Remnants of basilica may be kept as memorial

The Catholic Church in Christchurch is awaiting the results of geotechnical tests before deciding the fate of the city's Roman Catholic basilica.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Barbadoes Street was badly damaged in the February and June earthquakes last year.

A newsletter from Church leaders says all options for the basilica are being considered, but does not mention reconstruction.

Instead, it says one option gaining traction is to retain the north and west walls as a memorial, with a rebuild on the site if possible, or next door if geotechnical tests show the land is suitable and the owners agree.

The Cathedral Management Board is also consulting officials associated with the central city rebuild on the place of the basilica within those plans.

Meanwhile, planning continues for the removal of stained glass windows on the north and south-east sides of the building. The work is expected to take four weeks.

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