Friday, March 7, 2014

The Rev. C. Alabaster supported Mr. FitzGerald but preferred to have another clergyman. To have only one paid pastor was a disgrace to Christchurch. They had long needed more clerical help, and it seemed as if they were now in a position to set themselves right, both in the matter of the cathedral, and increasing the number of the clergy. A house to house visitation and collection would awaken zeal; their faith and good works would be evoked; the Church would be a living body at the time the cathedral was finished; but if it were possible to raise so noble a structure, and the living body remained inert, the cathedral would not be their glory, but their reproach.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XVIII, Issue 1050, 3 December 1862, Page 4

The Cathedral.— Our advertising column contain an earnest and spirited appeal to members of the Church of England in this diocese from the Cathedral Commission. We have every reason to believe that not only will those more particularly addressed respond with a ready liberality, but that others in different parts of the colony who are animated by a like christian zeal will be found among the contributors to this good work.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XVIII, Issue 1055, 20 December 1862, Page 4

Under the head of public buildings, there is not much to record beyond the fact of very large votes having been passed for the erection of various public buildings, which will probably be put in hand during the summer. The most important building in contemplation is the cathedral, for which designs have been furnished by Mr. G. Scott. It is proposed in the first instance to erect, the whole of the nave and aisles with the basement of the tower. The cost of this portion of the building has been estimated by the Provincial Engineer at £20,000, which it is proposed to raise by private subscription. The subscription list already amounts to £12,000, and we understand that the cathedral commission are taking steps for putting the work in hand at once. We trust that the commencement of this great work will inaugurate a new era in Canterbury. It is to be regretted that with such resources as we possess in our quarries and forests, our buildings should be of such a temporary and insignificant character. The erection of Mr. Scott's magnificent design in all its integrity, will give a tone to our architecture, which, it is to be hoped, will make our future public buildings worthy of the capital of the Middle Island.
Lyttelton Times, Volume XIX, Issue 1061, 10 January 1863, Page 3

What is the Cathedral Commission doing? When is the Cathedral to be begun? These are questions which we hear frequently asked just now, and not without some apparent reason for, judging from the almost entire absence of outward signs of progress, the Commission would seem to have gone to sleep. But we have taken pains to inquire, and find that this is not quite the case.

In the first place, the Commission has determined, wisely, we think, to entrust to Mr. Gilbert Scott the responsibility of carrying out his own plan but the necessary result is that the building cannot be begun till an answer has been received from him, nor till he has sent some properly qualified person to represent him, and take the whole direction of the work.

But cannot the necessary materials be obtained, that no time may be lost after his arrival? This should certainly be done with the least possible delay. But when we come to inquire, we find that in the course of a few months, when the railway is opened to the Heathcote Valley (not to mention the Little River Tramway), the price of stone delivered in Christchurch will be reduced to at least one-half of the present cost, some say even to one-third. This is conclusive against ordering the stone now.

Then, with regard to the timber. The central columns of the Nave, fourteen in number, are to be single trees, fifty feet in length, and something like three feet in diameter in the square throughout. Whatever may have been Mr. Scott's reason for adopting wooden rather than stone columns, it is certain, from the nature of the plan that stone could not be substituted without necessitating a complete alteration of the whole design, at any rate of the interior of the Nave. To send to England for new plans adapted to stone columns would involve great delay and expense, and the Commission has accordingly determined to adhere to the original design. But how best to obtain timbers of the required magnitude, and what kind of wood is best suited for the purpose, are questions of no slight difficulty and importance, not to be decided in a hurry. The Commission, we understand, has been occupied for some time in seeking advice and information on these two points. Kauri from Auckland, totara from the Little River, and Sydney cedar from Australia, have all been strongly recommended. It seems very doubtful whether the last mentioned wood an be obtained of the required size otherwise, it would excel most others in beauty. The comparative claims of the other two, both as to their natural qualities, and as to the difficulty and expense of carriage, have yet to be decided. We may take upon ourselves to say that the Commission would be thankful to receive any information or suggestions on these points from competent persons.

Meantime some five thousand pounds more have yet to be raised by subscription before the sum of Twenty Thousand estimated to be sufficient for the erection of the Nave will be made up. There are several names which we hope to see added to that goodly list. Absentees also, we trust, will not forget the duties they owe to the city and country from which they derive a portion of their wealth.

We confess that we share to some extent the impatience of the public to see the work begun at the same time, in so great an undertaking, we would have nothing done imprudently, or in a hurry.
Press, Volume III, Issue 119, 18 March 1863, Page 1

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