Cathedral Remediation Work
Project investigates cathedral's foundations

Matt Cathcart, left, and Toa MacDonald, of Clelands Construction, excavate the foundations of Taranaki Cathedral’s oldest wall, which was built in 1846. The Cathedral Project is digging into the church’s past to ensure there is a strong base on which to build the cathedral’s future. Excavation investigation work of the 172-year-old building’s foundations is being undertaken as part of the project to earthquake strengthen and refurbish the historic cathedral – New Zealand’s oldest stone church. “The project’s engineers, Holmes Consulting,... read more

Cathedral to play key role in telling region's history

An open and honest telling of Taranaki Cathedral’s past will help more people understand the church’s role in the region’s turbulent history, Cathedral Project fundraising lead Cathy Thurston says. The $15 million remediation of Taranaki Cathedral and enhancement of the site includes a world-class welcoming atrium space, which will incorporate professionally curated displays, multi-media resources and audio visual guides, recounting the church’s history and its role in the relationship between Maori and Pakeha over 175 years. “We believe this development will... read more

Light shines on stained glass windows

Hours of dedication, bundles of cotton swabs and plenty of patience will be needed to return Taranaki Cathedral’s stained glass windows to their former splendour. As part of the Taranaki Cathedral remediation and development project, the church’s array of stained glass windows, many of which have deteriorated over time, will be restored, bringing out the details and colours the artists intended. “As far as we are aware, they have had minimal maintenance over the years and a number are failing,” Cathedral... read more

Making sure our voice is heard

Like a harmonious choir, the successful remediation of Taranaki Cathedral is dependent on all parts being in tune. One of those is the building’s renowned acoustics. With Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary to host a wide range of arts, music and drama events once earthquake-strengthened, as well as regular church services, weddings and funerals, it is important that the acoustics are not adversely impacted by proposed modifications. Working on this are acousticians Daniel Protheroe and Arthur Postles, of Marshall Day... read more

Cathedral's saints on the move

With St Chad, St Michael and St Aidan watching every move, Mark Whyte carefully takes a sample of grout from the beautiful 120-year-old stone reredos near the altar of Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary. Whether the saints approve, it’s hard to tell – the stern look on St Chad’s face suggests otherwise – but the work has their best interests at heart. Stone sculptor Mark, and business partner stone mason Robin Ayers, from Christchurch company Goldfield Stone Ltd, are in... read more

Stamping out the threat of fire

With plenty of blood, sweat and tears – and millions of dollars – being invested to earthquake strengthen and upgrade Taranaki Cathedral, keeping it safe once complete is a priority. That includes keeping it safe from fire. As part of The Taranaki Cathedral Project work, fire engineer Sam Grindrod, from fire engineering consultancy Holmes Fire, recently made a site visit to evaluate the life safety aspects of the building and to determine what form of early warning system from fire would... read more

So how good were those stone masons?

Well, that’s what we are working to find out. Dr Dmytro Dizhur and assistant Dr Marta Giaretton were on site for three days in January investigating the makeup of our stone walls. Using a combination of techniques, the aim was to gain a lot more information on the properties of our unreinforced masonry walls. This is no simple matter as Taranaki Cathedral has walls of many different ages. The oldest wall erected in 1846 is to the left of the old... read more

Hui marks significant naming

The Hui held in the Interim Cathedral on September 10 marked a significant milestone for The Cathedral Project. In a formal ceremony, the Reeves family gave its blessing to the association of Sir Paul Reeves’ name with the proposed Atrium at the south of The Cathedral. Preliminary designs for the Atrium show it as a light filled space looking out to Pukaka Pā and the churchyard. Designed to complement the expanded range of activities to be hosted in the Cathedral, this... read more

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

A stronger cathedral driving our church vision

Do you know the feeling when you have a big project on, someone comes along with a well reasoned argument, (joins all the dots) and you suddenly realise that the project just got a whole lot bigger - but also more worthwhile. Cathedral Remediation and Design Manager Jenny Goddard knows the feeling. The Way Ahead document, distributed and discussed with the parish over the last four months, has joined the dots for many. “The job in front of us is not... read more

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