Auckland – Holy Trinity Cathedral

Auckland’s Anglican Cathedral is a real crowd-pleaser. Some freak out over the stained-glass windows and the general ‘wow’ of the modern part; others go for the rather older chancel and transepts with their restrained 20th century gothic stonework (and again some good stained glass.)

The parts I find weakest are the brownish stained glass based on Old Testament themes on the north side of the nave, and the glass chapel at the end of the cathedral which I don’t even have photograph of. And some of the imagery seems only vaguely Christian and more ‘South Pacific’. But most of it does stand up, and certainly having Auckland’s motorways and high-rises in the glass seems an entirely relevant idea given how much commuting Aucklanders do every day.

On the whole I reckon if you’re faced with the challenge of turning a half-built stone and brick church into a usable earthquake-safe one, generating feelings both of ‘wow’ and ‘reverence’, in a rapidly secularising country like New Zealand, then they’ve done a pretty good job. They even have a labyrinth outside … and yes, I walked round it.