Anderton slams cleric's call for demo

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 12:53 28/03/2014
Dr John Sentamu at Christ Church Cathedral
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ
'NOT STRUCTURALLY SOUND': Dr John Sentamu visits the Christ Church Cathedral ruins yesterday.
Jim Anderton
DISAPPOINTED: Christ Church Cathedral restoration campaigner Jim Anderton.

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Christ Church Cathedral restoration campaigner Jim Anderton has dismissed the Archbishop of York's calls for a demolition and rebuild as unqualified and disappointing. 

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Church hierarchy. 

Sentamu visited the ruins of the cathedral yesterday, and said he advocated for demolition and a modern rebuild of the cathedral. 

Anderton said he was disappointed Sentamu had ''parroted'' the opinion of the local church leadership. 

''He's obviously been briefed by the Bishop [Victoria Matthews] who has similar views,'' Anderton said. 

''He certainly hasn't seen our engineering reports.''

Anderton said he did not place much stock in Sentamu's opinion. 

''He may well be a very fine cleric, but as far as I know he doesn't have any qualifications in seismic structural engineering.

''So what on earth is he talking about?''

Anderton said it was interesting Sentamu did not advocate for restoration when $44 million had recently been spent on the restoration of York Minster, in Sentamu's home diocese in England. 

''He tells us his church is worth $44 million but ours is only worth a steel ball through it.'' 

Sentamu had urged the city to join forces with the local church leadership to decide on a contemporary replacement for the cathedral. 

He said the church had been told there was nothing structurally sound about the Christ Church Cathedral, and the only option was demolition.

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