Mayor keen to chip in on Cathedral's design

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 06/10/2012

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Mayor Bob Parker wants to help design the new Christ Church Cathedral.

The former broadcaster said he would submit ideas for a rebuilt cathedral if a High Court challenge brought by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust against building owner, the Church Property Trust, failed.

"I'll wait until we get the declaratory judgment and if it is for retention and rebuilding, then that's the outcome and we should respect that, but if it is not, then I intend to put on the table a piece of work that I've been doing for a while," Parker said.

A replacement cathedral could become the "new symbol for our city"' and should combine elements of the past with "something visionary and inspiring".

"Once we've got over this phase of the debate and if the courts find we should move forward.

"I want to be part of putting something on the table, not because I'm a great architect or any of those things, but because I think it is such an essential debate," he said.

Court documents obtained by The Press also revealed Parker's wife, Jo Nicholls-Parker, offered to help an under-fire Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews.

Minutes from a cathedral project group meeting in May showed the group felt project information was being "distorted" by the media.

"One idea could be to educate and bring onside key people so that they can be our supporters and speak with knowledge about the cathedral project. BVM [Bishop Victoria Matthews] noted that Jo Nicholls-Parker has offered to help"

Parker said his wife offered personal support because of their own personal experience of "how cruel an element of the community can be".

Matthews yesterday dismissed The Press' report about early sketches for dome-shaped cathedral extension as "silliness".

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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