$5M raised for Christ Church Cathedral

$5M raised for Christ Church Cathedral

Campaigners to reinstate the quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral have already raised $5 million, with one of their leaders personally donating $1 million from his own pocket.

Philip Burdon says he knows others who will give the same, and he's absolutely confident enough money will be raised.

The Christ Church Cathedral still draws a steady stream of visitors, all keen to take a photo of its ruins.

But the wreck may soon be history as re-instating the Church to its former glory is now a distinct possibility, with the group wanting to save it fundraising hard.

"I have said publicly before today that I would contribute $1 million, as a lead start, and I don't think I'm in any way unique in this respect," says Mr Burdon.

Mr Burdon leads a group that's campaigning for re-instatement, and he says there's lots of international support.

Figures announced yesterday estimated repairing the quake-damaged Cathedral will cost $105 million, while a brand new one would cost just $61 million.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Council won't be in a position to stump up cash.

"We don't have funding for the Cathedral in our budget," she says. "We have a heritage fund we do use to assist but, you know, in terms of the scheme of things it's nowhere near those sums of money."

That doesn't faze Mr Burdon.

"I have complete confidence that these monies can and will be raised," he says.

Property owners around the Square listened to yesterday's announcement closely. Development's been slowed because of uncertainty over the Cathedral.

Property developer Ernest Duval is one person who wants action.

"It's time for action it's time for a decision and I think if we get on the Cathedral it's going to be catalyst for everything else," says Mr Duval.

"But you know in term of the scheme of things it's nowhere near those sums of money."

The Government ordered mediation between the Anglican Church and Mr Burdon's group, led by Auckland QC Miriam Dean.

A decision on whether to rebuild or reinstate will be made in April – and for most in Christchurch it won't be a moment too soon. 

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