The people of New Zealand could be gifted the Christ Church Cathedral.
The Anglican Diocese of Christchurch announced yesterday it will consider this option, when members meet to discuss the cathedral’s future.
There had originally been two options to move forward with the cathedral, including reinstatement, which includes a Government offer of a $10 million grant and a $15 million suspensory loan.
Alongside this is a $10m grant from Christchurch City Council which is subject to public consultation and fundraising, and a $13.7m pledge from Great Christchurch Buildings Trust.
The second option is to construct an inspiring highly functional new cathedral in the square on the current site, which would incorporate features and materials from the old cathedral building.
The Anglican Diocese is conducting a series of area meetings this week, before the Church Property Trustees (CPT) make their final decision on September 9.
Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews says by gifting the cathedral building to the Government, it would be reinstated to its former glory and managed by them on behalf of all New Zealanders for use as a public space.
“I am not saying that will happen but it is a possibility I think we need to put before the synod,” Bishop Matthews said.
She also explained there was concern with the option to reinstate the building, due to the risk of the high cost involved.
“For example, if the damage is worse than anticipated, or there is a fundraising shortfall, we would be in serious trouble even with the generous government offer,” she said. NZN