Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator Miriam Dean QC

Updated post
Sat, 26 Dec 2015 at 3:25 a.m.

### 23 December, 2015
Gerry Brownlee Media Release
Report confirms ChristChurch Cathedral can be reinstated

Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee says the decision by the Anglican Church to progress investigations into reinstating the ChristChurch Cathedral will be greatly appreciated by the wider community.
The Church Property Trust, which owns the Anglican Cathedral in Cathedral Square, has received an independent report from a Government-appointed consultant, who has reviewed the engineering options for the iconic city building.
“All of the parties’ engineers agree that the reinstatement of the Cathedral would require a combination of repair, restoration and reconstruction,” Mr Brownlee says. “The issue then comes back to cost and that is something the Church Property Trust will need absolute certainty of before it can commit to any work going ahead.”
Mr Brownlee says CPT is keen to enter further discussions with the Government in regard to progressing towards a reinstatement plan for the ChristChurch Cathedral, and that will happen in the New Year.
“And that is why we need to gain certainty about the affordability of this project and be able to work through the options. The positive outcome here is that there are now options to work through and that CPT is willing to do so.”

███ Report on facilitated discussions with engineers on engineering options for repair, restoration or replacement of ChristChurch Cathedral. (PDF, 11.22 MB)

220211 News:Don Scott/The Press Christchurch earthquake. The Cathedral with its spire missing.Christchurch Cathedral 1 []Photos: Don Scott – The Press

Most of the building is intact – the scaremongering re the safety and cost of a rebuild is just that.

The Anglican Church has agreed to consider “reinstating” the Christ Church Cathedral at a press conference today.

### Last updated 18:14, December 23 2015
The Press
Anglican Church to consider reinstating Christ Church Cathedral video
By Michael Wright
[…] A report by Government-appointed mediator Miriam Dean QC found the cathedral could be either reconstructed to be “indistinguishable” from its pre-quake self or replaced.
[…] Restoration campaigner Philip Burdon, co-chair of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, said he was “delighted and relieved” to learn the cathedral could be repaired, and was certain the necessary funds could be raised. “It had been the argument of the church that the building was unrepairable. The question of whether restoration was possible or not has been answered – I think that will be a considerable relief to the community.”
Read more

Yes, the Bishop is dragging her heels but MONEY might change her mind. Watch the Press video for her public statement and body language.

Earlier documents commissioned by Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), documents received 10 July 2012 via Mark Belton at Restore Christchurch Cathedral:

Christchurch Cathedral Structural engineering Review Final 27June2012
(PDF, 94.8 KB)

Christchurch Cathedral MRO prelim sketches (F)
(PDF, 3.9 MB)

Related Posts and Comments:
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under #eqnz, Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Infrastructure, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

37 responses to “Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator Miriam Dean QC

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    What, no styly new cathedral as a Legacy Statement of Her Bishness?

  2. The cathedral in Cathedral Square in Christchurch was THE icon of that city. It meant a great deal more to the people of that city and indeed the whole province of Canterbury than just the Church of England who of course built it and owns it. It is ‘owned’ in the wider sense by everyone in that city.

    As an ex Cantabrian myself I have a sense of ownership of that building too even though I have not lived there for over 50 years. It is symbolic of Christchurch.

    While I can understand the Anglican Church’s stand, the inevitable outcome of that approach would result in its demolition. In my view the bishop and the church underestimated the value of that building to the wider community. In that sense their view was myopic. They were also it seems, bereft of any sense that history plays in our daily lives. I know for example that many people that I know personally who live in Christchurch mourn the loss of those (especially historic) buildings that have been totally destroyed and cannot be replaced.

    It was apparent even by a cursory look at the damaged building that restoration was a feasible option, as the structural engineering review commissioned by the Greater Christchurch Building Trust indicates.

    It is heartening to learn that the mediator (Miriam Dean QC) found that the building could be either reconstructed or replaced. At least that provides an option for restoration.

    To me it is inconceivable that it be replaced by an entirely new building because this simply lays waste to that most important symbol of all that has gone before in the establishment of this city and province. This especially so when so much of that striker is still extant.

    There remains of course the little matter of who pays. Well plainly a few more than just the Anglican Diocese.

  3. Peter

    Christchurch has largely lost its heart and soul in the CBD. Any demolition of the cathedral would complete the process.

