It was a poignant moment for the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project to be able to bless workers and the Cathedral site ahead of its first physical work.
Due to COVID-19, the country is still under physical distancing restrictions, so only a few people were permitted on the site. In a first for the project team live streaming was required so that the moment could be shared more widely.
The ceremony, led by the Dean of the Christ Church Cathedral, Lawrence Kimberley, was held as the sun rose over Cathedral Square – symbolising the start of a new day and the start of physical work on the Cathedral.
The blessing of workers and the site itself was attended by the Bishop of Te Waipounamu, Richard Wallace, Ngāi Tahu’s Dr Te Maire Tau, Matt Tippen from the project team, and Gary Davidson representing Naylor Love the main contractor for the project.
The blessing precedes the start of physical work on the site, which is an important milestone for the project. This follows the granting of resource consent in March to establish the work site and then begin stabilisation of the Cathedral.
Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Peter Carrell, says the site will now be energised.
“In these uncertain times, this blessing represents ongoing progress and momentum for this key project for the city, despite the challenges all are facing. It’s a positive and optimistic reminder of the spiritual home the Cathedral represents for the Anglican church in Canterbury and the West Coast and the revitalisation the Cathedral’s reinstatement will bring to the city and Cathedral Square.”
Dean Kimberley says the site blessing was an important city milestone.
“As the sun rose, we reflected quietly on the challenges Christchurch has faced as a city and what we all face now as a nation. Yet it was also a time to celebrate how far we have come and how much further we will go by working together and supporting one another.
“This was a special opportunity for us to bless this site and pray for God’s protection on all who will work on this spiritual and sacred place that sits in the very heart of our city.”