ChristChurch Cathedral receives blessing to begin physical restoration

The quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral was blessed on Tuesday morning to allow for physical work to begin on-site. 

But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the historical moment was only witnessed by a limited number of people. 

The blessing was a pivotal moment in the restoration of the holy site nine years after the Canterbury earthquakes left it in ruins.

People were able to watch behind the gates and on-site, but it was also livestreamed for those who weren't able to be there. 

The lockdown delayed the project by over a month. The first job - the most complex - is stabilising the building which will take 18 months, Tim Anthon from the ChristChurch Cathedral Reinstatement Project says.

"Putting up frames against the walls of the building to hold them in place to make it safe enough to go inside, and that's really our aim right now. It's to make this building safe to go inside so we can then see what we have to do next," he says.

The restoration will cost around $100 million and will take between seven to 10 years.

The ChristChurch Cathedral dean says it's an exciting journey to be on.

"We're really excited that we're on a journey to having a place back in the centre in the heart of Christchurch again, where this building can be the heart and soul of the city once more," Lawrence Kimberley says.

The latest chapter in Christchurch's long rebuild.