The Anglican Synod has decided to reinstate Christ Church Cathedral.
In a decision revealed this afternoon, the church has announced it will now work with the Christchurch City Council and Government to begin the reinstating process.
The decision has come after a three-day gathering of the 225-member Canterbury Synod.
It's the first clear indication of the Church's intentions for the building, since it was ruined in the 2010/2011 earthquakes.
It has been more than six years since the Gothic-style 136-year-old cathedral was badly damaged in the 6.3-magnitude February 22, 2011 earthquake that devastated the Garden City.
The Synod was deciding between restoration, gifting the building to the Government, or demolition and replacing with a new cathedral.
Ahead of the decision by the church's synod, Christchurch politicians urged the Anglican Church to restore the earthquake-crippled Cathedral.
Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel spoke to a 200-member synod yesterday at St Christopher's Church in Avonhead.
Dalziel described the cathedral devastated by the 2011 quake that killed 185 people, as the heart and soul of the city.
The Government and Christchurch City Council made an offer of $35 million and promised to fast-track the legislation if restoration was chosen.
Debate on whether the cathedral should be restored to its former glory, partly reinstated, or demolished and replaced with a modern new building have raged between the church, heritage campaigners and the public for the past six-and-a-half years.
Bishop Victoria Matthews said she was delighted that after six and a half years a decision had been made.
"It was not an overwhelming but a very clear majority," Matthews said.
"I had told the synod whatever they decided I would back them up and that's exactly what I did."
Matthews said the "generous government offer of $50 million" toward the restoration and a capped amount of what the church was liable for made her "completely comfortable" with the decision.
She said some of the 220-member synod did feel pressure with the government vocal on a full restoration but they voted freely.
"Some did feel pressure there were others that thought it was an opportunity," Matthews said.
"It was free choice, we could have said no, we could have gone in a different direction altogether."
Matthews said the rebuilding process would be a long one. She said completion with 10 years was "a pretty safe bet."
Wagner said she's delighted that ChristChurch Cathedral will be reinstated.
"This is the best possible outcome for Christchurch. We finally have an agreed decision to reinstate the heart of our city," Wagner said.
"For many years the Cathedral has sat broken and neglected, detracting from all the amazing work taking place in Christchurch.
"This decision gives the Church, the community, businesses and tourism bodies the certainty they've been looking for."
Christchurch Mayor Dalziel said it was a hard decision for the Synod. She said she felt "emotional" about the decision made be the Synod and thanked them and Bishop Matthews for the time and thought they had put into the decision.
Lawyers would now go over the finer details of the decision before the public were advised of them.
Dalziel said reinstating the cathedral meant people could unite around the decision rather than it being one that divided the community.
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga was delighted at the announcement to restore Christ Church Cathedral, having been involved as an advisor to the Government appointed working party during the decision-making process.
Acting Chief Executive Claire Craig said the restoration would bring significant heritage, economic and social benefits to Christchurch.
"Rebuilding the Cathedral will be a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the city," Craig said.
"With so much heritage lost following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, the recovery of the city's defining landmark will be welcomed by locals and visitors alike."
The Cathedral is listed Category 1 with Heritage New Zealand, reflecting its regional, national and international significance.
A recent church-commissioned survey found the Christchurch community was evenly-split on whether the cathedral should be rebuilt or demolished.