Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter based in Christchurch.

Church groups commit to building new cathedral

The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral. Photo / Geoff Sloan
The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral. Photo / Geoff Sloan

The Anglican Church in Christchurch has today revealed a formal commitment to build a new cathedral in Cathedral Square.

The announcement comes just days after a High Court judge ordered a halt to demolition of the earthquake-crippled historic building.

Last night the Cathedral Chapter and Standing Committee formally requested the Church Property Trustees (CPT), which are the custodians of the landmark church building, provide a cathedral on the site at Cathedral Square.

In a statement released this afternoon by the CPT, the church said the decision confirmed "the ongoing commitment already made by these groups".

The resolution was passed to the court today in response to a request by Justice Chisholm in his interim decision on the High Court hearing released last Thursday.

CPT also unanimously resolved to take no further action to deconstruct the cathedral until further order from the court.

Engineers and other professionals have been asked by CPT to review the information presented by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) to the court during the two-day hearing at the High Court in Christchurch last month and whether it changes their opinions on the maximum retention option. They also resolved to ask Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority for its view of the option proposed by GCBT.

CPT has also requested the Cathedral Project Group to consider any further advice received from professionals in engineering, architecture and others as appropriate and also to work further on design concepts and to report back to them.

Meanwhile, the church says it is "committed" to building a cardboard transitional cathedral on another site.

The statement said: "Following the meeting of Church Property Trustees last night, a separate application will be lodged with the court to seek clarity on the comments made in the judgment so the Church Property Trustees can continue to act responsibly.

"The judge did not say the building or funding of the transitional cathedral was illegal or unlawful."

- APNZ

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