Central city, History & heritage  |  12 May 2020

A dawn blessing service at Christ Church Cathedral today marks the start of stabilisation work in preparation for the restoration of the site.

The Cathedral Square site and project workers have been blessed during the service, led by the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Lawrence Kimberley.

The Dean describes the ceremony as an important city milestone.

“As the sun rose, we reflected quietly on the challenges Christchurch has faced as a city and what we all face now as a nation,” he says.

“Yet, it was also a time to celebrate how far we have come and how much further we will go by working together and supporting one another.”

With physical distancing restrictions in place under the Alert Level 3 lockdown, the ceremony was live-streamed on the cathedral website, with only a few people permitted on-site.

The Bishop of Te Waipounamu, Richard Wallace, Ngāi Tahu’s Dr Te Maire Tau, project team member Matt Tippen, and contractor Naylor Love representative Gary Davidson attended the ceremony.

The Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Peter Carrell, says that the “blessing represents ongoing progress and momentum for this key project for the city, despite the challenges all are facing”.

“It’s a positive and optimistic reminder of the spiritual home the cathedral represents for the Anglican church in Canterbury and the West Coast and the revitalisation the cathedral’s reinstatement will bring to the city and Cathedral Square,” he says.

The stabilisation phase, which will take up to two years to complete, will cost $11.8 million.