ChristChurch Cathedral suffers further damage in latest quake

May 29, 2012

[Anglican Taonga] ChristChurch Cathedral in New Zealand has suffered further damage from the magnitude-5.2 aftershock on May 25, according to a statement from the diocese.

“Since Friday there is more noticeable bowing in the walls, especially towards the southern end of the cathedral, and more stone has fallen,” the diocesan communications officer, Philip Baldwin, said.

“This aftershock was in the range forecast by the scientific experts. Plans for deconstruction of the cathedral, in terms of safety, have to take into account this ongoing seismic activity.

“The deconstruction methodology… will be provided publicly as soon as it has been approved.

“This deconstruction allows for safe retrieval of heritage items inside the cathedral, which include Bishop Harper’s effigy, the organ and the remains of the pulpit, as well as memorial stones and panels.”

Baldwin said that in coming months the diocese intends to set up a website for people to make suggestions for the future cathedral.

Cathedral fact-finding tour

A small group, including Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews, acting dean Lynda Patterson and architects from Warren and Mahone,y will visit cathedrals and relevant buildings around the world next week.

They will also talk to people involved with these buildings.

Their findings will inform future plans for the Cathedral in the Square. The consultants involved are not charging for their time on the trip.

Baldwin said the group’s schedule encompasses 12 cathedrals in the U.K., Europe and the United States.

These include Coventry Cathedral (which has retained the ruins of the cathedral that was bombed during World War II), St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California.

The visit has been scheduled to coincide with Matthews’ trip to Dublin for a meeting of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith, and Order.

Information from these visits will be available through a special website.