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Christchurch Cathedral Conversation Involves Thousands

Cathedral Conversation Involves Thousands

May 23 2013

The community engagement on design options for ChristChurch Cathedral has produced more than 3700 submissions and more than 19,000 visits to the website.

The high number of submissions during the month long engagement, that ended on May 3rd, is being welcomed by the Church Property Trustees as part of its decision making process in its commitment to build a Cathedral in the Square.

The Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Rev’d Victoria Matthews says the time people took to engage with the process through the website, at forums, in churches and meetings shows the high level of interest and it is greatly appreciated.

‘Some people wrote detailed comments on each of the options as well as giving their preferred option. We had phone calls, impromptu voting papers from people with no computer access as well as designs and written letters. It has been a rich conversation with many voices that assist us in the decision making process,’ says Bishop Victoria.

The website gave access to 25 documents with information on the options that are under consideration. The reports were updated and expanded from requests made during the public engagement process.

Web Feedback (period April 3 to May 3 2013)
• A total of 3,741 submissions
• 19,272 website visits viewing 74,573 pages
• 14,849 unique visitors to the website
• 2,917 submissions from Canterbury
• 253 submissions from Auckland, 85 from the United States, 62 from the United Kingdom
• 3,833 referrals from Facebook
• Three forums in Christchurch and one in Auckland attracted approximately 500 participants

The three design options received the following total voting;

Restore: 1088 (29.1%)
Traditional: 504 (13.5%)
Contemporary: 1915 (51.2%)
No preference: 234 (6.2%)
Total: 3741

The voting for Christchurch City in terms of a preferred option was;

Restore: 749 (30.5%)
Traditional: 315 (13%)
Contemporary: 1240 (50.5%)
No preference: 146 (6%)
Total: 2450

The Church Property Trustees are responsible for the property holdings of the Diocese of Christchurch, including ChristChurch Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese.

The Trustees have maintained from the beginning of the engagement process that the voting is only one component in a very wide decision making process. Critical issues in any decision making include the mission and ministry of the Diocese. The mission priorities are: Christ centered mission, faithful stewardship and young leadership. Other critical issues are human safety, the heritage nature of the building, the fiscal risk of all the options, sound financial stewardship, and the complex matters of engineering.

A meeting of Trustees last week continued the consultation with consultants in engineering, project costing (QS) and project management, heritage, fundraising and architecture. There is no specific date set for a final decision as the Trustees are still evaluating all the information.

Engagement with groups included the Christchurch City, Historic Places Trust, Great Christchurch Buildings Trust and the IPSE, Restore Christchurch Cathedral, Cathedral Square Owners Group, Christchurch City Council Councillors and staff, the Diocesan Synod, Canon Almoners, Anglican Youth and other church leaders.

“The response and level of feedback has provided the Trustees with even more information on which to base their decision. During the period of public engagement, issues were raised and responded to in conversations as well as through work with different groups. This can only enhance the decision making process,” says Bishop Victoria.

The Church Property Trustees are due to meet in early June as they move towards a decision.

The website, www.cathedralconversations.org.nz has the feedback received from the public.


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