By Thomas Mead
The Anglican Church has begun a fundraising campaign for the cardboard replacement of Christchurch’s iconic central city cathedral.
The church however denies this is in response to a High Court judge indicating that it may be illegal for the church to use its insurance payout to fund the cardboard cathedral.
The court also ordered an immediate halt of the deconstruction of the historic cathedral until a judicial review could be carried out.
Four huge cardboard tubes will provide a centrepiece for the fundraising initiative, with the tubes being sent to four Anglican cathedrals across the country in a request for donations.
The 16.5m tubes, which are joined exactly as they will appear in the new cathedral, will be on display for a week at churches in Napier, Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington.
But ChristChurch Cathedral spokesperson Craig Dixon has denied that the fundraiser is in response to the court's ruling, saying it had been in the works for quite some time.
“We’ve had this initiative in the pipeline for some time, and it is unrelated to other funding issues which have arisen around the transitional cathedral,” says Mr Dixon.
“We don't underestimate the challenges involved in such an undertaking. We hope the journey of the tubes throughout New Zealand will support the construction of this amazing structure.”
A slot has been cut in the tube for those wishing to donate and assist with the build of the cardboard cathedral. The temporary building, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, is expected to last 10 years.
Mr Ban is a specialist who works with areas affected by natural disasters and is well-known for his work with recycled cardboard tubes. He has designed a paper church in Kobe, paper shelters in Haiti and the L’aquila Temporary Concert Hall in Italy.
A model of the Transitional 'Cardboard' Cathedral designed by Mr Ban
The foundations for his cardboard recreation in Christchurch have already been laid, as the Anglican Church had hoped to complete it in time for Christmas. Complications have pushed that date back to early April.
Individuals and business can view the pipes in Waipu Anglican Cathedral in Napier South, St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin, the Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity or the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.