WelCom February 2024
Christchurch Bishop Michael Gielen has signalled the preferred location for a new cathedral precinct to replace a former building that succumbed to the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
The 115-year-old Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes St, was demolished in 2020, after it was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch quakes.
Three possible locations are being investigated by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch.
In a letter to the diocese, Bishop Gielen emphasised the urgency of clarity regarding the Christchurch cathedral, stating that it’s time for decisiveness.
He then addressed the key question of the cathedral’s location, proposing three potential sites: Barbadoes St – the site of the former cathedral; Armagh Street – until his letter the current proposed site; Manchester St, the site of St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.
Bishop Gielen said the diocese preferred to build the new cathedral at the old Barbadoes St site.
‘The advice given to me is that Barbadoes St – returning to our humble roots – is the best place for us to locate our mother church, our Cathedral.
Catholic Māori spoke of it as being an anchor.’
‘The cost-of-living crisis means our community needs us more than ever before; and the realities of global inflation necessitated a wholesale rethink of the project.
‘My vision is that our new cathedral is beautiful, timeless in design and is a worthy house that honours God and represents our faith tradition.
‘It must be a place where all feel welcome so we can continue to foster the faith we have received and to grow in our own call to holiness.’
The diocese will seek feedback on the proposed locations over the coming months.