7 December: ChristChurch, New Zealand

Every day throughout Advent, we'll be introducing a different cathedral from around the UK and occasionally beyond


Denomination: Anglican


Built: 1864

About the cathedral:

Founded by the Anglican Canterbury Association, Christchurch’s cathedral has always been at the heart of the city. Building began in 1864, but the cathedral wasn’t consecrated until 1881. That same year, just a month after the consecration, the first earthquake to damage the cathedral dislodged a stone from the cathedral spire. It took 130 years, and four major earthquakes before the 2011 ChristChurch earthquake collapsed the bell-tower, rendering the building unsafe for use. Plans to rebuild a ChristChurch have been plagued by legal wrangling between the Anglican Church and various local groups, but the church, which had favoured demolition and rebuilding from scratch, has now agreed to consider restoring the original building. Christchurch’s temporary one-of-a-kind cardboard cathedral is currently serving as the city’s main church and looks likely to be needed for some years yet.

Did you know?


ChristChurch is one of only two cathedrals in the southern hemisphere to have a professional men and boys' choir. The choir’s most famous alumnus is King’s Singer Chris Bruerton, the first ever member of the famous sextet to come from outside the UK. Bruerton was a member of ChristChurch Cathedral choir for 15 years, working his way up from a 10-year-old treble all the way through to a professional lay-clerk post. Here (below) he is in youthful treble voice, performing a lullaby carol by George Wither, set to music by Vaughan Williams.