Mere Anglicanism

Govt mediator appointed in NZ cathedral fight

The New Zealand government will appoint an independent consultant to help negotiate the dispute over the future of Christchurch Cathedral. Severely damaged by earthquakes in February and December 2011, the diocese of Christchurch led by the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews initiated demolition work in April 2012. However, historic preservation groups were able to block the demolition that year. The Court of Appeal lifted the injunction in July. Conservation groups have called for the gothic style cathedral to be restored to its original design, while the diocese has indicated that it would like to rebuild the cathedral in modern taste. At a 3 Sept 2015 meeting, Bishop Matthews acknowledged the dispute over the cathedral had affected the wider community. “We are also aware that indecision about the future of Christ Church Cathedral is having a significant effect on the re-birth of Christchurch from the centre outward.” She said a government appointed consultant would “engage with the experts” representing all points of view. “It is my hope and commitment that before Christmas we will know the details about the future of Christchurch Cathedral as well as the larger Diocesan recovery plan,” she said. The bishop also announced that the Rev. Lawrence Kimberley (pictured with Bishop Matthews) had been appointed as the new dean of Christchurch Cathedral. The post had been vacant since the death of the former dean, the Very Rev. Lynda Patterson, in July 2014.

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