Adapted from ACNS

By Jayson Rhodes

A drone has gathered new information about earthquake damage to New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral. The cathedral suffered extensive damage in a February 2011 earthquake. Aftershocks are causing more masonry to fall, some weighting up to half a ton.

The building’s interior is too dangerous for engineers to assess its condition. Engineers say no part of the building shows any structural integrity.

The drone footage, recorded in May, showed that further damage occurred during earthquakes in February and March this year. Engineers are using markers on the cathedral’s exterior to measure any movement from seismic activity.

The Diocese of Christchurch has faced protracted court action for more than three years from campaigners wanting the Cathedral to be fully restored with a cost estimated to be about $105 million New Zealand Dollars (approximately £585 million GBP). In an effort to bring about progress the New Zealand Government and the Church Property Trustees have jointly appointed a Working Party to consider options and present a final report to the Crown and the Church Property Trustees in early December this year.

“At present citizens of and visitors to the city visit the Transitional Cathedral and celebrate its innovation and superb design,” wrote the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch. “I believe in the foreseeable future we will again have a Cathedral in the Square. It won’t be easy I believe it is possible. What I am not able to say today is what that inspiring Cathedral will look like. However, I do know it will be beautiful and a house of prayer dedicated to God who we worship and adore.”

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