Friday, April 18, 2014

The Cathedral - The Story of its Building.

The Cathedral
The Story of its Building.
To-morrow brings the full fruition of the hopes of half a century. The purpose that inspired the founders of Canterbury included, as we all know, the erection, of a cathedral church as the centre of spiritual activity in what was intended to be an entirely Anglican community. With such confidence did they undertake the task of establishing such a community, with its complete ecclesiastical and educational organisation, that the Bishop Designate of the new See was a passenger by the fifth ship. Very early, however, in the history of the infant settlement the aims of its founders had to be modified. Denominational delusiveness was found to be impracticable. "I am not sure," wrote Bishop Julius, some four years ago, "that, as things are, it was even desirable. It is ours," he added, "to exhibit, not the political and social, but the spiritual supremacy of the Church." In any case this is no occasion for dwelling on the lack of success that befell some of the aims of the founders of Canterbury, for tomorrow will see the triumph of a noble purpose, long delayed, but never abandoned - the consecration of the fully completed Cathedral. 

The history of the building of the Cathedral is closely connected with the progress of the province. It has had its full share of the sunshine of prosperity and the shadow of depression - its periods of glowing activity, its times of lethargy and stagnation. The initiation of the project hung in hand for years after the foundation of the settlement. The site of a Cathedral had been set apart by the Canterbury Association and its estimated cost provided for in apportioning though amount of money expected to accrue from though sales of land in the Canterbury block, one third of the moneys thus received being set apart from the outset for the establishment and endowment of churches and schools. But the results of the land sales fell far short of the anticipations of the Association, and the necessities of the settlers in other ways made heavy demand upon the Ecclesiastical Fund. The difficulties in the way of the realisation of their hopes were increased by the fact that at the very outset of the establishment of the Canterbury settlement the Association had to pay £10,000 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies before the British Government of that day would consent to the establishment of the new Bishopric. It fell to the late Mr R. J. S. Harman, in the course of his duties, to pay over this sum on behalf of the Association, and half a century later, on the occasion of the province's jubilee, when Mr Harman laid the foundation stone of the new portion of the Cathedral, he alluded to the fact that in making that payment he had taken the first step towards the erection of the edifice.


Arrival of Bishop Harper.

In those far-off days, when the little community was struggling against a sea of difficulties, the Cathedral, if ever thought of at all, must have seemed, indeed, a dim vision of the future. The Bishop Designate found matters so very different from what he expected that he returned in a few weeks to England, and but for the help and counsel of Bishop Selwyn, matters might have gone very hardly with the Church in Canterbury. For the first few years of the settlement were marked by a certain amount of religious apathy. The Anglicans still formed three-fourths of the community, but they had only five small churches and none of these was considered good enough to be consecrated. But with the decision arrived at in November, 1855, to ask for the appointment of a Bishop, matters improved. Bishop Selwyn strongly recommended the Rev. H. J. C. Harper, vicar of Stratfield Mortimer in Berkshire, and the reply being favourable, the Bishop-elect was consecrated at Lambeth Palace in August, 1856, arrived in Lyttelton on December 24th of the same year, and was installed next day Bishop of Christchurch. It may be noted that he was accompanied on the voyage by two of the settlers who were returning to Canterbury after a visit to England, and who were to become two of the most valuable of his laity. These were the late Mr Harman and Mr J. M. Heywood, to both of whom the Church in Canterbury owes a great debt for their long and faithful service in her cause. With his arrival began a period of religious activity. The first consecration of a church in Canterbury took place at Avonside early in 1857, and that of St. Peter's, Riccarton, followed a year later.

The Bishop, as the Rev. H. T. Purchas shows in his admirable biography, was not at that time an eager advocate for the erection of a Cathedral. "His practical turn of mind him to throw his energies into the development of parochial work and the building of parish churches." Until these were provided he was in no hurry for the commencement of the Cathedral.

A Cathedral Proposed.
In 1858, however, the proposal to a Cathedral was definitely mooted at a meeting of Church members, at which it was decided to enlarge St. Michael's, to build a district church, and to go forward with the erection of a Cathedral as soon as £2000 had been raised. These projects were carried out in the order in which they are here set down, St. Michael's strengthened and enlarged, being consecrated in 1859, and the foundation stone of St. Luke's laid on October 18th of the same year. The Diocesan Synod, which had met in September the same year, had taken the first active step towards promoting the erection of the Cathedral, by appointing a commission charged with this specific duty. The members of the commission, as appointed on September 27th, were as follows:- The Bishop, Archdeacon Mathias, Revs. W. W. Willock. James Wilson, and Croasdaile Bowen, Messrs. J. E. FitzGerald. R. J. S, Harman, W. J. W. Hamilton, John Hall, H. B. Gresson, A. C. Barker, Grosvenor Miles, and T. Rowley. 

