The reinstatement of Christ Church Cathedral has received royal backing, with the Prince of Wales agreeing to become the project’s Royal Patron.
The Prince this afternoon visited the earthquake-damaged Cathedral to learn first-hand about the multimillion-dollar reinstatement project that will lead to the cathedral looking much the same externally as it did before the earthquakes.
“Today was a special opportunity for us to update His Royal Highness in person on progress and to hear his thoughts,’’ says the Dean of Christchurch, Lawrence Kimberley.
“This project has all the complexities that come with working on a treasured heritage place. Our challenge, and opportunity, is to honour the spiritual significance of the Cathedral as a house of prayer open to all, as well as the heritage and uniqueness of the Cathedral, and to better equip it for the future.
“The Prince of Wales is extremely knowledgeable and has a keen interest in heritage and architecture. We are delighted to have his support as the project progresses,’’ says Dean Lawrence.
The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, The Right Reverend Dr Peter Carrell, says it is a tremendous honour for the reinstatement project to be granted Royal Patronage.
“The Royal Patronage recognises and reinforces the significance of the Cathedral as the centre of the Anglican worship in Canterbury, a heritage treasure, and city icon.
“We are thrilled that the Prince of Wales’ has also made a substantial donation to the project, which we hope will encourage others. His Royal Highness's commitment to our special place will enhance interest in the Cathedral nationally and internationally,’’ Bishop Peter says.
The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall are in New Zealand for a week-long visit.
They spent this morning in Christchurch visiting Tuahiwi Marae and Cashmere High School.
The Royal couple then travelled to Tūranga, where the Prince met with representatives of the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project and then toured the Cathedral, while the Duchess attended a Royal Commonwealth Society young writers’ workshop.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall then took a public walk through Cathedral Square, where they greeted some of the many royal fans who had gathered there in the hope of seeing them.
Tomorrow, the Prince will visit Kaikōura.
The Duchess will remain in Christchurch and will visit the Battered Women’s Trust – a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting families to live violence free – and the Botanic Gardens