  4. Lyndon Weggery

    Having visited the Cathedral in the past I too am pleased that the way is open to rebuild the church back to its former state. Even if it does cost $100M. The Anglican church has reportedly $25M on hand and if the Govt was to contribute another $25M (as a taxpayer I don’t mind) then the rest of Canterbury should be encouraged to raise the balance. The current Bishop (from Canada) needs to reflect that a rebuilt Cathedral will form the anchor stone of a revitalised Cathedral Square. Because at the moment it is still very bare as if surrounding land owners and developers are waiting to see the fate of the Cathedral and what final shape it will take. Imagine the Octagon without our own St Paul’s Cathedral. The Bishop needs to see the wisdom in striking a healthy balance between the modern needs of Anglican Cathedral worship life that are founded on Anglican Christian heritage and the civic role that the Christchurch Cathedral has played in the past. A rebuilt Cathedral (as earthquake strengthened naturally) will bring both functions together.

  5. Elizabeth

    International donors have pledged large sums to restoration of the Cathedral over the last years which the Anglican Bishop and CPT have tried to ignore while they made their case for a new permanent building, massaging the ego of architect Sir Miles Warren who wants another legacy build in his name. That money and linked fundraising is still on offer and luckily we have the members of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (led by Philip Burdon and Jim Anderton), and the members of Restore Christchurch Cathedral (led by Mark Belton and Tim Preston) to thank for their amazingly endless passion, effective lobbying and strong determination to bring the old building back with the best engineering, masonry and craft building techniques possible, for full restoration. Another of the team is Marcus Brandt, a United States master carpenter and stone mason and university professor, who has contributed so much to local and international efforts to keep the Cathedral – simply outstanding!

    Great Christchurch Buildings Trust 2561320 (GCBT)
    Address: C/- Duncan Cotterill, PO Box 5, Christchurch 8140

    Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Incorporated 2616533
    Website: [+slideshow]

    █ 02 May 2015 [Scrollable IMAGE] Aerial panorama from 110m above Christchurch Cathedral at

    █ Wikipedia (current entries): Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch

    • Douglas

      Hear Hear Elizabeth.
      Sometimes we need to ignore certain egos. Sometimes we need to respect the past. And to parody King George V comment – Bugger Miles!

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    I think the Bishop misunderstands the (ahem) point of the Cathedral.
    It is of such high importance to Christchurch people and all with any association with Christchurch, not because it is a cathedral, a religious building, but because it is THAT cathedral.
    The same passion, the same desire to see it, be married in it, have it central to important times in individuals’ lives even non-Anglicans right through to atheists, isn’t transferrable. People whose main “use” of it have worshipped elsewhere and may indeed have transferred their place-loyalty to whatever church they attend now. If there is a new “architectural statement” edifice it won’t carry the meaning that the old one does. People have wearied of waiting where they relocated their businesses because the CBD isn’t happening and their current location no longer feels temporary, so any brand new cathedral is likely to be an expensive irrelevance. The over-planned underachieved CBD if it ever gets built is likely to be an irrelevance for the same reason. Staff and customers have had years to get used to where your salon, legal practice, store and warehouse are now, is there any reason to disrupt something that’s working? There was no choice last time. Having reestablished and rebuilt the non bricks and mortar aspects of the workplaces and dwellings, is there anything to be gained by shifting back to surround a cathedral that carries no weight of tradition, is not part of your family’s story?

  7. Elizabeth

    Link to The Press restored, for post at top of thread.

  8. Brian Miller

    The Anglican church wants to spend $100 million on a cathedral rebuild.
    If Jesus was to appear in the Christchurch square tomorrow, and was asked the question. How do we spend $100 million? On the poor and the underprivileged or on bricks and mortar. He would probably reply: Spend the money where it is most needed. People can pray anywhere at no cost.

    • Douglas

      He also said in Matthew 26:11 and to paraphrase a little:
      “The poor you will always have with you, but you may not always have my cathedral that is here’.

  9. Elizabeth

    A decision on whether to rebuild or reinstate will be made in April – and for most in Christchurch it won’t be a moment too soon.

