Bishop Barry has issued a pastoral letter on the Diocesan Recovery Plan
In the letter Bishop states that the plan for the Diocese is a “single plan” including the Cathedral.
The Diocese is required to repair or strengthen all of its buildings to a minimum of 34% of the new building standards. We have a maximum of fifteen years to complete these works. For heritage buildings we may apply for an extension of a further ten years.
The strategy is to focus on getting parishioners back into churches where they are closed as soon as possible. As well the hope is to advance the planning for new churches where churches have been demolished.
Progress So Far
Approval has been given for a number of projects to proceed.
These projects include temporary repairs for St Anne’s church, Woolston and St Peter’s church, Beckenham. Work on St Anne’s has begun with St Peter’s to follow on shortly. The work required for St Matthew’s Bryndwr has been put out to tender and is soon to start.
Plans to reopen three closed heritage churches are well underway. We hope to commence work on St John the Evangelist church, Leeston in early spring and when the necessary consents have been received work will commence on St Mary’s church, Hokitika. With knowledge gained from these two heritage buildings, strengthening plans are in place for St Joseph’s church, Temuka and we hope to reopen it in twelve months time. All the necessary consents have been received for the work to extend St Bernadette’s church at Hornby and to complete the necessary repairs.
At the moment we are looking at building five new churches. Initial plans for St Mary’s church, New Brighton, have been presented and St Patrick’s Lincoln and St Mary’s Pleasant Point are hoping to do the same in the near future. St Joseph’s Papanui is seeking expressions of interest from qualified organisations to draw up comprehensive documentation for the Diocese. In Mairehau the team from St Francis of Assisi has shared its initial thoughts and concepts.