History & heritage, Things to do  |  5 Sep 2019

The unique history and heritage of Christ Church Cathedral will be celebrated at the upcoming Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival 2019.

The festival runs from 7 to 28 October and this year’s theme is Encounter Our Stories.

Christ Church Cathedral, before the earthquakes.

Christ Church Cathedral as it was before the earthquakes.

The team at the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project will be taking the opportunity to tell the story of the Cathedral, its history, significance as a heritage icon in Christchurch, and its journey to reinstatement.

Heritage advisor for the project, Jenny May, says the Cathedral is one of New Zealand’s most significant heritage buildings.
“The reinstated Cathedral will retain as much of the original heritage fabric as possible.  Importantly, what it will always retain are its stories; the spiritual, social and cultural history that makes it such an important icon in our city’s life and history.  Once reinstated the Cathedral will be a safe, functional, flexible and comfortable place for worship and community gatherings ready for present and future generations but respecting its 19th century envelope.”

As part of the Heritage Festival, the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project will be offering three different experiences: 

  • For children aged five to 10, Rose Window Making sessions will be held at Tūranga. Children will hear the story of how the window was created, what the design means, what happened in the earthquakes, and what will happen to the window as part of the reinstatement project. They will also get a chance to make their own Rose Window using cardboard and cellophane, do colouring and other activities.
  • Live demonstrations. The Cathedral’s stone work and stained glass will be brought to life in terms of their stories and craftsmanship. The project team will be holding live demonstrations in front of the Cathedral with expert heritage commentary. People will be able to see examples of retrieved Cathedral artefacts up close.
  • A glimpse behind the fences. Small groups will be guided onto the site by local heritage and Cathedral experts for a chance to see get a closer view of the Cathedral.

The live demonstrations are open to the public, however, bookings are required for our other events.

All events are free of charge and registrations are now open. Go to www.reinstate.org.nz to find out more about registering, or visit ccc.govt.nz/heritagefestival and search under Cathedral.