New Zealand: Judge lifts stay on Christchurch Cathedral deconstruction

By Jayson Rhodes
Posted Jun 6, 2014

[Anglican Taonga/ACNS] It’s one more day in the drawn-out saga of Christchurch Cathedral. Justice Graham Panckhurst has lifted a stay against the Anglican Church taking down the iconic stone building.

A formal commitment from the church to rebuild a cathedral on the site is reason enough to lift the stay of demolition on the 133-year-old building, according to the judge.

He also has found that the Church Property Trustees have acted honestly and given fair consideration to all the relevant issues, including safety, cost and public opinion in both the church and the wider community.

However, Bishop Victoria Matthews says CPT is under no illusion that it will happen soon. “The consent process lies before us.”

In the meantime, the church will continue to pray and participate in the recovery of Christchurch Canterbury.

Christchurch Cathedral was one of the buildings destroyed in the 2010, 6.8 richter earthquake that rocked the city. Located in the heart of the city, bordering Cathedral Square, the landmark building dominated the skyline since the city’s beginnings.

Local people feel it was the heart of the city, and a decision by the church to dismantle the cathedral’s was a cause for concern for some.

The decision was even challenged in New Zealand’s courts until the Supreme Court ruled that the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia could go ahead and take down the existing building.

The church has expressed its desire to have a new cathedral built on the site within 10 years.