Anglican church rejects sale claim
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 11:01a.m.
The Anglican Church is rejecting claims it will have to sell churches because insurance costs have soared after the earthquakes in Christchurch.
The cost of insuring churches, some of which were made of stone when the city was settled from the 1840s, has tripled since the earthquakes and congregations have moved, sparking talk of an insurance crisis that will trigger church sales.
Anglican insurance board chairman Don Baskerville said at the weekend that the Anglican Church may have to rationalise its property portfolio because insurance costs had risen to between $4 million and $5m a year from $1.5m to $2m.
Anglican Church spokesman Rev Jayson Rhodes told NZ Newswire on Monday that speculation that churches would be sold was premature.
"Insurance is an issue as it is right across the community," he said.
The topic would be discussed at an Anglican Church general synod in Fiji this week, he said.
"It is way too premature to be making calls that churches will have to be sold," he said.
Mr Baskerville said in November that churches faced an insurance crisis after Ansvar, the company that insures 75 per cent of New Zealand churches, said it would not renew earthquake cover when policies expired after receiving $700 million of claims.
Rev Rhodes said Mr Baskerville had no say on whether churches would be sold, and no proposal to do so was on the agenda for the synod in Fiji.
The demolition of ChristChurch Cathedral, a landmark in the city, has triggered protests.
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