 The Cathedral Commission, 1859
1. Rev. James Wilson, 2. Rev. William Wellington Willock, 3. Grosvenor Miles
4. John Hall (later Sir Hall Hall)
5. Dr Alfred Charles Barker, 6. Bishop Henry John Chitty Harper, 7. Ven. Octavius Mathias
8. Thomas Rowley, 9. Richard James Strachan Harman, 10. Rev. Croasdaile Bowen
11. Henry Barnes Gresson, 12. William John Warburton Hamilton, 13. James Edward Fitzgerald

[Thomas Rowley was the son Rev. Thomas Rowley a committee member of the Canterbury Association. Thomas Rowley junior married Mary Mathias a daughter of Octavius Mathias]

  The Provincial Council had in the previous year voted £10,000 for the building of churches in Canterbury, and of the sum allotted to the Anglican Church Bishop Harper had set aside £1000 as a nest-egg of a Cathedral Building Fund. Mr FitzGerald, who was at this time in England, acting as Immigration Agent for the province, submitted a proposal for the erection of the building which at any rate had the merit of novelty. He wrote to the Provincial Government to the effect that if £1500 could be raised towards the building of the Cathedral in Canterbury he could get £3000 subscribed in England. At this time it was greatly the fashion to ship ready-made houses out to the colonies. Mr FiteGerald proposed to have a Cathedral built in England and shipped out here in parts, to be erected on a site to be selected, promising to send out a "beautiful building." The suggestion was not, however, adopted. The Cathedral Commission began its work in early in 1861, and at its instance plans for a Cathedral were prepared by Mr (subsequently Sir) George Gilbert Scott, R.A., a leading English architect.

Sir George Gilbert Scott
(c) The Royal Institute of British Architects

A Forward Movement.
The supporters of the Cathedral appear to have become impatient at the tardy progress made by the Commission, whose enquiries and operations were necessarily retarded by the tedious communication of those days, and in November, 1862, strong expressions of opinion as to the necessity of pushing on with the work came from meetings of the parishioners of St. Michael's, held on November 26th and December 1st, 1862. The first of these meetings was held to consider the best means of providing church accommodation for the increasing population, and the promoters appear to have gone with very clear ideas that the best available was to enlarge St. Michael's again. The Cathedral party was, however, strong and determined, and the conclusion of that particular gathering came with the carrying of a resolution to the effect that "the time had arrived for building the Cathedral, and that steps should be taken at once to raise subscriptions in the diocese and the parish for that purpose. The Bishop mentioned that he had come prepared to state his intention of appealing for funds for the Cathedral. At an adjourned meeting held a few days later, Mr FitzGerald said that he had found from an inspection of Sir Gilbert Scott's plans for the Cathedral that a portion of the building might, be finished first, providing accommodation for 800 or 1000 persons. This, he added, might be available in two and a half yearns - another instance of too sanguine hopes. It was nearly twenty years from the date of that enthusiastic movement before the first portion of the Cathedral was opened for divine service. It was then decided to temporarily enlarge St. Michael's and St. Luke's, and to canvass for funds for the purpose of procuring two additional clergymen. Real living interest in the erection of the Cathedral may be said to date from that time. Within three weeks, on December 20th, 1862, the Cathedral Commission, even then changed in personnel, issued their first appeal for subscriptions. The appeal, which is far too long to quote here, was couched in language most appropriate, to the object in view, and it may be read today with pleasure. The Commission were evidently afraid of raising the hopes of sanguine churchmen, for they mentioned that several years must necessarily elapse before the structure would be completed, though for the erection of a portion sufficient to accommodate a large number of worshippers a comparatively short time would probably suffice. It had been decided to adhere to the site set apart in Cathedral Square. The cost of building the nave with temporary east front and chancel fittings, was estimated at about £20,000, of which there was then less than £1800 in hand, including the £1000 reserved by the Bishop and £700 which had been collected by Mr FitzGerald in England. But a splendid spirit prevailed at that time; difficulties that would have checked the enthusiasm of a far larger and wealthier community were bravely ignored. In ten days from the first issue of that appeal subscriptions amounting to close upon £9000 had been promised, payable at certain periods over a term of five years, and within a year or two, thanks partly to friends in England, the total had risen to some £16,000. Let it be remembered that the settlement was then just twelve years old, and that the population was scanty and scattered and it will be admitted that the liberality of later years cannot be compared with that of the early days. Little wonder that the Cathedral Commission were so encouraged that they enlarged their scheme.

