Anglican churches and a school are more than half of the finalists for an award recognizing “commitment, investment, or a unique solution to earthquake strengthening which has saved or will now protect a heritage building” in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The six buildings have recently reopened after extensive renovation and repair work after the devastating 2011 earthquake in the city. They are among 290 Anglican properties in the Diocese of Christchurch under the care of the Church Property Trustees. Of those, 234 of them sustained damage during the quake, mostly notably Christchurch Cathedral.

These churches are among the finalists:

  • Holy Innocents, Mt. Peel, reopened in September 2017, six years after the earthquake partially destroyed the gable on the building’s east end. A building technique used by the Etruscans in Italy, five centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, was used to precision-fill newly drilled holes in the stonework with a mixed grout of silicate and lime to strengthen the building so it will withstand another large earthquake.
  • St. Barnabas Church, Fendalton, was closed for six years while workers repaired its basalt stonework and mortar. Repairs were also carried out to sections of the roof and tower, which moved separately from the rest of the building during the tremor.
  • St. Bartholomew’s Church, Kaiapoi, opened in 1855 and within four years the entire building was moved from a sandhill to a more solid base. During the earthquake reconstruction, the building was again moved so that contractors could lay new quake-proof foundations before it was rolled back into position. “More than any other church I can name, it’s a church on the move,” Bishop Victoria Matthews said when she reopened the building in July 2017.
  • St. Cuthbert’s Church, Governor’s Bay, is described as one of the country’s most iconic stone churches. It was built by the first settlers in 1860, and many well known people are buried in its churchyard. The church reopened in June 2017.
  • St. Michael’s Old Stone Building is part of the oldest school in New Zealand’s Canterbury region. Work was completed last March to repair stonework and rebuild newly strengthened gable ends.
  • St. Paul’s Church, Tai Tapu, is a category one heritage-listed building designed by Cecil Wood and built in the 1930s by Sir Robert Heaton Rhodes in memory of his wife, who died in 1929.

Judges whittled down 70 entries for the biennial Canterbury Heritage Awards into 36 finalists across seven categories. The winners will be announced on June 15 during a ceremony at the Isaac Theatre Royal, a winner of the awards in 2016.

Adapted from ACNS

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