Cathedral to be consecrated after 175-year journey

1:19 pm on 28 October 2017

The last cathedral in the country is to be consecrated today - 175 years after it was first envisioned.

The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.

The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. Photo: RNZ

Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell sits on land bought by Bishop George Selwyn in 1843. Its first foundation stone was laid more than a century later in 1957.

Consecrating a building dedicates it as a place for religious purpose and it can only be done once the building is finished and debt-free.

The Anglican Bishop of Auckland, the Right Reverend Ross Bay, said consecrating the church held significant meaning.

"We're wanting to say to God, if you like, by your grace we have done this, so we want to offer it to you, so that your good purposes can be worked out from us through this building."

Bishop Selwyn Chapel at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland

The Bishop Selwyn Chapel at Holy Trinity Cathedral. Photo: Supplied

A lack of funds had slowed the process, but overseas cathedrals can take centuries to be given the status, he said.

"The community is now liberated from the pressure to finish and to build."

The cathedral could now focus on future projects, he said.

Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Anne Mills, said the Cathedral was a space for church and for city, and its purpose was to be a centre for educational, social, charitable and missionary work.

"[Bishop Selwyn] was looking to the future and so this generation has a place where there can be joy and lament as well as an expression of local and international concerns," Ms Mills said.

Bishop Selwyn arrived in New Zealand as the first Anglican Bishop of New Zealand in 1842 and returned to the United Kingdom in 1868 to be Bishop of Lichfield until his death.

The current Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave, will attend the consecration service along with bishops from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific.

The previous Dean of the Cathedral, Jo Kelly-Moore, led the project to complete the Cathedral before leaving to be Archdeacon of Canterbury in England and will also attend the service.

The public service will be at the cathedral from 3pm today.