Bishop Barry commissions financial report

6 August 2014

Bishop Barry has sent a letter to parishes for clergy, parish councils and parishioners about repair of churches. This is as follows...


"I wish to update you on the Diocesan process regarding our churches.

The work undertaken to date means that the detailed design and cost estimates for repairing and strengthening our churches is largely completed.

The next stage is to begin a financial review which will take into account the pooled insurance settlement, other cash and land assets we have which might assist the rebuild

The accounting firm, Ernst Young (EY) has been engaged to undertake this review and will report back on:

  • What we have to do in relation to the rebuilding of our churches and other assets.
  • The estimated cost of the rebuild The funds available for the rebuild The priorities for the rebuild
  • The potential shortfall of funds
  • What options do we have to mitigate the shortfall

The report recommendations are due for late July. After discussions with my advisors I expect final recommendations will be made to me.

In the meantime, I will not authorise any strengthening or rebuild of churches until this process has been completed. There are two exceptions:

1. I have approved a sizeable project ($1.3 million) at the St Mary's Pro-Cathedral which will accommodate the Parish Office, Cathedral Choir and Catholic Shop together with landscaping and car parking.
2. I have approved a smaller allocation ($70,000) forSt Patrick's Church Kaiapoi for its repair.

The recent Diocesan Earthquake Update sent to you informs you on the status of every church in the Diocese. This can also be found online

I thank you for your ongoing patience as we steadily move towards a stage of reinstating at least some of our much loved churches."