Christ Church Cathedral has been a crucial part of our city for generations, holding a special place in the hearts of Cantabrians. Recently, an event was held to celebrate completion of the stabilisation phase of the project to rebuild the Cathedral. Ethan Gerrard, the president of the Canterbury Young Professionals, attended the event and shared his thoughts on what the rebuild means for young people like him and future generations.
Although Ethan grew up outside of Christchurch and had never been inside the Cathedral before it was damaged, he discovered at the event how the Cathedral connects everyone in the city. He realised that the Cathedral has been a deﬁning feature of the city for over a century and is the building people think of when they hear about the earthquakes that rocked the city. He found it fascinating to hear stories from others at the event, as he realised that the Cathedral is connected to everyone in Christchurch in one way or another.
Ethan believes that for younger generations, the Cathedral may not hold as much signiﬁcance yet, but as they grow up in Christchurch, they will continue to build memories and connections with the Cathedral, just as previous generations have done. He hopes that the Cathedral will continue to create memories for residents of our city and even jokes about having his wedding there someday.
At the Stabilisation event Ethan was impressed by the size and scale of what the team has accomplished so far during the project. Seeing it in person is an entirely diﬀerent experience from looking at photos online or in the newspaper. He recognises that although much progress has been made, there is still much work to be done.
The Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement project is not only about restoring a historic building but also about rebuilding a community's spirit and identity. Ethan believes that the Cathedral represents the past, present, and future of Christchurch. As the Cathedral rebuild progresses, it will continue to play an essential role in the lives of the people of Christchurch, and younger generations will be able to build their memories and connections with it.
"The completion of the Cathedral rebuild will mark the start of a new chapter for Christchurch, and the Cathedral will continue to be a signiﬁcant symbol of the city's resilience and strength." - Ethan Gerrard