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Christchurch Cathedral demolition approved: The Church of England Newspaper, November 25, 2012 p 6. November 29, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
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A New Zealand court has turned back a legal challenge from an architectural preservation group that sought to block the demolition of earthquake-ravaged Christchurch Cathedral.

On 15 November the court rejected the petition of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, which had asked the court to stop demolition as the Cathedral was protected by an act of Parliament and could not be torn down without government sanction.

However, Justice Lester Chisholm ruled the Cathedral could be demolished, if a new Cathedral was constructed in its place. “Unless the terms of the Cathedral trust are varied, either the structure that remains will have to be repaired or it will have to be replaced by another Cathedral.

“While there must be a cathedral on the site, it does not necessarily have to replicate the Cathedral as it stood before the earthquakes occurred,” the court held.’

In an email to members of her diocese, Bishop Victoria Matthews wrote: “We have permission to deconstruct the old Cathedral and build a new Cathedral in the Square, and we are expected to use reasonable speed in doing so.

“The major deciding point seems to be the difference between building a Cathedral on the present site versus re-constructing the present Cathedral on the present site,” she said, adding “it is a 200-paragraph decision and I will bring to your attention further details at a later time.”

On 22 February 2011 the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island was badly damaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The Cathedral’s tower collapsed and the walls and masonry were badly damaged, while the rose window above the altar was destroyed in a June aftershock.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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