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Sept decision for ChristChurch Cathedral

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/05/2017

The nagging issue of what to do with the earthquake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral will finally be addressed by an Anglican Church synod in September.

Bishop Victoria Mathews announcement at Sunday services the decision will no longer be in the hands of the Church Property Trustees.

Members of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch's Synod will make the decision in September.

The iconic Cathedral in the Square in the centre of Christchurch was badly damaged on the 2011 quake.

The church favours a new cathedral but there has been a public campaign and a government offer to rebuild the old one.

Issues include cost, the site and materials used. The damaged cathedral is a masonry building in the Gothic style.

Bishop Mathews says people are still very divided over whether to reinstate the cathedral or commit to a contemporary cathedral.

"Members of synod will make a decision on whether to accept an offer to assist with reinstatement from the New Zealand government or construct an inspirational contemporary cathedral to a design that is, as yet, undecided but the cost of which will be within the $42 million insurance fund," she said.

She said the Christchurch diocese of the church was aware the city and beyond was frustrated with the amount of time it had taken to "reach a decision on the future of our beloved cathedral".

"After much thought and prayer I have decided to reserve the question on the future of the cathedral in the Square to September for our diocesan synod's decision.

The synod is the governing body of the Christchurch Diocese and is made up of more than 225 members.

A survey of public preferences among residents from Greater Christchurch was not clear.

"People's preferences change when they are fully informed, but there is still no overwhelming preference," she said.

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