Church services held amid quake devastation

7:31 am on 28 February 2011

Congregations from three inner-city churches have held an emotional open-air service in Christchurch, and prayed for those killed and missing in the earthquake.

Two of the churches are in ruins while the other is blocked behind the inner-city cordon.

Rev David Moore told the 30 or so people at the service in St Albans Park that the sheer scale of the destruction and deaths was hard to fathom.

Parishioners from Christchurch Cathedral, St Luke's and St Michael's Anglican churches were told they had gathered in very difficult times, when people are undoubtedly alarmed.

Rev Moore says everyone knows someone who has been profoundly affected by Tuesday's earthquake.

The Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, who is usually based at the cathedral, says people should not deny their grief.

She says residents should accept that they have just been through some of the hardest days of their life, but also that there is healing and wholeness ahead.

Bishop Matthews attended a service at St Andrew's College chapel, with other Anglican services at St Peter's in Upper Riccarton, St Timothy's at Burnside, St Paul's at Papanui and St Chad's in Buckley Road.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says church services afforded residents a time for sombre reflection.