The original plans sent out by Sir Gilbert Scott provided for a building with stone walls only, the clerestory and pillars being of wood. The columns were to consist of entire trees, fifty feet in height. A number of the subscribers, however, objected to this mixture of wood and stone, and no difficulty in raising the money presenting itself to the Commission, they obtained from Sir Gilbert Scott fresh plans for a building to be entirely of stone. These plans were, in their main features, eventually carried out in the nave.

Laying the Foundation Stone.
In September, 1864, Mr Robert Speechley, an English architect, came out to Christchurch by arrangement with the Commission, as the local resident representative of Sir Gilbert Scott, a contract for the foundations of the whole building was let in November, and on Anniversary Day of the same year the Bishop laid the foundation stone. Unfortunately the early colonies seem to have been favoured with no better weather on that particular holiday than is often the case nowadays, and that Anniversary Day must surely rank as one of the wettest on record. The unceasing rain had, however, no effect in checking the enthusiasm of the community. After a service in the mother church of St. Michael's at 9.30, a procession marched to Cathedral Square. The procession included a number of the clergy, some 400 volunteers, the members of the Synod, subscribers to the Cathedral, members of the General and Provincial Legislatures, Magistrates, Cathedral Commission, Christchurch, Lyttelton, and Kaiapoi Councils, Fire Brigade, and so on. In the square the volunteers formed a cordon and a short service was held, the Psalms and hymns being sung by the Musical Society and choirs. The Bishop's address was brief. Before, he laid the stone he offered the following short prayer:- "Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we lay this Stone in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in faith that this place, hereafter to become the house of God, may be consecrated to prayer and the praise of His holy name." The "Hallelujah Chorus" was then sung, and the Bishop performed the ceremony, the proceedings terminating very shortly afterwards. Subsequently a luncheon, at which the Bishop presided, was held, when, among the toasts that were honoured, was one of "Success to the Cathedral." The usual coins and papers were placed in the stone, also a parchment bearing inscriptions in English and Latin. A portion of the latter is worth transcribing. It stated how and when the stone was laid, "in the presence of clergy and people remembering with a grateful heart the many and great benefits which God meet good and great, the Author of all good things, has bestowed upon the sons of Britain dwelling in this new country, and the good success with which He has hitherto favoured the hopes and plans of those who have earnestly striven to found another England not unworthy of the mother."

Laying the foundation Stone, 16 December 1864

Stoppage of Work.
The foundations were completed three months later, but already a sad change had come over the position of affairs. A period of great financial depression set in on the province, and Mr Purchas states that within a year after the laying of the foundation stone the Commission were in difficulties. Less than £5000 of the promised subscriptions had been paid, and in spite of the Bishop's earnest appeals, money came in so slowly that all work had to be stopped. This condition lasted for several years. At a meeting of the subscribers to the Cathedral Fund, held in May, 1867, it was stated that the payment of subscriptions had almost entirely ceased. Nevertheless hope was not by any means abandoned. The Cathedral Commission were authorised to expend £1000 for the preparation of materials to be used in the building. A report from Mr Speeehley, the resident architect, estimated the cost of erecting the eastern and western ends of the Cathedral, with some temporary interior fittings, at £6800 for the erection of the eastern end, and £4850 for the western portion. It was not suggested, apparently, that such an extensive work should be put in hand just then. On the contrary, there was so much despondency that the Rev. W. Willock mentioned that a prominent business man had suggested they should sell the site for the purpose of erecting Government offices, the Government at that time making enquiries as to a site. The Rev. J. Wilson also stated that the City Council were anxious to obtain the site for city offices, etc. It was further suggested that a site for the Cathedral should be obtained in Cranmer Square with the money obtained for the Cathedral Square site, and the building erected there. Ultimately the consideration of the question us to what it was desirable to do under the circumstances was referred to the Cathedral Commission to report.

