristChurch Cathedral suffers further damage in latest quake

By Taonga staff
Posted May 29, 2012

[Anglican Taonga] ChristChurch Cathedral in New Zealand has suffered further damage from the magnitude-5.2 aftershock on May 25, according to a statement from the diocese.

“Since Friday there is more noticeable bowing in the walls, especially towards the southern end of the cathedral, and more stone has fallen,” the diocesan communications officer, Philip Baldwin, said.

“This aftershock was in the range forecast by the scientific experts. Plans for deconstruction of the cathedral, in terms of safety, have to take into account this ongoing seismic activity.

“The deconstruction methodology… will be provided publicly as soon as it has been approved.

“This deconstruction allows for safe retrieval of heritage items inside the cathedral, which include Bishop Harper’s effigy, the organ and the remains of the pulpit, as well as memorial stones and panels.”

Baldwin said that in coming months the diocese intends to set up a website for people to make suggestions for the future cathedral.

Cathedral fact-finding tour
A small group, including Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews, acting dean Lynda Patterson and architects from Warren and Mahone,y will visit cathedrals and relevant buildings around the world next week.

They will also talk to people involved with these buildings.

Their findings will inform future plans for the Cathedral in the Square. The consultants involved are not charging for their time on the trip.

Baldwin said the group’s schedule encompasses 12 cathedrals in the U.K., Europe and the United States.

These include Coventry Cathedral (which has retained the ruins of the cathedral that was bombed during World War II), St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California.

The visit has been scheduled to coincide with Matthews’ trip to Dublin for a meeting of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith, and Order.

Information from these visits will be available through a special website.


Comments (1)

  1. The Rev, Canon Anne W. Robbins, Retired says:

    The first place we visited after flying into Christchurch was your precious cathedral. It was one of the highlights of our stay and now, sixteen years later, I can only imagine how devastating the earthquake damage must be.

    I’ve prayed and pondered over and over what the New Zealand Anglican Church might do to replace the damaged structure. There are so many possibilities to consider: style, size, cost, materials, function, tradition, etc. One thought keeps returning. Perhaps it is time for rethinking how diocesan resources are allocated by commissioning a mobile cathedral – one that could travel throughout the diocese to where the people are.

    Obviously, I haven’t thought this through, but am intrigued by the potential to rethink the mission of the diocesan presence in the lives and worship of the members, as well as those who do not claim a church family.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share. God bless you all,

    Anne W. Robbins
    108321 Crooked River Road, #101
    Bonita Springs, FL 34135 (USA)

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