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Man in court over church fire in Chch

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/05/2016 By Cleo Fraser

The man accused of starting a fire that gutted a church in Christchurch can now be named.

Interim name suppression for 35-year-old Cheyenne Reed lapsed on Monday when he appeared briefly in Christchurch District Court via video link.

Police allege he set fire to St Margaret's Presbyterian Church at Bishopdale on May 15 and also entered the building a week earlier.

No application for bail was made and the case was adjourned until June 20.

The church's minister, Reverend Dr Andrew Nicol, has said future services would be held in the surviving office building once power and water were restored to it.

He said it appeared the church had been damaged beyond repair.

Reed is charged with arson and twice entering the church. The more serious charge carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.

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