So, here's the thing. Until a couple of days ago the future of Christ Church Cathedral here in Christchurch seemed like an assessment of the merits of reinstatement with a large tens of millions (30-50m) fund shortfall to raise versus the merits of a new build cathedral, priced at under our $42m insurance proceeds (with a sum within the $42m allowed for future repairs, maintenance and insurance).
Then we had the announcement of a firmed up government offer ($10m plus $15m suspensory loan) plus a City Council offer ($10m, to be confirmed via public consultation), along with a clarified commitment from the GCBT fund-raisers ($13.7m). Fingers and thumbs, that is, $90.7m.
But is the total we need to reach $104m or $127m? The NZ Herald points us in the latter direction. Either way, the government would set up with CPT an independent fund-raising trust to get on with the job of raising funds. And the government would pass enabling legislation to fast track consenting requirements for the work to press ahead.
Incidentally, we could call the government offer a parliamentary offer because it has cross-party support: that is, no member of parliament is going to side with those who wish to see a new cathedral built. Our political masters, local and national, are batting for the one and the same side, singing from the same hymn sheet.
The question for our 7-9 September Synod, as we begin our pre-Synod meetings this week, is whether we now have a "game changer" influencing our deliberations.