Bishop rejects 'unsafe' case for saving cathedral

4:15 pm on 2 August 2012

The Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, has rejected as expensive and unsafe the recommendations of a report that says the Christ Church Cathedral can be saved.

The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust last month presented an alternative engineers' report that concluding the quake-damaged building is safe for workers to restore.

Bishop Matthews says the Cathedral Project Group has worked hard considering the report but has found it is not a safer option.

She says it is also an expensive option.

Bishop Matthews says while many decisions have yet to be made about what the new cathedral will look like, it will not be a replica but a reconstruction, and it will not be a radical departure.

She says the church will not consciously turn its back on what people consider the landmark of the city.

She says the group has repeatedly said it does not want to build a replica but rather a mix of old and new, and is testing design budgets expected to be less than $100 million.