Christchurch Old Cathedral

Christchurch used to have a perfect Victorian Cathedral at the centre of the city, but the 2011 earthquake did terrible things to all that vaulted stone, particularly the tower and the 12 bells that were inside it. Any religious community will say that their life together is more important than their building – and the people here have transitioned well to their new Transitional Cathedral – but you can’t help weeping over the state of this one.

Happily for me, I had taken some photographs when I visited in 2000. But first here are some showing the state of things in 2018. It seemed to be getting rapidly worse back then, so goodness knows what it looks like now:

And then some memories from 2000. I can vividly remember walking into the Cathedral and hearing a rehearsal of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto – a sublime and moving experience.