Cathedral column: Cathedral restoration progresses

WelCom March 2021 After more than two years’ closure, Sacred Heart Cathedral is making good progress in its restoration. Contractors LT McGuinness report almost uninterrupted work on strengthening the roof…

WelCom March 2021

Cathedral column: Cathedral restoration progresses Archdiocese of Wellington
Cathedral column: Cathedral restoration progresses Archdiocese of Wellington
Fr James Lyons.

After more than two years’ closure, Sacred Heart Cathedral is making good progress in its restoration.

Contractors LT McGuinness report almost uninterrupted work on strengthening the roof structure, which was the major contributing factor to the low safety rating. This should be completed in the next few months.

The cathedral’s protective white coating resembles a huge bandage. This prompted a youngster from the nearby school to ask, ‘When will the cathedral be well again?’ 

Its ‘wellness’ remains a great concern to the parish and archdiocese as there is still about $5million needed to complete the project. This is on the assumption that we proceed to install a base-isolation component in addition to the restoration of the Hobday Organ and interior refurbishment.

A decision on base-isolation is yet to be made.

Cathedral column: Cathedral restoration progresses Archdiocese of Wellington
Cathedral column: Cathedral restoration progresses Archdiocese of Wellington
The cathedral’s protective white coating during restoration resembles a huge bandage. Photo: WelCom

The full title of the cathedral is The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Mary, his Mother. This recognises St Mary’s Cathedral built on the same site in 1858 and destroyed by fire in 1898.

The cathedral is also the burial site of the first Bishop, Philippe Viard, who died in 1872 after serving the diocese for 22 years.

The importance of the cathedral restoration is underscored by a major contribution from the Government’s pandemic response grant to assist construction and employment. Sacred Heart Cathedral is of significance to New Zealand’s cultural heritage with an A-listing for historic places.

To donate towards the restoration please contact Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, PO Box 1937, Wellington 6140. Parish Office: (04) 496-1700.

Email: cathedral.parish@wn.catholic.org.nz

Website: www.mcshwellington.org

Fr James Lyons for the Cathedral Fundraising Campaign.