Frustration as Cathedral Treasures Waste Away

Press Release – Anglican Diocese of Christchurch

There is frustration and disappointment as new images from inside ChristChurch Cathedral show that items of sacred and historical value have suffered further extensive damage from exposure to the weather, continued after shocks, and birds.

Frustration as Cathedral Treasures Waste Away

There is frustration and disappointment as new images from inside ChristChurch Cathedral show that items of sacred and historical value have suffered further extensive damage from exposure to the weather, continued after shocks, and birds.

The Rt. Reverend Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, says it must always be remembered that people are first rather than buildings and lives were lost and people seriously injured in the February 2011 earthquake. Alongside that was the loss of homes and treasured buildings.

“It is gutting and upsetting to see that due to the on going legal process we are unable to retrieve treasured items from inside the Cathedral and make it safe. A building that glorified God, that was our ‘mother church,’ we are now unable to give it the dignity it deserves,” says Bishop Victoria.

A camera was flown into the Cathedral this week. Bishop Victoria says while it was good to see the images the loss of history was hard to take.

“I am glad we deconsecrated the Cathedral as what is occurring now is an act of violence against a building and the stories and history that it contains of Canterbury and of the Christian faith. A building that was used to tell and glorify God, and was a place of hope and life for the community, is now wasting away a slow death and that is no way to treat a once sacred building,” says Bishop Victoria.

Inside the Cathedral it is clear to see on going damage from after shocks, the Cathedral being open to the weather as well as birds. The images show further damage to items of historical value such as the tiles that show the arrival of the first four ships to Canterbury as well as the pulpit that has scenes from the life of the first bishop of Christchurch depicted in stone. The organ is also clearly damaged but the extent is unknown until the Cathedral can be made safe for entry to retrieve the items.

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