Friday, March 2, 2012

Got a spare $50 million?

The decision has been announced, our cathedral is to be brought down to safe levels (mostly to around 2m - 3m high). Read all about it here. But read the sums mentioned carefully. Even a new cathedral on a relatively modest scale will not be cheap. I hope we discuss this. The world today is not the world of 1850. Should we be spending tens of millions of dollars on a large building when ... [insert problems of today's world here]? What is the best witness we bring through the building of a new cathedral? One that satisfies the history-induced expectations of the Canterbury public? Or one that is affordable in the context of today's troubled world?


Father Ron Smith said...

I, personally, as a retired priest in the Diocese, feel that the bishop and the Cathedral Chapter have made the right decision. Photographs taken in the last few days have revealed more damage. And with the ongoing prospect of more quakes, the building needs to be dismantled – a procedure which the bishop has promised will happen – No bulldozers, no wrecking balls; just a painstaking dismantling – with an eye on what might be recovered from the ruins that will be of future value in a new cathedral.

Other iconic church buildings in the city have already been demolished, and the diocese has much more to think about than a costly resurrection of what has been an iconic building. What is needed now – after the cathedral’s de-consecration – is an earnest ‘looking forward’ to what might be put in its place that is earth-quake proof, and as a potent symbol of faith in the future of the City and the Church here in Christchurch.

My birth-place in Coventry, after the destruction of its mediaeval Cathedral during World War II, took the opportunity to ‘do something different’, and the resultant new Cathedral bears witness to a resurrection body that can endure. There is life after death. That is our raison d’etre!

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I've just read your by-line link from Titusonenine, and I must say, I find the comment there disgusting. I would ask your readers to click on the link and see for themselves the calumny spouted there.

Father Ron Smith said...

"They will know you're my disciples by your Love" - Jesus Christ

"Little Children, love one another" - St.John, Apostle of Jesus