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The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was severely damaged after the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch (CNS/David Wethey, NZPA)

Christchurch Bishop Michael Gielen has signalled the preferred location for a new cathedral precinct to replace a former building that succumbed to the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Source: RNZ.

The 115-year-old Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes Street, Christchurch, was demolished in 2020, after it was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch quakes.

Three possible locations are being investigated by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch.

Bishop Gielen said the diocese preferred to build the new cathedral at the old Barbadoes Street site.

“The advice given to me is that Barbadoes Street – returning to our humble roots – is the best place for us to locate our mother church, our Cathedral.

“Catholic Māori spoke of it as being an anchor.”

The diocese will seek feedback on the proposed locations over the coming months.

In 2019, then Christchurch Bishop Paul Martin (now the Archbishop of Wellington) announced a new cathedral would be built at a different site, in Armagh Street in the city’s centre, estimated to cost $NZ40 million. 

The diocese’s website said that times had changed since the 2019 decision.

“COVID 19 re-educated us as to what’s important: the diocese needs to have the capacity to meet its future financial responsibilities, including supporting parishes to build new churches and to support those who have suffered while in Church care. 

“The cost-of-living crisis means our community needs us more than ever before; and the realities of global inflation necessitated a wholesale rethink of the project.”

The diocese will seek feedback on the proposed locations over the coming months.


Christchurch’s Catholic bishop prefers existing site for rebuild of Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (RNZ)

Our Future Cathedral Precinct (Christchurch Diocese)