The iconic cathedral in Christchurch, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake that left the whole city reeling, is to be rebuilt, the Anglican Church has announced after meeting to discuss its future.
The Gothic-style cathedral, which was originally built in 1864, used to be one of the city’s main tourist draws, but the cathedral’s spire and much of the structure were damaged by the earthquake.
Now, though, after extended talks to discuss the best course of action, the people of Christchurch are finally set to get their monument back. The 225 members of the Anglican’s local governing synod met to weigh up the options of either rebuilding the existing cathedral, building a new one or offering the remains of the structure to the government as a gift. In the end, the vote was 55 per cent in favour of the rebuild.
The construction is to stick to the same basic design as before the quake, but will improve the interior with better heating and seating and strengthen the structure to limit damage in any future tremors.
Government lawmaker Nicky Wagner described his satisfaction at what he considers a great step forward for the city.
“For many years, the cathedral has sat broken and neglected, detracting from all the amazing work taking place in Christchurch,” Wagner said in a release. “This decision gives the church, the community, businesses and tourism bodies the certainty they’ve been looking for,” he said.
The rebuild, which is expected to take 10 years in order to restore the landmark to its full former glory, will be funded by the church, taxpayers and other donors. After a period of uncertainty, the decision looks set to be great news for both the people of Christchurch and tourists who come to visit.