It may be added that when Sir George Grey visited Canterbury in 1867 the grass had to be mown away from the foundations, so that they might be visible, while for greater ease in distinguishing them they were carefully whitewashed!

Suggested Sale of Site.
Two years later, matters still being very depressed, and the erection of the Cathedral apparently postponed indefinitely, Mr Joshua Strange Williams (now Mr Justice Williams) moved at the Diocesan Synod that it was desirable that the Cathedral site should be sold, that the proceeds should be applied to the erection of the Cathedral on the present site of St Michael's, that the Cathedral Commission be authorised and required to negotiate for the side with any person or corporation desirous of purchasing the site. Mr Williams called attention to the position of the Cathedral Building Fund, which was that £7000 had been contributed by local subscribers, £1000 of which had been given by the Provincial Government, and £4000 had come from subscribers at Home. The sum of £8800 had been expended on the site and foundations, and there was now an overdraft of £75 3s 3d. The proposal received some support, but was eventually lost, and the matter dropped for the time being, though the it was be revived later on.

Very little seems to have been done in the way of arousing interest in the Cathedral during the next year or two. The Synod of 1871 had the question of the disposal of the site before it, but resolved that it was undesirable to part with it at the same time some impetus was given to the building movement by a recommendation from Synod to the Church Property Trustees that a grant of £1500 be made to the fund, conditional on £5000 being subscribed by the public, this sum being reduced a year later to £3000. But in 1875 the question of selling the site again came before the Synod. As if the existing difficulties in way of building the Cathedral were not sufficient, the Commission were at this time face to face with a new and unexpected one. Complications had arisen respecting the transfer of the portions of the Cathedral site required for the roadway, which had paralysed the action of the Commission, and they had been advised that it would be inexpedient to proceed with the canvass for subscriptions until these difficulties had been set at rest. The sum of £2190 had been subscribed to the Building Fund in addition to the additional part by the Church Property Trustees. The Rev. C. Bowen moved - "That inasmuch as the prospect of erecting the Cathedral on the existing site in Cathedral square appears remote, and the need of a church for diocesan purposes is urgent, the Synod considers it desirable that a church of less expensive a character than that designed by Sir Gilbert Scott should be erected with as little delay as possible, to serve as the Cathedral church, for the diocese. That such church should be erected on the church reserve in Cranmer square." Ultimately the Synod passed a resolution impressing upon the churchmen of the diocese the necessity for a church to be used exclusively for diocesan purposes, and inviting their liberal contributions and active co-operation to enable the original design to be proceeded with.


Mr Trollope's View. 
The danger was thus again temporarily averted. Enthusiasm for the cause of the Cathedral was, however, at its lowest ebb during the winter of that year (1872). As it happened, Mr Anthony Trollope, the English novelist, visited Christchurch just then, and in the book in which he described his experiences in the colonies he made some stinging remarks about the apparently abortive scheme of a Cathedral. "In a few years," he says, "the very idea of Canterbury being specially the province of one denomination will be lost to the memory of the colonists themselves - unless indeed it be perpetuated by the huge record of their failure which the town of Christchurch contains. In the centre of it there is large waste space in which £7000 have been buried in laying the foundations of a Cathedral, but there is not a single stone or a single brick above the level of the ground. The idea of building the Cathedral is now abandoned. It was a sad sight to me to look down upon the vain foundations ... There is the empty space, with all the foundations of a great church laid steadfast beneath the surface, but it seemed to be the general opinion of the people that a set of public offices should be erected there instead of a Cathedral. I could not but be melancholy as I learned that the honest high-toned idea of the honest high-toned founders of the colony would probably not be carried out; but perhaps on that spot in the middle of the city a sot of public offices will be better than a Cathedral. Public offices all the community will use. A Cathedral will satisfy something less than one half of it and will greatly dissatisfy the other half."

