Chch bishop wants cathedral demolished
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 6:12p.m.
By Hamish Clark
Christchurch's Anglican bishop is demanding the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) get on with it and demolish the cathedral in the square.
It is a move that is bound to further annoy those campaigning to save the building.
For weeks now work on the damaged cathedral has been at a stand still. That might please the hundreds of people campaigning to save it, but Bishop Victoria Matthews says it needs to be brought down and made safe, so the treasures inside can be retrieved.
It is on pause for the moment and that is a huge concern to us. We have asked permission to proceed with our methodology and as long as it is on pause we are aware that the treasures in that cathedral are being exposed to the elements,” she says.
“Until we get permission to proceed with the methodology more damage will be done to what is inside the cathedral so we would really like to get on with it.”
The bishop has just returned from a fact-finding tour of 10 cathedrals in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
She was searching for ideas for a new replacement, and says she has ruled out restoring the old one.
“I think at this stage to spend between $100 -120 million to rebuild what was there is an inappropriate use of money,” she says.
Five million is already being spent on the transitional cardboard cathedral. With a bigger deeper concrete pad now required, that too could be delayed from opening until after Christmas.
But the bishop says it is the cathedral in the square that causing the most concern.
“I would like to get on with it and to be honest, almost crass, the longer we wait the more expensive it will be,” she says.
We asked CERA why there has been a delay but we did not receive any answers to our questions. Instead they sent us a stock standard reply that basically says it is still all up in the air.
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4/07/2012 12:37:42 p.m.
The Bishop may want to 'get on with it', well so do we, we want to get on with restoring our Cathedral, pity she doesn't feel the same. She needs to go back to the drawing board and have a rethink about things and really start talking to the people of Christchurch and not making decisions on behalf of us.
4/07/2012 9:36:01 a.m.
Christchurch Cathedral will be to Christchurch what Notre Dame is to Paris.
Paris’s famous Notre Dame came very close to demolition in the 19th century, its foundation stones identified for reuse as bridge piers. Victor Hugo wrote his famous novel expressly to save the famous Gothic cathedral from demolition. Gothic art and architecture was then ignorantly regarded as unfashionable, ugly and offensive. In the 21st century opinions have totally reversed, the cathedral is now lauded as an architectural wonder. Hugo’s words described it as a “gigantic book of stone,” The cathedral was saved. Cost/benefit? The annual financial benefits of Notre Dame to the church and the city of Paris, from tourism alone are vast. What of its inspirational and spiritual dimension, how can a value be
put on that? Inestimable!
Does Bishop Matthews want to go down in history as the destroyer of our wonderful Christ Church cathedral?
4/07/2012 8:53:46 a.m.
The bishop keeps telling us that a rebuild will cost $100 to 120 million. How does she know? Can she justify that statement? And, while she's at it, perhaps she can explain what is happening to the money in the Archbishops' Appeal for Christchurch. In her address to the synod she said 'in the past week we have received another $365,000' so it must be quite a significant fund. Or has it all been spent on the business-class junket to look at other cathedrals around the world - all of which cost well in excess of the $100 - 120 million she says is 'inappropriate' for a rebuild?
3/07/2012 9:41:21 p.m.
What is crass is the privileging of Anglican ' treasures' inside the building over the treasure that IS the building. The cathedral belongs to the church legally but on every other level- culturally, socially, historically etc. - it belongs to the people of Christchurch. Shame on the archbishop for calling any priority other than her own - crass.
3/07/2012 8:53:57 p.m.
It appears that the Bishop's true nature is now fully emerging. No longer is she even bothering with the illusion of soothing words. Now she is expressing annoyance that we locals are being so meddlesome as to want to retain a building she, in her wisdom, has dismissed as not worth saving. "Methodology" is just a weasel word for "demolishing what we don't want". Shame on you, Bishop Matthews. So you feel annoyed by what is (or is not) happening - imagine how we who love the cathedral are feeling that you choose not to fight for this vital heart of the community.
3/07/2012 8:35:01 p.m.
stop your crying go drink a glass of soy milk and harden up
3/07/2012 8:22:34 p.m.
only a true Cantabrian and New Zealander would understand why your comments and your attidude are so repugnent, maybe your would be better in your own home...
3/07/2012 8:18:16 p.m.
Sharon z wrote:
Her travel overseas isn't an inappropriate use of money and the stupid cardboard crap she's erecting, that's $5 mill that's being used inappropriately and could go towards the existing one. As we've all heard, no one has to put toward it really, there are plenty of overseas investors willing to come up with the money towards our beloved Cathedral. Bishop Matthews really needs to go, she has no heart for the people of Canterbury and Chch.
3/07/2012 8:05:18 p.m.
Karen Christchurch wrote:
The Cathedral IS our treasure! It can't be about safety, because there is no-one in the square.It must be about money, our Cathedral must be taking up prime Real Estate for her to want it ripped down so quickly. Victoria, you are getting your cardboard cathedral, please leave us our real one, our treasure. It is not fair that she gets all they say and we, the Christchurch people, get none. Why the rush? Why not put something around it so the public can't get to it? Safety issue solved. Next argument?
3/07/2012 7:43:09 p.m.
Fact finding,hmmm,well i guess if you went fact finding in Europe,the majority of Cathedrals you would see over there,probably pre-date ours by 700-800 years,so methinks this was a waste of time.The Bishop keeps spouting the cost at 100-120 million,why then,have qualified people,stated that the Cathedral could be rebuilt to safe standards for 20 million,methinks again the Church has another agenda.
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