Brit's $4m gift to cathedral earthquake fund

MARTIN VAN BEYNEN
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2011

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An English entrepreneur has kicked off an earthquake appeal in Britain with a $4 million donation to rebuild ChristChurch Cathedral.

The cathedral was badly damaged in the February 22 earthquake.

Business leaders with New Zealand connections, including Smith & Nephew chairman John Buchanan, and a former Christchurch man, Barclays Capital vice-chairman Euan Harkness, have set up a British branch of the Christchurch quake appeal.

CPP Group founder Hamish Ogston, who has visited the cathedral, has pledged $4m to the cathedral's rebuilding.

He has many Christchurch connections, including Harkness' cousin, Michael Norris, and his wife, Patsy Dart, and is interested in choral music and heritage buildings.

Dean Peter Beck said the donation was "immensely generous".

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and desire of people around the world to rebuild the cathedral in the square," he said.

"At the same time, we are deeply aware of the need to support the other iconic churches of the city, including the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, Knox Church and the Durham Street Methodist Church."

Ogston founded the CPP Group, which is based in York, in 1980.

The company provides mobile-phone, credit-card and identity protection insurance services.

When it was floated last year, CPP Group was reported to have a market value of about $1 billion.

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