Sarah Foy
Workshops to unearth and re-tell stories

Grappling with Taranaki’s history – the delightful and the devastating – is motivating a series of historical gatherings called Our Shared Story. Rob Green, Rob Baigent-Ritchie and Ailsa Claridge will lead the monthly workshops at the cathedral, open to the public, with the first one having got underway. From left: Rob Baigent-Ritchie, Revd. Ailsa Claridge, and Rob Green. As well as introducing people to different parts of our history, it’s also hoped the project will unearth family stories and documents. Rob... read more

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New Government heritage money shot in the arm for historic Cathedral

Taranaki Cathedral has been identified as a priority historic building under the extension of a fund that promises an additional $30 million for earthquake prone buildings. On Saturday Prime Minister Bill English announced the increase to the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund (RCHF), spread over four years, as well as the inclusion for the first time of historic churches and places of worship “that are central parts of the community's character". Church leaders hailed the announcement as a lifeline for... read more

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Buying fresh grows friendly communities

A bid to get more people eating fruit and veg – at discount prices – is building communities and Christian interdenominational networks throughout NZ. Now the Food Together programme is spreading to Taranaki with the cathedral pivotal to its local distribution. It started as a three-week pilot in June, and has now become a permanent social enterprise in the region. It works like this: People view the fruit and veg menu each Friday on the Food Together Facebook page, place their... read more

Cross-cultural church ceremony on South Taranaki marae

Three cultures came together when a Tongan woman and a Māori man were ordained on a South Taranaki marae on Saturday July 15. The ordination ceremony for the Rev Mele Prescott and the Rev Vincent Nuku took place at Aotearoa Marae, Okaiawa. Among those officiating were Mele’s uncle Dr Winston Halapua, who is both the Archbishop of Polynesia, and one of three co-Archbishops of the Anglian Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Also involved was The Most Reverend Philip Richardson,... read more

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Digging down to survey soil strength

Hamilton-based Beca geotechnical engineer, Madeleine Prebble and Jordan Young, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. A geotech study into the land surrounding the Taranaki Cathedral was successfully completed this month and early results are promising, says Jenny Goddard. “Part of the reason is the potential for liquefaction and seismic-induced settlement of the site when there’s an earthquake,” Jenny explains. “We are cautiously optimistic.” The work is essential in order to determine how stable the soil is prior to the $15 million earthquake... read more

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Ground labour uncovering grave details

Taranaki archaeologist Ivan Bruce (pictured above) is fully engrossed with the complex job he has been tasked with - to help understand the historic Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary and its grounds. You might say his work will be a labour of love. “It is a highly significant and historic church – you can’t just rip into it. I am keen to see the building and everything associated with it looked after because of its significance to Taranaki.” His... read more

Shoulder-tapping led to vital project role

The Very Reverend Dean Peter Beck is deeply passionate about leading the charge to restore Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary’s. His dream is to see the completed $15m project, named The Cathedral Project – A Taranaki Taonga, open its doors to all. “The cathedral will be a place of welcome for all faiths and none,” predicts Dean Peter, pictured above on the left with Archbishop Philip Richardson. “This building will have its way with you. I do sense the... read more

A project to make a difference for two Peters

Two of the campaign fundraising leaders share not only Peter as their first names but are united in their passion to have the restored Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary’s open its doors to one and all. The Very Reverend Dean Peter Beck has come out of retirement in Christchurch to see the church return to its rightful place in the Taranaki community, to be earthquake strengthened and future-proofed. He and campaign executive chairman Peter Tennent are united in their... read more

Family connection inspiration to donate

Taranaki Real Estate agent Robert Angus is one of the first substantial donors of The Cathedral Project. His association with St Mary’s spans a lifetime – he was baptised and confirmed in the historic church, and recalls his whole family attending services over decades. Recently his Mum Avis Angus was the key link, remembers Robert. “She was always giving to St Mary’s and loved and celebrated the church life. Dad was dragged along sometimes.” Says Robert. “It was a great community... read more

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