Church leaders back bishop

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2012
Victoria Matthews Support
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ

LEADER SUPPORT: Bishop Victoria Matthews, Steve Graham, Murray Robertson and Alan Aitken.

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Recovery team recognise the good Samaritans of Kaikoura who helped after the earthquake Police decide against charges over Southern Ink and Riccarton Rd earthquake deaths Man to create near-perfect replica of Christchurch heritage house Steve Hansen pays tribute to the late Sir Ron Scott Family support memorial for nurses lost in Christchurch earthquake Shortland Street quake show should have carried a warning, say traumatised viewers Christchurch quake rescuer Bill Toomey wins fight for ACC cover for post-traumatic stress Study into 'lateral spreading' earthquake cracks launched Insurance Council asks Kaikoura District Council to pull video from its Facebook page Tower Insurance chairman Michael Stiassny expresses frustration at claims holdouts

The decision to deconstruct Christ Church Cathedral is supported by Canterbury church leaders.

An open letter of support from 70 churches and Christian organisations was presented to the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, at St Peter's Church in Upper Riccarton yesterday.

The letter affirmed that the Anglican Church had the right to decide the fate of its cathedral.

"God's real Church is the people, and people matter more to God than any building," the letter reads.

"We pray for the bishop and other leaders as they face the challenges this brings."

Group spokesman Steve Graham said the letter was in response to criticism of Matthews after the decision to deconstruct the cathedral was announced.

"Statements that she has failed because she's not rebuilding the cathedral are unfair," he said.

"We know that she's thinking about a far bigger range of issues and not just about one treasured building. A church leader's primary responsibility is the care of people, not the preservation of monuments."

The aim of the letter, signed by a range of denominations that included Ethiopian evangelicals and Cambodian Baptists, was to present a unified perspective of those "who actually lead churches and oversee church buildings", he said.

Matthews said the letter was "highly encouraging", especially in the wake of "very loud voices of criticism".

She has coped through the recent public backlash with "prayer and the prayers of other people".

"I love the cathedral very, very much and it is with enormous sadness that the building must come down. There has been loud criticism, but as I move around the city, people are saying to me, quietly and consistently, that they believe we have made the right decision."

The cathedral is one of 26 churches in Canterbury that cannot be entered because of severe earthquake damage.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content