Sunday 4 January 2015


Christ Church Cathedral is a deconsecrated Anglican cathedral in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. It was built between 1864 and 1904, in the centre of the city surrounded by Cathedral Square. It was the cathedral seat of the Bishop of Christchurch in the New Zealand tikanga of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Over its history, the building (mostly the spire) has been damaged by earthquakes in 1881, 1888, 1901, 1922, and September 2010. The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake destroyed the spire and part of the tower, and severely damaged the structure of the remaining building. The remainder of the tower was demolished in March 2012, and the west wall collapsed in the June 2011 earthquake due to a steel structure that was supposed to stabilise the rose window pushing it in.

The Anglican Church hierarchy is determined to demolish the building and replace it with a new structure, which is one of the most controversial topics in post-quake Christchurch. Various groups have opposed the church, including taking it to court. So far, the judgements have mostly been in favour of the church, with one more judgement pending. No demolition has occurred since the removal of the tower in early 2012. Since 15 August 2013, the cathedral community has been worshipping at the "Cardboard Cathedral".

Construction of the "Cardboard" temporary cathedral started on 24 July 2012. The site, on the corner of Hereford and Madras Streets, several blocks from the permanent location, was blessed in April 2012. Designed by architect Shigeru Ban and seating around 700 people, it was expected to be completed by Christmas 2012, but the completion date was put back to July and then August 2013. The materials used in its construction include cardboard tubes, timber and steel. The dedication service was held on 15 August 2013. In November 2012 the diocese began fund raising to pay for the NZ$5 million project, following a High Court judge indicating it may not be legal to build a temporary cathedral using its insurance payout.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

After the earthquakes:

The "Cardboard Cathedral":


  1. PS: We were lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Christchurch in February 2003 before the earthquakes, hence the "before" photos above... It is so sad to see so much devastation and think of the large number of lives lost in these terrible earthquakes.

  2. WOW, what damage. The "Cardboard Cathedral" is interesting. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  3. Interesting update on what is happening in Christchurch. I was there in Nov 2012 so saw the devastation.

  4. Wow, the damage to the old church is sad to see. Not sure what to think about the Cardboard Cathedral. Happly New Year!

  5. Oh my...that's some devastating damage for sure.

  6. I'm not sure where I stand on the topic--part of me wants history and part of me wants safety. I'm so glad you have these shots. I just have a couple of the outside.

  7. What a shame! I love historic buildings but they need to build something that can withstand an earthquake.


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