    ### Thursday 24 Dec 2015 6:25
    $5M raised for Christ Church Cathedral
    By Annabelle Tukia
    Campaigners to reinstate the quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral have already raised $5 million, with one of their leaders personally donating $1 million from his own pocket. Philip Burdon says he knows others who will give the same, and he’s absolutely confident enough money will be raised. The Christ Church Cathedral still draws a steady stream of visitors.
    Read more + Video

  10. “Disturbed”? I should coco. Why removed? Did someone suggest ‘a writ’? This Kind of behaviour is worse than going out with Sally Field in a Paul Newman movie.

  11. Elizabeth

    From: Mark Belton
    Sent: Friday, 25 December 2015 7:54 p.m.
    To: [mailing list]
    Subject: The Anglican Church has agreed to consider “reinstating” the ChristChurch Cathedral at a press conference today. Glad tidings and Joy….Cathedral Reinstatement Announcement Wed 23 December

    Anglican Church to consider reinstating Christ Church Cathedral

    Dear All
    Today’s announcement that the Church will consider reinstating (restoring) the cathedral following the report by the Government consultant is wonderful news. It is a huge step in the right direction, and kicks off a process of consultation between the Government and Church that will surely lead to full restoration.

    The Dean report confirms the engineering feasibility of full restoration, and indicates a cost at the bottom of the range that the $105-$220 Million the Church had previously indicated, and feasibility of completion within 7 years (2022).

    For the church to commit to the reinstatement option will require assurance of sufficient funding. No surprises here, no one expects the church to contribute more than its insurance payout.

    During the next few months as negotiations progress it will need to be demonstrated that funding to fill the gap is assured. There are strong grounds for confidence that funding can be covered. It is noted the Christchurch Arts Centre restoration was budgeted at $295 M, and with $140 M from insurance $150 M had to raised. This project is progressing toward completion within time and within budget. The cathedral restoration will require less than half the Arts Centre external funding, and the cathedral is a far higher profile cause. Therefore we can be optimistic funding can be dealt with. However this is the big challenge for the months ahead. If sufficient funding support can be demonstrated it becomes a certainty the cathedral will be fully restored.

    The news is ‘glad tidings and joy’ for those wishing for restoration of Christ Church Cathedral

    Warm best wishes for a joyful Christmas

    Mark Belton & Tim Preston

    Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group Inc

    Christ Church Cathedral December 1954 (via Press - cathedral rises out of the heart of the city in December 1954. [via Press/Stuff]

  12. Elizabeth

    ███ NOTE
    QC Miriam Dean’s 44-page report on Christ Church Cathedral is now available at the post heading this thread, immediately following Gerry Brownlee’s media release.

    If the document won’t open refresh the link.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like QC Miriam Dean doesn’t belong to either side’s gang, probably doesn’t even care whether she’s allowed to play in anyone’s tree house.
    The whole idea of a non-cardboard – non-Hardy-plank even – replacement cathedral looked dumb anyway. And the more delay, the more dumb, except as a monument to one ego or another, Jesus Christ not included.
    It’s pointless trying to recreate a city to anyone’s Great Plan when so much time has passed that the populace has re-settled where they could, no longer feeling like they’re camping in the ‘burbs and joined-up satellite towns waiting for their “real” (previous) place to be ready.

  14. Elizabeth


    ——– Original message ——–
    From: Mark Belton
    Date: 31/12/2015 9:00 am (GMT+12:00)
    To: [Mailing list]
    Subject: Cathedral Reinstatement…funding focus

    Dear Supporters of Cathedral restoration

    While the Bishop’s pronouncements might appear to leave some room for interpretation and uncertainty, we consider them to be  positive and pivotal in regards to the Cathedral’s future.

    Essentially, the Church has agreed to reinstatement (restoration) if sufficient funding support is forthcoming. And it has committed to working with Govt toward resolving the outstanding questions of cost and safety and a plan of action.

    An analogy is the Titanic has been turned around, it has not yet made headway, but is now pointed in the right direction.

    The Press on the 24th reported “Cost and safety issues were paramount. If they were manageable, CPT said a working group would lead a reinstatement effort”.

    The Press editorial on 24th stated “The church has made a good faith commitment to reinstating Christ Church Cathedral. The price tag looms as the biggest obstacle.”

    Either of these statements is definitive to restoration so long as you trust the Engineer’s assessment that safety issues can be resolved and believe in Jim’s and Philip’s confidence around fundraising.

    It is recognised that cost is now the major hurdle to be overcome. With the Church’s commitment to work with the Govt to that end, the door is now open for private pledges and donations for restoration. It is the first time this has been possible.

