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One of the stone crosses that sits atop Taranaki Cathedral will be removed early tomorrow morning.
The Cathedral Project design and remediation manager Jenny Goddard said the cross, which is on the northern gable and faces Vivian Street, could be a safety concern and would be taken down by crane.
“As part of the earthquake-strengthening of the building, it has always been planned for the crosses on top of the cathedral to be removed and then reinstated when the remediation is complete,” Mrs Goddard said.
“We invited the fire service to carry out an inspection as a training exercise and from their assessment it has been determined the cross on the northern gable could be unsafe, so we have decided to remove it now,” she said.
The cross will be removed at 6.30am tomorrow, with Roebuck Crane Hire offering their services for free. During the removal, a section of the footpath and one lane of Vivian Street will be closed to allow the crane to operate.
“The cross will have a strop attached and will be removed in pieces – firstly the top vertical and then the horizontal cross member,” Mrs Goddard said. “We’re really thankful to Roebuck Crane Hire and the fire service for their help with this job.”
Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary, which is New Zealand’s oldest stone church, has been closed for earthquake strengthening since February 2016. The earthquake-strengthening and refurbishment of the cathedral is the first part of a three-stage, five-year $15 million project to create a cathedral precinct on the site. This will include the addition of a world-class welcoming atrium, and will incorporate the adjacent wooden vicarage. There will also be on-site parking.
A member of the fire service assesses the cross on the northern gable during a training exercise at Taranaki Cathedral.