Cathedral Conversations | Media Releases
We all remember ChristChurch Cathedral as a place that people came to worship at from across the city and across the world; it was a place for the hosting of civic occasions and a space that those passing by could come into and enjoy a time of quiet reflection. We are all waiting for this to become a reality again.
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22 December 2016

The much-anticipated announcement regarding the reinstatement of the damaged ChristChurch Cathedral will not go ahead before Christmas, as hoped.

Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews said 48 hours ago she and Church Property Trustees were sure there would be a positive announcement in this week before Christmas.

The Bishop said she was greatly saddened given the tireless work of the Cathedral Working Group and Church Property Trustees and staff.

“The Trustees will keep working towards a resolution in the New Year.

“I can assure people that there will be a Cathedral in the Square at the heart of our city,” Bishop Victoria said.


Media contact: Rev Jayson Rhodes: 021 661319



7 July 2016


Dear Friends,

Back in 2010 and 2011 the Diocese of Christchurch said we would put people and safety first and we have kept our word. I am writing to update you on material that is being released into the public domain and would encourage you to view it for yourself. Today the Government has also announced the details of The Working Group to consider options for the reinstatement of the ChristChurch Cathedral. Once a consensus has been reached the group will recommend a way forward with a final report to the Crown and CPT by 7 December 2016. CPT will then make a decision. Today a film showing the interior of the Cathedral building in the Square and some photographs of the exterior is being released to the media and we are including it on our websites.

At present citizens of and visitors to the city visit the Transitional Cathedral and celebrate its innovation and superb design. I believe in the foreseeable future we will again have a Cathedral in the Square. It won’t be easy I believe it is possible. What I am not able to say today is what that inspiring Cathedral will look like. However I do know it will be beautiful and a house of prayer dedicated to God who we worship and adore.
In Christ,

The following is a link to the footage of the interior of the Cathedral


17 March 2016


Engineering rapid assessments have found that the aftershocks that occurred on February 14, 2016 and February 29, 2016 in Christchurch caused significant additional structural damage to ChristChurch Cathedral.

The February 14 aftershock caused additional significant damage to the west wall, south aisle walls, masonry piers, ashlar, south transept gable, transept arches and pulpit.

The investigation by Holmes Consulting Group found that the building sustained:
• “Additional loss of material from the west wall with consequential additional damage to the west porch below.”
• “Significant increase of earthquake damage to the badly damaged south aisle walls. Crack widths in masonry piers were observed to have significantly increased and additional spalling of ashlar has occurred.”
• “Offsets previously observed in the south transept gable have significantly increased with consequential additional damage to ashlar. Additional damage to the north transept gable was less significant.”
• “Damage to the transept arches has noticeably increased. Significant quantities of new rubble were observed to have fallen onto the floor of the crossing and this has caused additional damage to the pulpit.”
• “Cracking to the north and south walls of the apse has noticeably increased.”

In the subsequent February 29 aftershock: “Additional structural damage occurred. Damage observed included general increase of crack widths, structural offsets and additional spalling.”

Prior to, and following these events, the Cathedral remains structurally unstable.

These events are not expected to affect ongoing discussions with the Government regarding addressing the safety and cost issues associated with reinstating ChristChurch Cathedral.




23 December 2015


The Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and the Church Property Trustees (CPT) thank the Government, Minister Brownlee, and the Government appointed independent consultant Miriam Dean QC, for the report commissioned into the future of ChristChurch Cathedral.

The report outlines the options for reinstating the Cathedral, as well as replacing it with a new contemporary building.

“Miriam Dean QC and her team did an excellent job of assessing the positions of the parties involved and finding points of agreement. We are grateful for her hard work,” says the Right Reverend Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch.

The engineers and quantity surveyors involved were able to reach a large measure of high level agreement on the engineering options and indicative costs of reinstating ChristChurch Cathedral.

The CPT are delighted to note that the report concurred with their engineers and quantity surveyors, and confirmed the cost of reinstatement at $105 million. It also confirms that it is a complex and risky project.

The report stated that reinstatement would require repair, restoration, and reconstruction. The engineers agreed that reinstatement could be completed by 2022.

“The Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and the CPT wish to move past the current deadlock to find a way forward to re-establish a Cathedral in Cathedral Square,” says Bishop Matthews.

“We want to support the city to move forward and we recognise the central importance of this building to many people in Christchurch.

“It is the calling of the church to minister to people; to serve the lost, the last and the least. As the body of Christ we use buildings, but we don’t exist for the sake of bricks and mortar,” says Bishop Matthews.

“Therefore, comprehensive measures to ensure safety during deconstruction and reinstatement, and measures to achieve future safety including 100% of the New Building Standard, as well as sufficient financial resources are essential,” says Bishop Matthews.

The Church Property Trustees will continue confidential conversations with the Government about the challenges of safety and cost which must be addressed before reinstatement can proceed, through a new working group.

Further announcements are expected at the end of April 2016.



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