The Site Question Again.
Events were soon to prove the rashness of Mr Trollope's sarcastic generalisations, which, indeed, are understood to have done something, by hurting the pride, of the colonists, to stimulate their determination that the Cathedral should be built. There was to be one more discussion of the proposal to sell the site, and after that a wave of renewed interest was to set in and to continue until after the first portion of the building was completed. The Provincial Council in 1872 resolved, on the motion of the Hon. John Hall that, the Government be requested to enter into negotiations with the Cathedral Commission with a view of ascertaining whether the site of the Cathedral could be obtained as a site, for public offices in Christchurch intended to be ejected by he General Government, and if so on what terms. It was stated by one of the speakers that the majority of the clergy favoured another site for the Cathedral, but that the laymen were so strongly against the Cathedral Square site being given up that there was no hope of the resolution producing any practical result. A public meeting of citizens held on November 25th resolved that the Provincial Government should renew negotiations for the site known as the Cathedral site for public offices, provided it could be obtained on reasonable terms. Subsequently a deputation from the public meeting waited on the Provincial Government and were informed that a sum of £10,000 would be placed on the Estimates for the purchase of the Cathedral site. Settlement of the question came with the meeting of the Diocesan Synod in February, 1873. Archdeacon Wilson moved the acceptance of the offer of the Provincial Government to the site of the Cathedral for public offices for £10,000 in cash. The proceeds, it was mentioned, should be held in trust for the purchase elsewhere of land for a Cathedral and also for the building of a Cathedral thereon. After a lengthy discussion the motion was lost by the votes of the clergy.

Ayes — Clergy 3, laity 14.

Noes — Clergy 12, laity 5.
It will be seen that contrary to the opinion expressed by the member of the Provincial Council quoted above, it was the votes of the clergy and not of the lay members of the synod which prevented the sale of the Cathedral Square site. The question was now settled for ever, and with renewed confidence, born of the improving times, the work of building was soon commenced.

The Revival of Interest.
 At the meeting of Synod in August, 1873, it was resolved that the Church Property Trustees be recommended to raise by sale or mortgage of portions of the General Trust Estate the sum of £5000 to be applied towards the erection of the Cathedral. Mr B. W. Mountfort was appointed architect to carry out Sir Gilbert Scott's design, and Mr James Tait's tender for the erection of the first portion of the outer walls, to a height ranging from between, 10ft and 20ft for £5514, was accepted. The question of using wooden pillars came up in the autumn of 1874 when the architect recommended that the nave pillars should be constructed of kauri in two lengths, with black pine braces, and that in consequence of the difficulty of getting suitable wood, the other pillars should be of stone. Eventually it was decided, on account of this difficulty, that stone should be adopted as the material for the whole interior. Mr Tait's second contract for £4920, to  carry up the aisle walls to a height, of 24ft as far east as the transept, and the west wail to the same height, was accepted in August. An offer made the next month by a body called the Cathedral Guild, constituted to assist in the erection and ornamentation of the building, to erect, the western doorway according to the plans of Sir Gilbert Scott, was thankfully accepted. The subscriptions received since 1871 had amounted to £5542, and £4938 was promised. In October, 1874, the Synod recommended the Church Property Trustees to raise on the Dean and Chapter estate by sale or loan a further sum of £5000, for the erection of the Cathedral.

The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Day.
The work was going on apace. The action of the Synod in raising money for the prosecution of the building had inspired the public, and a good response had been made to a fresh canvass. The sight of the slowly rising walls gave promise of the completion of the great task the church had undertaken, and there was a general desire to aid in its speedy conclusion. Further stimulus was supplied by the thanksgiving service held within the unfinished walls on Anniversary Day, 1875, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the province. The interior of the nave and chancel had been cleared, and a large platform erected in this chancel, on which seats were provided for the clergy, the choir, and a number of instrumentalists assisted by two harmoniums. The nave was crowded, people thronging all the doors and even climbing on to the walls to take part in the commemoration service. Prior to the commencement of the service the Bishop, who had by this time become Primate, was presented by Mr Justice Gresson, on behalf of the Cathedral Guild, with a pastoral staff and by Dean Jacobs, on behalf of the clergy and laity of the diocese, with a crazier. The choir and clergy walked in procession round the exterior of the Cathedral, and entered by the west door. Special prayers and hymns were used on the occasion, and the Primate, in his address, appealed to the people to assist by their contribution in furthering the good work of the erection of the Cathedral. Special services were also held earlier in the day in celebration of the first quarter of a century of the history of Canterbury. The total collections for the day amounted to £109.

