8 Sep 2009

Historic church fire confirmed as arson

12:11 pm on 8 September 2009

A fire that significantly damaged an historic church in Christchurch last month has been confirmed as arson.

St Paul's Trinity Church, built in 1864, is one of the oldest in New Zealand.

The fire caused a considerable amount of damage and destroyed an $800,000 organ.

The church had just won a $600,000 heritage grant to upgrade it when the arson occurred on 5 August. Its repair will now cost millions of dollars.

A mattress is said to have been laid at the east side door of the church on Cashel St and set alight.