Significant funding has enabled Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary to appoint a local architect as its Cathedral Remediation and Design Manager.
Jenny Goddard, a New Plymouth architect with an interest in heritage buildings, took up the new position on August 1.
Her appointment follows a grant of $80,000 from the TSB Community Trust as well as $50,000 from the General Trust Board of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
The historic church building on Vivian St was temporarily closed on 31 January 2016 after a detailed seismic assessment (DSA) determined it was earthquake prone.
The adjacent offices and Hatherly Hall are still open and the church continues its work such as the Tuesday Community Café, church services and regular organ recitals.
Jenny Goddard said she was excited about the job and the pivotal role it would play in getting the remediation project underway for such an important building.
“It’s a beautiful building, it sits in a beautiful landscape and it’s been the subject of many changes over the years – this is the start of another chapter in the life of the building.”
An architect of over 30 years, she has a personal connection to the church having been married there, had children baptised there and worshiped there.
“A lot of my architectural work has been with community buildings such as community health practices. I enjoy working in projects like this because there’s a great deal of satisfaction in seeing people involved and achieving an outcome that enhances a community.”
The position will see her working alongside many different groups likely to be involved ranging from engineers and quantity surveyors to parishioners, church bodies, local council and Heritage NZ.
Cathedral Dean, the Very Revd Peter Beck, said he was delighted with Jenny’s appointment. “She has huge experience, is part of our worshipping community, and has been donkey deep in the care of the cathedral over many years.”
This was a positive chance to reinvigorate the building in many ways. “It’s an extraordinarily opportunity to look at what this cathedral can be for the community, the province, the diocese and the nation. It’s not just a beautiful building but one where the life of the city will flow in and out, where the city comes to celebrate and grieve, and the place where people of all faiths and none can feel safe, and gather for celebrations.”
The church was grateful to the generous grant from the TSB Community Trust, and heartened by support it had already received from individuals who were willing to donate in a variety of ways.
Ms Goddard will work alongside the Dean as well as a cathedral advisory committee. The next step is securing a preliminary cost estimate based on the conceptual strengthening plan that has been produced by engineers, Holmes Consulting.