Cathedral will 'look ahead, remember the past'

A cathedral that "remembers the past and looks to the future" will be built in Christchurch, Bishop Victoria Matthews says.

Matthews yesterday again indicated she did not want the existing cathedral saved and ruled out a copy being built in Cathedral Square.

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The Anglican diocese is now seeking feedback on a 62-page document that includes research from a fact-finding tour of cathedrals and churches in the United States and Europe in June.

Matthews said all submissions were welcome, and feedback would play an important role in the new cathedral decision-making.

The vision was a building that was "truly inviting".

"A lot of conversations we've had about the cathedral thus far are actually people's relationship with the exterior of the cathedral that was,'' she said.

"People talked about walking by it and so on, but not many talked about going inside." 

Traditionalists could be assured the new cathedral would not be "all chrome and glass", but a replica had been ruled out.

Her view was for a building that "remembers the past and looks to the future".

Matthews said it was too soon to say whether the central-city blueprint projects would influence the design, but she was confident the cathedral would still be the focus of the Square.

"I don't want people in the library or the conference centre to say, ‘It was really wonderful because we looked out on the cathedral, but no, I actually never bothered to look inside'. I want it to be a building that says, 'Come and see'," she said.

The Press