The Cathedral in course of construction, 1878

Slow Progress.
Estimates for the erection in stone of the remaining parts of the building were submitted by Mr B. W. Mountfort in the same month, the total cost being estimated at £45,834. The Cathedral Commission only saw its way to the expenditure of some £9300, of which £4886 had already been incurred. The work, however, went on steadily, aided by liberal private gifts. Three of the columns were promised in 1875, and from that onwards other private persons and families came forward with similar offers. For the next few years progress was slow. The Cathedral Commission in 1876 urged that a special effort should be made to obtain funds for the completion of the edifice, also for a tower and spire, while the desirability of procuring a peal of bells and a clock for the tower was also referred to. Work was continuously carried out in 1877 by day labour, consisting of a foreman and two. men. These were amply sufficient to keep up with the supply of stone, which came to hand very slowly. Five columns had been given by private benefactors to this date, and in October there still remained £2090 unexpended money in hand. During the next year, three more columns were given, and two others promised. It was suggested that the proposed memorial to Bishop Selwyn should take the form of the tower for the Cathedral, but that was to be supplied through another channel. The Synod at its annual meeting passed a resolution urging greater liberality on the part of churchmen as the funds at its disposal of the Commission were almost exhausted. It was mentioned that £28,400 had already been spent; and as was noted twenty years later, the price of labour and materials had increased since the work was begun. 

On Anniversary Day of this year another commemoration service was held within the Cathedral walls. Previous to the service an address was presented to the Primate, Bishop Harper, who had recently returned from a visit to England. A dais had been erected at the east end of the Cathedral, and the service was held, the musical portions being rendered by the united choirs of St Michael's, St. John's, St. Mary's, and St. Luke’s, assisted, as on the previous occasion in 1875, by two harmoniums. The Bishop delivered an eloquent address. There was a liberal offertory in aid of the cost of the rose window.

The year 1879 was marked by severe commercial depression, which militated against the payment of promised subscriptions. Funds came in very slowly. For the eight months ending they amounted altogether to rather more than £1200, but only about a third of this sum had been raised locally, £500 coming in donations from England, while the Primate had collected tome £200 during his visit to England. The Rhodes and Barker columns had been promised, but the Synod's last grant of £5000 was all but expended. Matters looked brighter towards the end of the year, for the Church Property Trustees were authorised to raise a further sum of £4000, on the security of the General Trust Estate, and of £4000, on the security of the Dean and Chapter Estate, for the building of the edifice.


The Cathedral in course of construction, 1879
Another Revival.
In 1880, in order to make temporary  provision for the liabilities incurred by the Commission for the completion of the nave, organ, and necessary fittings, the Church Property Trustees were instructed. to raise an additional £4000, and it was resolved that no further expenditure be incurred upon the building, except at the cost of private benefactors, while this debt should remain unliquidated. The Commission accepted a contract from the, firm of Stacks and Stenhouse for the masonry and carpentry to complete the nave, the amount being £9538, and during the year their hearts had been gladdened by the munificent offer from Mr. R. H. Rhodes that he would bear the cost of the tower, which cost £5150, and a peal of bells, costing £1200. Mr G. Miles added two more bells, and the children of Mr G. Rhodes gave the spire, costing £2120. These splendid benefactions represented a larger sum than had ever been given by private persons.

The Consecration of the Nave.
And so the work went on until after a total expenditure of some £45,000 of which nearly £26,000 came from voluntary contributions, the nave of the Cathedral, with a temporary wooden sanctuary, was consecrated on November 1st, 1881. As became an occasion on which the hopes of a generation were in some measure realised, the day was gloriously fine. The building was thronged with a congregation estimated to number some 1200 or 1300. At eleven o'clock the Dean and Chapter, the Chancellor of the Diocese, the Hon. H. B. Gresson, the choir and orchestra, moved in procession down to the west door, where they met the Primate, attended by the Bishops of Dunedin, Waiapu, Nelson, and Wellington. The Dean and Chancellor presented the petition for the consecration, which was read by the Registrar of the Diocese, the Rev. F. Knowles. The procession then advanced up the nave, and at the chancel steps the Dean, presented the deed of dedication. The Primate read several suitable prayers and the Chancellor then read the sentence of consecration, which the Primate declared "duly completed." Full choral service was then proceeded with, special prayers being read.

The Primate preached from the text, Psalm Ixxxiv. 2, "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." The offertory amounted to £206. Special services were continued throughout the octave on the lines of those which begin with the consecration service to-morrow.

And then for seventeen years the Cathedral remained in its unfinished state.
The venerable and revered Primate resigned in 1890, after forty-three years' of faithful service to the Church, but he lived for nearly four years longer, beloved by all who knew him and respected by the entire community. He died on December 28th, 1893, and was buried on January 1st. A beautiful cenotaph in the Cathedral perpetrates his memory.

The Movement for Completion.
Present Financial Position.

