The Press editorial, today. Balanced.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:31 14/07/2012
Editorial: Anglican diocese should give account
The pause in the demolition of Christ Church Cathedral is a positive sign that the building’s fate is not sealed. Its destruction, which had seemed the inevitable outcome of the Anglican Church’s stand, is now less certain as the Government and the diocese consider the Greater Christchurch Building Trust’s report that sets out a plan for the cathedral’s conservation. The result is the sense that, for the first time, the contending parties are in dialogue.
As The Press wrote about the consecration of the cathedral, in 1881, the building is “a symbol to our children and their descendants of the spirit which animated those who projected the settlement of Canterbury, a spirit which we who have come after have, however imperfectly, endeavoured to give form and shape to”.
The previous lack of serious dialogue had raised the temperature of the debate, causing unnecessary division in a city in need of unity. Positions had become entrenched, personal accusations were too common and the tone was embittered. The pause to consider eases that tension, at least temporarily. Even if the Anglican hierarchy remains committed to demolition, the advocates of retention will at least have the consolation of knowing that they were listened to.
They certainly have given their cause the best chance of success by producing the Building Trust report. It is a considered document from prestigious engineers that gives a detailed account of how the cathedral can be saved with most of its features intact. The somewhat vague assertions that salvage was possible have now been hardened into a clear plan of action.
Commissioned by Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), documents received 10 July via Mark Belton at Restore Christchurch Cathedral:
Christchurch Cathedral MRO prelim sketches (F)
(PDF, 3.9 MB)
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr