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Clearing work starts on the Cathedral and two more churches reopened

Clearing work starts on the Cathedral – December 2015

Clearing work around the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament  has commenced as on-going investigations into the viability of saving the nave of the cathedral pick up pace.
Several containers have been removed, many artefacts have been catalogued and put into safe storage and much of the site is now clear. A new fence is being built around the perimeter of the site.
Keith Beal, Property and Development Manager for the Diocese, said that coupled with the work being carried out on site, investigations were continuing behind the scenes.
The Design Team for the initial stage has been appointed with Alec Bruce as architect and engineers Jamie Lester (OPUS) and Grant Wilkinson (Ruamoko) working on the detail of the concept designs. Sir Miles Warren continues to contribute advice and recommendations to the team.
Supporting the design effort are Carole-Lynne Kerrigan (CLK Heritage), Site Safe and Rawlinsons. Naylor Love is assisting with the initial site establishment.
“Once we had the team in place and thanks to Sir Miles Warren’s input, the concept options have been advancing quite rapidly. As soon as we have removed more of the rubble and are able to carry out further investigations of both the ground and the building itself we will be able to plan with more certainty.
“We will then need to look at the viability of the options open to us before settling on an agreed path forward.  Hopefully by the end of February we  will have a more definite idea of what we will be able to do.
“It does looking promising though,” he said.

Two more churches reopen

Parishoners at St Matthew’s Catholic church in Bryndwr and Our Lady of Assumption church in Hoon Hay will both be able to celebrate Christmas in their own churches following extensive repairs.
Both were closed following the 2011 earthquakes. St Matthew’s  required strengthening as well as the removal of asbestos while Our Lady of Assumption also required strengthening and a new roof.
“These two churches are part of the systematic repair programme that is taking place right across the Diocesan region.”
St Anne’s, Woolston, and St Peter’s Beckenham opened in October and November respectively.
“We expect to have both Leeston and Temuka churches open by Easter (March 27) and St Mary’s, Hokitika, by the middle of next year and we still retain our confidence that we will save all 13 heritage churches,” he said.
These heritage churches are broken down into Heritage 1, Heritage 2 and listed on the District Plan. Each individual group is:
Heritage 1: Cathedral of  Blessed Sacrament, Ashburton, Timaru, Waimate, Hokitika, Amberley and Akaroa.
Heritage 2: Little River, Pleasant Point, Temuka, and Hanmer.
District Plan: Rangiora and Leeston.

Christchurch School of Music

Temporary buildings for the Christchurch School of Music (CSM) are in place on the former site beside the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Barbadoes Street.
The Diocese, which owns the property, has leased out 1000 sq m of land on the corner with Ferry Road and has provided four portable classrooms that will be used for teaching, meetings, office requirements and music and instrument storage.
The CSM will move in over the Christmas break.
For 17 years the CSM’s home was in the former convent for the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, but the building had to be pulled down after the earthquakes. Since then the school’s office has been in temporary facilities in Waltham Road.

New music centre at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Manchester Street

The new parish complex at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral will be complete and ready for occupancy in late February.
The complex includes offices for use by the parish, an expanded space to allow for the sale of books and religious articles and facilities for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Choir, other music groups and the wider community.
It will incorporate a state-of-the-art acoustically designed choir area, music and instrument storage areas, rehearsal room, library storage and kitchen facilities.  With new landscaping and improved off-street car parking, the facility will be available for hire to other choirs and music groups for rehearsals or as a music events centre.