Little wooden church going home

'This is like a new beginning for us'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2013
St Saviour’s at Trinity
WARREN AND MAHONEY

NEW BEGINNINGS: An artist’s impression of the relocated and restored St Saviour’s at Trinity in Lyttelton.

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A little wooden church built in Lyttelton 130 years ago is about to head on its final journey, right back home.

The St Saviour's Chapel was moved from the port township to the Cathedral Grammar School in 1976, and would have stayed had it not been severely damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

Deemed too expensive to repair, it was written off by insurers and the school paid out.

However, rather than demolish a historic Anglican church, school headmaster Paul Kennedy asked Bishop Victoria Matthews if they could instead donate it to someone willing to restore it.

She "quite rightly agreed it will go back to Lyttelton", Kennedy said.

It will be placed on the site of Lyttelton's now-demolished Holy Trinity Church, which was Canterbury's oldest stone church, in Winchester St - less than a kilometre from its original site on the corner of Brittan Tce and Simeon Quay.

Preparation for the relocation starts this week, with the move expected to take six to eight weeks.

Restoration plans are still awaiting signoff from the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch church property trustees.

However, Holy Trinity Church vicar Neil Struthers hopes to raise funds and have the project completed by Christmas next year.

Struthers said it needed to raise about $785,000, with the total project estimated to be $2.38 million.

"My pragmatic side says it's a waste of money but my emotional side [says] I'm delighted we're getting something historic back that has once been part of our community and will be again," he said.

"It's just wonderful. This is like a new beginning for us."

Once complete, the church will be called St Saviour's at Trinity.

Kennedy said a new chapel would be built at the school as part of a campus-wide redevelopment.

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- The Press

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