Florist Christchurch in Cathedral Rebuild
One of the most iconic structures in all of New Zealand is the fabled Christchurch Cathedral which currently lies in ruins after a massive earthquake heavily damaged the structure in 2011. Currently, florists Christchurch business owners are assisting in the effort to have the structure rebuilt which reflects the great importance the residents have placed on this building.
However, the Anglican Church has plans to raze and build another church in its place which has garnered some of the townspeople to fight their plans. Given the origins and rich history of the church, it is understandable given the sentimental attachment that people want to see the old church rebuilt.
The History of the Christchurch Cathedral
The history of the church itself goes back to the Canterbury Association which wanted to construct the city of Christchurch around a large cathedral. The early efforts started in 1850 and progressed as plans were changes and the location moved to alternate locations.
Enter Henry Harper, the first Bishop of Christchurch who arrived in 1856 and began to really push the project. His energy and passion helped fuel the drive to start building the church in 1859 according to many of his specifications. While it took until 1864 before the cornerstone was laid, financial issues plagued the construction of the church which took several years to sort out. By 1873, a new architect had arrived and took over the construction project.
The tower was completed in 1881, but the rest of the church was not finished until 1904, several years after the passing of Henry Harper. The spire itself was most impressive as it stood at 207 feet and towered above the city. Over the years there were major renovations that included replacing the roof slates in 2007.
Earthquake and Rebuilding Efforts
On February 22nd, 2011, the Christchurch area was hit with a massive earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed many businesses and residences. The church suffered massive damage as well with the spire coming down as well as significant sections of the building as well. The church itself lay in ruins and was shut down. Today, the only residents are the pidgins that have taken to roost in the upper areas of the structure.
What remained of the tower was collapsed March of the following year after surviving another earthquake in June, 2011 that destroyed the west wall. However, florists Christchurch residents have purchased from for many years are helping with efforts to rebuild the cathedral. A true landmark for the city and even the inspiration for the logo, rebuilding the church will take a considerable effort, especially with its vulnerability to earthquakes as the cathedral has been damaged by previous quakes since 1881.
The Anglican Church has decided to demolish the rest of the structure and build a new one in its place. Various groups around the city have protested that move and have taken the issue to court, but virtually all of the judgments have been in favor of the church. Until a final decision is made whether to restore or replace the cathedral, worshippers are currently holding their services in what is known as the Cardboard Cathedral nearby.