    While the Govt are ‘undecided’ in terms of Govt funding in addition to private money, the political move will likely be to wait till sufficient funds are pledged to demonstrate popular support and then when their contribution would make success inevitable come on board, perhaps a matching donations scheme. Likewise with the Council who make significant allocations to heritage work in annual budgets.

    Regarding the Church’s contribution to restoration it is reasonable to expect that all the Cathedral Insurance payout  of $43.5 million ($39 million plus $4.5 million) will be directed to this project.

    As Philip Burdon has pointed out, using the Dean report cost estimate of $104 million, this leaves a funding gap of about $60 million.

    And there is are already about $6 million in pledges to the GCBT kitty.

    The critical thing is to have sufficient pledges clocked up and a substantial funding process underway in the next few months to demonstrate the feasibility of raising sufficient funds for reinstatement. 

    There is every reason to be hopeful and have belief that the funds can be raised. Our severely damaged cathedral is the biggest emotional and visible loss inflicted by the quakes on our city. In the media It has symbolised Christchurch’s pain and loss more than anything else. Its recovery  essential to the recovery of the heart and soul of Christchurch, is all the more poignant because it was so nearly lost. So there is every reason the recovery of the cathedral will be widely celebrated, and that fund raising will be a celebrated cause and successful.
    We also need to remind ourselves that while the approx. $55 million of additional funding required is a large amount of money, it is small compared to the spend on many other recovery projects in the city, for example, just a third of the private funding needed for the Arts Centre, and just half the money being spent on the Avon River precinct, and a small fraction of the money earmarked for various ‘anchor’ projects.

    So …funding is the focus of our efforts from here on.

    Some items to watch as things progress:

    ● ticking the safety box from Engineering experts (or at least substantial progress)

    ● clarification of the Church’s contribution to restoration

    ● announcement of the Govt approach toward private fundraising

    ● progress updates on private fundraising and pledging

    ● announcement of Govt funding contribution

    With fundraising now the priority RCC [Restore Christchurch Cathedral] will review its activities early in the New Year, and will continue to update you as things progress.

    Mark Belton and Tim Preston
    RCC Co-chairs




  15. Elizabeth

    Christ Church Cathedral —Anglican DIRTY PLAY


    From: Mark Belton
    Sent: Monday, 8 February 2016 9:41 p.m.
    To: [Mailing List]

    Dear All
    David Collins is presenting the case for retention of Non Complying Activity status in relation to demolition consent process under the Replacement District Plan for CHCH City.
    The church is seeking to have the Non Complying status changed to Restricted Discretionary status, meaning demotion could proceed without public notification or public hearings. In my view this is dirty trick deceit by the church.
    The attached RCC Submission prepared by David Collins makes a compelling case for retention of Non-Complying Activity status for demolition of the cathedral.
    David is presenting to the Hearings Panel from 1.30 pm tomorrow (9th Feb) at 348 Manchester St. Expert Witness evidence is also being presented for RCC on the Heritage significance of the cathedral by Dr Ian Lochhead.

    Mark Belton & Tim Preston
    Restore Christchurch Cathedral

    █ Attachment: 16-35 Restore Chch Cathedral Group – DWC Statement for hearing. 8-2-16 (3)(DOCX, 57 KB)

  16. Elizabeth

    The politically ugly Canadian witch Bishop Victoria spoke at 2pm today:
    She … called the cathedral an “eyesore” and “icon” in Christchurch. “[It] is not standing as it is today because the church doesn’t care. We’ve tried every which way from Sunday to either have it deconstructed to sill level, or to get help to reinstate it.” [MISINFORMATION EXTRAORDINAIRE]

    See tomorrow’s The Press.

    Last updated 17:50, February 19 2017
    Stuff: Government, church at odds over offer to restore Christ Church Cathedral
    Anglican Church and the Government appear to be at loggerheads over whether an offer has been made to help restore the “eyesore” Christ Church Cathedral. Sunday’s press conference by Bishop Victoria Matthews was the latest twist in the cathedral saga which, just days before the sixth anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake, is unresolved. Church leaders and the Government are both claiming they have done all they can to break the deadlock. In December, Stuff reported the Government and Anglican property trustees were unable to agree on the terms of a deal that would see the cathedral in central Christchurch restored. On Friday, Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee said he was “surprised and disappointed” no restoration deal had been made for the earthquake-damaged cathedral. The Government, he said, offered $10m in cash and a $15m loan to help restore the building. But the Church Property Trustees (CPT) maintains no binding offer was received. Cont/

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    She’s one determined Bish, isn’t she! Desperate for a brand new “Royal Monument” cathedral to commemorate her reign, she expresses her version with Trumpesque eloquence, truth and taste.

