As Diocese of Christchurch synod representatives prepare themselves to decide whether to restore, replace, or give away the earthquake-stricken Cathedral in the Square, Bishop Victoria has broadcast the following prayer:
Gracious and holy God,
We ask your grace, direction and mercy for the Synod to be convened In Christchurch.
We are especially mindful of the question of the future of the Christchurch Cathedral building in the Square. It has inspired many and is a beloved presence in the centre of the city. We are also aware that the earthquakes and aftershocks have rocked and shaken her to bits.
The people who worshipped in her over many years; the people who visited her; and those who simply gazed upon her in awe now seek the best future for this Cathedral building. May your Holy Spirit be so present with those gathered in Synod that each and all hear your voice and make a united decision that is to your glory and honour.
Throughout the debates, discussion and information sessions on this and every topic before the Synod, may your people be deeply aware that it is the church, the Body of Christ, that is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We pray in the strong name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Shortly after midday on Saturday, September 9, the synod representatives will cast their ballots in favour of one of three options (click here to read the motion) that will decide the cathedral’s fate.
If they choose Option A, they will be voting for the full reinstatement of the building, taking up the Government grant and loan, Christchurch City Council loan and Great Christchurch Buildings Trust fundraising pledge, together with the Church's cathedral insurance pay-out.
A vote for Option B is a vote for the demolition of the ruined cathedral – and the construction, in its place, “of an inspiring new cathedral”.
Or the synod reps could choose Option C, which would see ChristChurch Cathedral gifted to the Government for the people of New Zealand.
In this week’s edition of Anglican e-life, Bishop Victoria offers the prayer just quoted – and her support for whichever option the synod chooses:
“As I approach Synod,” she wrote, “I can say I do not have any sense of how Synod will vote about the Cathedral, nor am I worried.
“Every option has certain things to recommend it and I would be able to support any of the three options.”
The synod will gather on Thursday evening, September 7 at the Transitional Cathedral (234 Hereford St) for the Synod Eucharist and the Bishop’s charge.
It will reconvene on Friday, and Saturday, at St Christopher’s Church, 244 Avonhead Rd, Avonhead.
Taonga will seek to report any further developments between now and the synod – and will tell the story once the votes have been cast.