03 365 0088

The fate of the Christchurch Cathedral has been decided

The fate of the Christchurch Cathedral has been decided which will come as a disappointment to many who possess fond memories of the cathedral but it does also present a new opportunity for the diocese.

Christchurch Cathedral to be demolished

Despite it's national and international significance as well as being regarded as New Zealand's finest renaissance-style building, it was announced over the weekend that this beautiful building will not be restored. 


At the centre of the decision was the cathedral’s inability to pass a 12-point test as set out in the Section 38 notice that was issued in 2015 by CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority).

Section 38 allowed for the deconstruction of the Cathedral, in the quest to see if the nave and other parts could be saved. Section 38 also gave the Diocese the power to demolish the building entirely if it was found that it could not pass the 12-point test outlined in the application.

The late bishop, Barry Jones, undertook this application in the hope that he might be able to save the nave of the church, and then build more modest bell towers and a new sanctuary. But even this design could not pass the 12-point test because it compromised too much on functionality as well as being expensive.

Just saving the nave and rebuilding on a modest scale was estimated to cost in excess of $91 million, while to fully restore, it is estimated that it would cost $149 million. And the big worry is that with restoration-type work these costs can escalate quickly.

Many people will have fond memoirs of this cathedral but this decision allows the diocese to look at alternate locations that will make the cathedral more accessible, more suitable and more appropriate as a place of worship.


No timetable has been set for the demolition to start. A new location for the Cathedral is being investigated.

#christchurch #cathedral #restoration