26 May 2017

Chch cathedral should be repaired, report recommends

5:37 pm on 26 May 2017

The Anglican bishop's claims that it's unaffordable to restore the Christ Church cathedral have not been supported by a report which says the church would only need to contributed its $42 million insurance payout.

The Christ Church Cathedral has been abandoned for almost six years.

The Christ Church Cathedral has been abandoned for almost six years. Photo: 123rf.com

The revelation is contained in the report from the Cathedral Working Group which Christchurch Rebuild Minister Nicky Wagner released today.

The report recommended the building be reinstated.

It was commissioned by the government as a way to break the deadlock between the church, which wants to demolish the cathedral and construct a new one, and heritage advocates who want to save it.

It stated the church's insurance payout could be supplemented by government and city council funding and that the remaining half of the $105m cost could be gathered through a fundraising campaign that would take between three and five years.

And it said fundraising would be easier if it was decided to restore the gothic cathedral and that money would be less forthcoming for a modern design.

Bishop Victoria Matthews has said that the cost of rebuilding the cathedral would be excessive and the church would only go ahead with restoring the building if it did not leave it in debt.

The church has now decided to put the matter to a vote when its synod, made up of 200 clergy and elected members, meets in September.

The cost of restoration is estimated to be higher than the cost of a new building by $25m to $35m.

The report talks about the importance of a restored cathedral as a tourism drawcard and notes that between 35 and 40 percent of people coming to Christchurch said they intended to come to the cathedral.

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