    I simply cannot guess why an old rhyme suddenly came to mind, a mind that with increasing age has increased its randomness –
    “You cannot hope
    To bribe or twist,
    Thank God! The British journalist.
    But, seeing what
    The man will do
    Unbribed, there’s No occasion to.” (Humbert Wolfe)

  18. Elizabeth

    ### Mon, 20 Feb 2017 at 8:19 a.m.
    Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
    Philip Burdon confident cathedral impasse can be sorted out Link
    Philip Burdon of Future Canterbury Network says a series of unfortunate misunderstandings have led to an impasse between the Government and a group negotiating how to restore the Christchurch cathedral, but he’s confident a resolution can be found.
    Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (4′ 22″)

  19. Elizabeth


    ——– Original message ——–
    From: David Lynch
    Date: 21/02/17 11:38 PM (GMT+12:00)
    To: [Elizabeth Kerr]
    Subject: FYI: NZ Herald 18/02/2017: ‘Disasters forgivable, human errors not’

    Good evening

    On the eve of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service, I am forwarding this very poignant NZ Herald feature article by Olivia Carville (formerly the Press): ‘Disasters forgivable, human errors not’

    Olivia and photographer Mike Scott, travelled to China to interview some of the parents that lost their children in the CTV building collapse.

    Here are their words:

    Kind regards

    David Lynch

    Momentus Public Relations Ltd

    • Peter

      Christchurch Cathedral is an obvious case of demolition by neglect. Just continue the wrangle and let time with the forces of nature decide the matter.
      The Government and the Anglican Church are probably in collusion with this scenario.
      Why would Wrecker Brownlee want anything different this time?

      • Elizabeth

        Mr Brownlee isn’t the problem here. This is well recognised: the Anglican’s property trust and the bishop have been dragging their heels from day 1.

        Restoration of the Arts Centre is case in point for management of a very successful project outcome.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The Bishop is adamant: she want a New cathedral. She and some others don’t get it. Religion is fading, any growth is in happy-clappy simplistic Christian sects, and other faiths. People don’t need or want a NEW cathedral, the majority of those who have an opinion (and that includes all sorts from High C of E to atheists!) want THEIR cathedral, not a stylish new one.
        Might as well offer someone a beautifully assembled book of photos to replace their *family* photos lost in quake or fire.

  20. Elizabeth

    Letter to The Press:

    Cathedral fundraising
    23 Feb 2017

    I know a little about fundraising, having for the past 20 years edited a textbook on the subject.
    I was also interviewed by the consultant retained by the Cathedral Working Party to advise it on fundraising for the rebuild. He is one of Australasia’s most experienced and has worked in Christchurch a great deal.
    Good chief executives know what they don’t know and bring in the knowledge and skills they need to run their enterprise successfully. One of the Church Property Trustees, who was on the working party, confirmed to me on Sunday that raising $30 million is achievable.
    The bishop’ s expertise is in saving souls. She should accept the advice given to her with humility and get on with the job of rebuilding the cathedral.
    Also, if she knew anything about fundraising she would not doubt publicly that Greater Christchurch Buildings Trust can bring $15m to the table. Its claim has been tested by the Government privately, which is the way it should have been.
    One way to undermine your fundraising potential is to carry on in public in the way the Church Property Trustees have been over the past six years.

    Sebastian Wilberforce
    Tai Tapu

  21. Elizabeth

    Now we’re getting to the meat.

