Anglicans will 'write history' on Christ Church Cathedral's fate: Bishop
Anglicans will be "writing history" when they decide the fate of Christ Church Cathedral this week, Bishop Victoria Matthews says.
The Synod, a 220-member governing body for Canterbury Anglicans, met in central Christchurch on Thursday night to mark the beginning of two days of debate about the earthquake-damaged cathedral.
Synod members will assemble in St Christopher's Church in Avonhead on Friday morning to debate three options: restore the cathedral, gift the building to the Government, or knock it down and build a new one. The debate will continue on Saturday before an expected vote in the afternoon.
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On Thursday night, Bishop Victoria Matthews gave equal praise to the three options, but said each one would take time to deliver. She said she was "fine with any one of the options."
She said gifting the cathedral to the government "may require the [cathedral] insurance money to be part of the gift".
"At this Synod you will make a very important decision for the life of the diocese and city," she said.
"But none of the options mean we will wake up next year and suddenly find a functional building in the Square."
"There is nothing fast about a Cathedral. It is time consuming and painful in its complexity yet the end result is an inspirational work of art."
"Regardless of the option chosen by this Synod, we are writing history."
She said restoration "recognises the history of this city and diocese" and "affirms our deep connection with the first four ships and the founding of the Canterbury settlement".
She said a new build had the "advantage that if we do it well we will have a fit for purpose building and there will be no need to fundraise."
"Will there be hard feelings about the loss of the cathedral? Yes, I have no doubt, but do remember that the recent poll said that the people polled are divided over a new build and reinstatement. They just want something to happen."