Christ Church Cathedral has been a key part of Christchurch’s identity for a century and a half, and so many people have a story to tell about it.
The reinstatement of the Cathedral will take some time, so we are collecting people’s memory snippets to help us all recall and reconnect with the Cathedral as it progresses. By remembering and re-telling our favourite stories, we can enjoy the memories, and feed our souls on the good moments as we wait for the Cathedral in the Square to be re-born.
We regularly talk to people around town about their thoughts, feelings and experiences of the Cathedral, and below are a few memories that people have shared. We’ve also captured other stories and turned them into videos.
Sitting in the sun
I loved sitting outside the Cathedral with my friends after school waiting for our buses home, just sitting and people watching. The Cathedral was always the meeting place when I met my friends.
The bells ringing are the heart beating of the City
I remember when I was in the Boys Brigade when I was about 10yrs old in 1995, our brigade climbed up the very narrow spiral staircase, the floor boards creaking underfoot, I will never forget that sound, and remember the view from the little windows looking down on the Cathedral Square. We then climbed up to the Bell Ringing Room where we met the people who rang the bells and I even got a go at pulling the ropes and making them ring. I am really looking forward to seeing the new cathedral in the future and listening to those bells ringing again which I reckon is like the centre of the heart beating of the Christchurch City.
They were like friends
Climbing the bell tower and seeing those wonderful bells - then hearing them ring. They were like friends. I cant wait to see what happens next its very exciting.
The Cathedral offered comfort
The building. The comfort it offered when people were being less than charitable. Buildings don't judge, they just exist and can offer comfort in time of great trauma. I visited a lot when I was feeling lost because it was always available.
Christmas spirit at the Cathedral
A Christmas Eve late service and the Cathedral was full. People were using the prayers cushions to sit on, wonderful singing. Then in come tourists with video cameras filming us! I realised the effect what we as tourists might have as we go travelling. I loved being at the Cathedral.
God was smiling on us
Getting Married at their on the 1st August 2009, Dean Peter Beck presiding. best day of my life. God was smiling on us. I suspect we were one of the last weddings to be held in the Catherdral. We were permitted at the honour as I am Canon Almoner pf the Cathedral, a position I am very proud of and one which fills me with great sadness as I observe the current state. I am very hopeful for the future!
A feeling of peace
Just the calmness of it and the happiness I felt being in New Zealand. It had a distinct atmosphere and smell too it that I loved.