Cathedral damage being reassessed

11:12 am on 15 February 2012

The Bishop of Christchurch expects to begin looking at engineers' assessments of Christchurch Cathedral next month.

Victoria Matthews told Nine to Noon the quake-damaged building is being reassessed and will then go to a peer review by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority before being reviewed by the Historic Places Trust.

Bishop Matthews said the process is as transparent as possible, but she does not know yet if the end of the cathedral is an inevitability.

She said the state of the building is very sad, but bringing the whole structure down is not likely to be the outcome and there should be something left to hold on to.

The cathedral was de-consecrated in early November. It was built 130 years ago.

Timber frame option

Former city missioner David Morrell says he believes it would be possible to rebuild the cathedral so that it retains recognisable features.

Canon Morrell told Nine to Noon it would be possible to save recognisable side aisles and to clad the buildng in stone, built on a wooden frame, which would be relatively cheap.

He said George Scott, the original architect, recommended that a timber frame would better withstand earthquakes, but the church commissioners at the time insisted on stone.