Friday, April 12, 2013
We must get it right
In the particular case of the option of building a new cathedral from scratch we have a rare opportunity to build the right church for the right era for the right people for the right purposes. We cannot and must not fail at this juncture in the life of the Diocese, of the church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and of the city of Christchurch and province of Canterbury.
Thus if we determine that we are heading in the direction of the option of a new cathedral then we have a very special responsibility to determine that a new cathedral is built for the church of today and tomorrow. Simultaneously we must determine that we are building a 'mother church' for the whole diocese and not a church which preserves a narrow slice of Anglican style centred on choral worship.
Thus I generally applaud the exterior concept of the proposed design for a new cathedral ("Option 3") and I have severe and serious questions about the interior concept of this design. It may 'only' be a concept, but if it is, why is it a concept anchored around robed clergy, a choir, a pulpit six feet above contradiction, aeroplane seating? Note that I have omitted mention in this critical list of urgent questions, the question of a 'place-holding' giant depiction of the Madonna and Child as part of the 'It's only a concept, Peter'! I have listened ... it is only a place-holder!
Readers here will be aware that I have been pointing them to Bosco Peters' (updating) posts on the cathedral designs, where he has produced a draft alternative for the interior of Option 3. That draft is now improved and in colour and reproduced above for inspection, critique and further improvement. Thank you Bosco and Andrew.
We must get it right if we go for Option 3. A new cathedral must be the mother church for the whole diocese. It must express the advances in liturgy and ecclesiology we have experienced since the 19th century cathedral was built. It must express the life of our bicultural society.
It can be done!