Release of documents would breach trust: church

9:55 pm on 27 April 2012

The Anglican Church says releasing all documents relating to the demolition of the Christ Church cathedral would breach the trust of those it has been working with.

The church has come under pressure to release the documents, after the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery released all documents held by the Government, and urged the church to do the same.

The Government documents show the magnitude 6.0 aftershock on 23 December greatly increased the damage to the building and the concern about having people working inside it.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has made public more than 1000 pages of documents relating to the cathedral.

The documents show that there was significant new damage to the west wing, the tower, and north and south walls.

In February, any securing works were revised due to concern that an aftershock of a similar intensity could happen while work was underway, and that this could pose a risk to contractors and consultants.

Demolition of the cathedral began a month ago.

Bishop Victoria Matthews says she has no problem with the Government releasing its documents, but says the church needs to be more careful with its own documents.

She says the church doesn't have any secrets to hide, but wants to honour the trust relationship it has with the professionals who have been working on the building.

Meanwhile, a group opposing the demolition of the cathedral says it is hopeful it can halt its demolition and legal action would be a last resort.

The group met with members of the church, including Bishop Victoria Matthews, Friday morning and presented a proposal to fully restore the building.

Following the meeting, the group's spokesperson, Mark Belton, says its members are positive about working with church leaders to save the church.

Mr Belton says members told church leaders they want the demolition halted, so the engineering community can come up with possibilities for restoring it.

Bishop Matthews says the Anglican Church will respond to the group's proposal in a week.