Christchurch Cathedral Coming Down

Bishop Victoria Matthews of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch announced March 2 that the earthquake-damaged structure will be "carefully deconstructed down to a level of approximately two to three meters" to meet safety requirements.

The severely damaged Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, cannot be saved, Bishop Victoria Matthews of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch announced March 2. The diocese faced an estimated cost of $50-100 million to build a new cathedral or do a rebuild that incorporates parts of the existing, 130-year-old cathedral, which was badly damaged by a February 2011 earthquake. With additional damage caused by a second quake in December 2011, both proved impossible, she said.

"The Christchurch Cathedral will be carefully deconstructed down to a level of approximately two to three metres in order to meet safety requirements and allow the safe retrieval" of important items, including its stained glass windows, Matthews said, adding the decision was made necessary by section 38 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. "After the 23 December quakes, CERA said the plans for making safe the cathedral were no longer adequate."

The decision was recommended by the Cathedral Project Team and consulting experts in engineering, project management, and heritage. "We acknowledge the high level of community interest and sense of ownership, as the cathedral was both an iconic building and a place of regular worship by many. However, this is now a very dangerous building that needs to be made safe," she said.

Ongoing aftershocks continue to damage the cathedral. Matthews also said other churches in dioceses in the country have sustained damage that is irreparable or too expensive to repair.

"The cathedral will be deconstructed with the utmost care and respect while at the same time protecting the treasures within its walls -- there will be no bulldozers or wrecking balls on the job," she said. The deconstruction job may take as long as a year.

Download Center

  • EHS Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2021

    September 2021


      Managing Combustible Dust and Risk Mitigation
      The Rising Popularity of Safety Helmets on the Jobsite
      Five Tips for a Successful Wear Trial
      Medical Surveillance Versus Medical Screening
    View This Issue