    08:35, February 25 2017
    Stuff: Church’s $320m empire won’t be used for cathedral
    By Charlie Gates
    The Anglican diocese has a $320 million empire of cash and properties, but it cannot be used to fund the $100m Christ Church Cathedral restoration.
    The Church Property Trustees (CPT), a charity that oversees Anglican assets in Canterbury, owns $148m worth of land and buildings and has $171m in cash, according to 2015 financial statements. A search of public land records shows the CPT owns about 170 properties across Canterbury, with a few as far away as Hawke’s Bay and the West Coast.
    The property portfolio mainly includes churches, but also a 188-hectare Hawke’s Bay forestry block with a rateable valuation of about $500,000, about 4ha of empty land suitable for residential development in Tai Tapu worth about $1.6m and an empty block of land opposite the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo worth $1m.
    But an Anglican spokesman said the money and property was held “on trust” for parishes across the diocese and could not be spent outside each individual parish. He said the few investment properties owned by CPT were “held to fund the ongoing operation of the church”. Cont/
    –The Press

    • Hype O'Thermia

      How very convenient, “the ongoing operation of the church” doesn’t include anything they don’t want to spend their own resources on.

      “Gimme gimme gimme, I’m a poor unemployed person with my mansion, holiday house, cars, helicopter and investments in a family trust, not a cent apart from WINZ benefit which doesn’t go far in terms of single malts (therapeutic) – send donations c/- What If site manager. Thank you.”

      • Elizabeth

        And the site manager is not Anglican.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Thank goodness for that – the donations that flow in won’t be “retained for ongoing operations of the site” – right?

        • Hype O'Thermia

          This scheme looks like it’s been worked out in detail, no difficulty passed over blandly, eyes fixed on the Big Picture. Or in the case of Bish-Vic, all difficulties seized, magnified and used as atomic disintegrators to make way for her personal monument. Myself, I like the “difficulties” of so many people organised and working together for something wonderful. Christchurch found its Alt.Greatness overcoming difficulties after disaster, before Brownlee & Co came in pushing Big Planning and Big Plans over the top of what people wanted help for doing to re-create their city the way they wanted to live in it.

  22. Elizabeth

    Had to laugh.
    The Anglican farce at Dunedin – in which the outspoken Dean of St Paul’s receives a very public slap round the ears from the Bishop of Dunedin.
    Go Bish !!!

    At Facebook:


    The same video screened last night at Ch39.

    Channel 39 Fri, Feb 24, 2017
    Bishop denies financial difficulties
    The head of Dunedin’s St Paul’s Anglican Church has denied suggestions the church is in financial difficulties and troubled. The head of Dunedin’s St Paul’s Anglican Church, the Bishop of Dunedin, Kelvin Wright, has today denied suggestions the church is in financial difficulties and troubled.
    Bishop Wright moved to scotch any suggestion the church’s 98 year old cathedral in the Octagon might be put up for sale.


    The Very Rev Dr Trevor James says the future of all Anglican parishes in Dunedin, including St Paul’s Cathedral is at risk.

    Fri, 24 Feb 2017
    ODT: Dean questions future of cathedral
    By Margot Taylor
    A “crisis of faith” and a broke diocese are casting  a shadow on Anglican parishes in Dunedin, including St Paul’s Cathedral. The 98-year-old cathedral  in the Octagon was at the heart of a “troubled and troubling diocese”, St Paul’s Cathedral Dean the Very Rev Dr Trevor James said.
    In an impassioned blog post to parishioners [he wrote] “A question is whether to keep the cathedral or not and the debate disclosed uncertainty as to why we should have a cathedral and the value [or not] that it represented.” Cont/

    • Peter

      I think the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral was just highlighting the dilemma of mainstream churches in the West, not just the Anglican Church. A crisis of faith, with dwindling congregations and consequent parish church amalgamations, butting up against the financial requirements of maintaining such beautiful buildings that add value to our cityscape.
      I don’t think anyone knows the answer to both sides of the equation. I don’t see a resurgence of people going to church again any time soon that would help put more money in the collection plate.
      The Happy Clappy Pentecostals seem to do ok financially, but they don’t own aging cathedrals.

  23. Elizabeth

    Copy of letter received:

    The Press 28 Feb 2017  
    Cathedral progress
    Church Property Trustees are reluctant to do anything about Christ Church Cathedral until they can be absolutely sure that they have all the money they need. Perhaps they can take courage from those Cantabrians who built the cathedral.
    They started building before they had all the money and when an economic depression hit Canterbury in the 1860s, they stopped building until the money became available again.
    Many of the great cathedrals of the world were built in the same way – as the money became available. Some of them took hundreds of years.
    So why not start the restoration and if the money dries up, the trustees can call a halt?
    At least then Cathedral Square will be graced with a sign of hope and resurrection rather that the current symbol of death and decay.

    Graeme A Brady

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