Cathedral means more to Christchurch than to Anglican church, mayor says
The Christ Church Cathedral means more to the city than it does to the Anglican church, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says.
Dalziel made the comment in Cathedral Square during Sunday's launch of an 8.4 metre-tall model of the People's Steeple, built by United States master carpenter Marcus Brandt.
Brandt, who has the support of the Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group, wants to rebuild the collapsed Christ Church Cathedral spire in timber and hoist it into place using ropes, pullies and 500 volunteers.
Dalziel has also thrown her support behind the project.
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"The cathedral may have divided the community, the People's Steeple can unite the community," she told the small crowd who had gathered to see the model steeple raised on Sunday.
"This will go viral. Can you imagine all around the world people watching the People's Steeple come to life? When they come to Christchurch they will want to experience the People's Steeple."
The future of the cathedral rests with the Anglican synod, a 225-member governing body for Canterbury Anglicans including elected lay members and priests. On September 9, the synod will vote on three options for the cathedral's future including, restoration, building a new church or handing it over to the Government to manage on behalf of citizens.
Dalziel said the future of the cathedral had divided the city because the decision rested with the church, rather than the city.
"The building belongs to the city and it means more to the city than it does the church.
Dalziel went on to clarify her statement, saying "to the church it is a religious building, but to the city it is more than that".
"It is the Christ Church Cathedral, it is a category 1 Heritage building [and] it sits at the heart of the city . . . it holds a very special place."
She reiterated her earlier warnings that a church decision not to save the cathedral would lead to "years of indecision".
"I don't think the city can wait . . . there is only one decision that gives us certainty."
Brandt had been campaigning to bring the idea to life since 2011 and his latest model was another way to raise awareness of the project.
Anglican spokesman Jayson Rhodes said Bishop Victoria Matthews had no comment to make on the People's Steeple concept or on Dalziel's words about the cathedral.