West Wall Closure

Proposal to Cover off the West Side of the Cathedral

Monday, 13th of April, 2015…  Anglicans Reject Proposal !

See media section at bottom of page for details.

Here is the front page of the detailed 14 page proposal. ( click on an image to expand it )Proposal

Geoffrey Rathbun, on Monday, March the 2nd, 2015, handed to the Anglican Church Offices in Church Corner, Riccarton, 2 copies of a proposal to cover off the exposed west wall of the cathedral.   Here are some excerpts from his letter of proposal…..

“The Press” – Please Pressure them
“The Press” has been informed of this proposal, but have not put out a news release.  You can help this effort by sending them a letter.  Just send it to letters@press.co.nz
You can just say how closing off the hole in the west wall will have so many benefits.  See the list below to help you choose what benefit you prefer.

The proposal involves adding a structure comprising 4 steel panels around the exposed West Gable, and the West Foyer, stopping the entry of rain and dust from this exposed side.  Bird entry by this route would also be eliminated.  This “covering structure” is free-standing and does not contact the Cathedral.  It partially utilises the “steel frame” that stands there now.  The “covering structure” is specially designed to be safe to install.  This is an independent proposal and funding will come from myself and other bodies that I have confidence will provide the remaining amounts.  An approximate cost estimate is in the region of 60 to 70 thousand dollars.
( Friday, 6th of March – prices have come in, and cost is now down to about $55,000 )

View of Final Installation

a) water and dust entry through the west gable of the Cathedral would be halted
b) bird entry from the west gable would be eliminated, and total entry area greatly reduced
c) degradation of internal elements of the Cathedral, especially at the West end would be significantly reduced
d) the structure should make it safe to enter the West Foyer and to work on it’s roof
e) the West Foyer and remains of the West Wall could then be safely dismantled and removed
f) the appearance of the Cathedral from the West will be greatly enhanced, benefitting all citizens
g) this work is “neutral” in terms of the Restoration / Demolition public debate
h) the conflict between the CPT and the Public would move to a new and more flexible position
i) the CPT would not be required to provide funds, but would be welcome to assist if they desired
j) whilst a matter between the Anglican Church and the Public, news that the CPT wished to have this protective and aesthetic work done, would provide a lift in Public support for the Anglican Church in Canterbury.
k) the strong structure will make it possible to safely enter the nave (a little bit) and make detailed observations of the internal state of the Cathedral

PDF file of the full 14 page Proposal (8.5 MB)
Cathedral Closure Proposal – Draft 4 – Presentation – Document Distribution

Support from “Heritage New Zealand”
This proposal has the support of Heritage New Zealand.  Please see a copy on page 4 of a recent email to me from Rob Hall, General Manager, Heritage New Zealand, Southern Region.

Christchurch City Council Meeting
Today, on the 5th of March I had a Pre-Application Meeting with 4 staff members of the Christchurch City Council. My aim was to obtain information about any consents required for this work.  The meeting was very successful and the information will be forwarded to the Anglican Church in support of the proposal.

Morning Report, March 11, 2015

The Star Newspaper
First Article on March 11, 2015 was a combined front page plus page three article

The Star - March 11 FP The Star - March 11 P3 - cropped

March 20 – “The Press” pushes the Miles Warren “Traditional” Option and I get an article
The Star - March 20 P7 - cropped

April 10 – Looming Deadline is Publicised !
The Star - April 10 P9 - cropped

April 15 – Anglican Church REJECTS Proposal !
The Star - April 15 - P13 - Church Rejects Proposal - cropped

Chris Lynch Morning Talkback  Audio link coming

YouTube  Video of the Installation Sequence:   https://youtu.be/ZYB9bX9Acoo


9 thoughts on “West Wall Closure

  1. Like this idea to protect this building from further exposure to outside weather & bird elements.

  2. Good for you, Geoff,

    I applaud your scheme, apart from anything else, if the CPT approve and lend support, it could be regarded as tacit approval of the principle of renovation of the Cathedral.

    Just one suggestion for your text: In the list of benefits, para i), it would be less awkward english to say: ‘—but would be welcome to assist if they desired.’

    Bruce McGregor.

  3. This seems a very sensible idea that could achieve significant benefit in protecting the building and its precious contents while the options on both sides are worked through. The proposal is a generous gift of expertise, finance and a step that would be profoundly respectful for the people of Christchurch.

    1. Hello Carolina. Thanks very much for doing that ! Every little bit of exposure helps our cause of restoration. I see you are in Wellington. Could you drop in on the Prime Minister and ask him to have a stern word with the Anglican Church in Canterbury please ? Thanks in advance 🙂

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