6 Mar 2010

Church consecrated, 164 years after completion

5:01 pm on 6 March 2010

The world's first new Anglican cathedral in 80 years was consecrated on Saturday in New Plymouth.

St Mary's was completed in 1846 and was always meant to become a Cathedral but the plans lapsed as war with Maori consumed the attention of settlers.

The visiting Archbishop of York delivered the Sermon at Saturday's 2½ hour service, involving bishops from as far as Fiji and Malaysia.

The country's first Cathedral kaumatua was installed, and the Bishop of Taranaki Phillip Richardson apologised for the church breaching Maori trust by taking the settlers' side during the Taranaki wars.

The flags and crests of British regiments that fought in the region still line the stone walls and Bishop Richardson says talks will begin on dealing with the symbols so the Cathedral can be a place for all.