Anglicans turned up in their hundreds on Thursday night to attend the dedication service for Christchurch's new cathedral.
Some 600 people from throughout Canterbury and the West Coast attended the ceremony at the Transitional Cathedral, made using large cylindrical pieces of cardboard.
Those spoken to by Radio New Zealand were full of praise for the cathedral's radical design, courtesy of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
The Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, says she visited the cathedral several times when it was a construction site but wasn't prepared for her reaction the first time she saw it set up as a church.
"The tears came to my eyes and I really had a hard time keeping control because it was just so powerful," she said.
Bishop Matthews hopes the cathedral will provide a place for Cantabrians to reflect on what is really important in life following the earthquakes.
She says it is very special to have the empty chair memorial to the 185 earthquake victims and the site of the CTV building close by.