The renaissance came in 1898, when the question of suitably celebrating the jubilee of the province began to attract attention.

On August 19th of that year a special meeting of the Chapter was convened by the Bishop, to consider the matter of completing the Cathedral, and a resolution affirming that a vigorous effort should be made to do this was carried. Four days later the Cathedral Completion Committee held its first meeting in the Board room at Christ's College. Bishop Julius presided, and there were eight others present. It was deemed advisable by the members of that committee not to make any public announcement of the proposed completion until a fuller committee had been constituted. The committee was enlarged and the Bishop was elected chairman. At a meeting held on September 27th a scheme for carrying out a general canvass for subscriptions was submitted by the Bishop and approved. It was also resolved that no debt should be incurred in the prosecution of the completion work. An account, called the "Cathedral Completion Fund," was opened with the Union Bank in the names of the Bishop of Christchurch, Hon. C. C: Bowen, and Mr James Embling as trustees. When Mr Embling left Christchurch Mr George Harris was appointed a trustee in his place. An Executive Committee of the General Committee was appointed, and in order that the work of building, when commenced, might be kept going, the Cathedral Chapter added to its body several gentlemen to act with it as a Building Committee, and the functions of that Committee were to see that the designs, were carried out and that the building was properly constructed. These gentlemen were nominated by the Executive Committee elected at the public meeting, and were Sir John Hall, Mr Wm. Reece, Mr James Embling, Mr Geo. Jameson, and Mr A. Carrick. On the resignation of Sir John Hall, Mr George Harris was elected in his stead. In November the circulars appealing for funds were issued, and on December 13th it was reported that £2758 had been promised. An appeal to the general public was then made, and in March 1899, the total had reached £4913, in November £5961, in April, 1900, £6500, in June £6780, in July, £7850, and in August, 1900, £8040.

Meanwhile Bishop Julius, who had all along displayed the greatest energy and enthusiasm, made a tour of the diocese, giving in each town a lantern lecture upon the Cathedrals of Europe. About £1000 was collected as the result of that particular effort, Mr J. C. Mountfort, son of the late Mr B. W. Mountfort, was appointed on March 10th,. 192, architect for carrying out the work of completion.

The General Committee, together with the Cathedral Chapter and a Completion Committee appointed by Synod, on November 22nd, 1899, when the Bishop urged that further efforts should be made to collect what was still required. "The honour of the diocese," he said, "demands that the work we began more than a year ago, and which has been to a certain extent successful, shall be carried out to completion." The meeting resolved no tender should be called for until the Building Committee was justified by the amount in hand in calling for tenders, for the whole work of completion. A house to house canvass was arranged for when the Committee met in May, 1900, on which occasion the Bishop expressed his deep sense of the absolute necessity for the completion of the Cathedral in connection with the celebration of the jubilee of the settlement. Towards the latter end of 1900 tenders were invited for the completion of the building, and the Building Committee was authorised to commence preliminary work on the Cathedral, "with a view to the steady prosecution of the building to its completion." The canvassing had been going on assiduously, and in November, 1900, the total promises represented £9003 5s 6d, which had risen, to £10,288 13s 11d in the following May. In the meantime, the inauguration of the task of completion had taken place on December 20th, in the midst of the Jubilee celebrations, the late Mr. R. J. S. Harman laying the stone. The Governor, Lord Ranfurly, was present, and delivered a short speech, and Mr. Harman and the Bishop addressed the assemblage. A collection realised £69.

At a meeting, of the committee in May, 1901, the Bishop reported that the lowest tender, that from Messrs Graham and Greig, was for £15,699 for the entire work without the heavy timbers, and £9158 for the transepts and vestries, also without the roof timbers. The latter tender had been accepted by the Building Committee, who considered it impossible with less than £10,000 promised up to that time to accept a tender for the whole work. It was still intended, however, to proceed with the final completion work if, during the erection of the transepts, sufficient funds were forthcoming. Subsequently when tenders for the erection of the chancel were invited, the lowest and accepted tender was £7382, or £841 more than what it would have been had the tender for the complete work been accepted.

During the year 1901 a Citizens Committee, which had been formed by Canon Pollock, and which had as its chairman the late Mr Alexander Carrick, commenced a general canvass for subscriptions, the ultimate result of which was that a sum of £1422 7s 6d was collected. During the same period Mrs Julius formed an association of ladies, for the purpose of collecting small sums. The ladies worked earnestly and consistently, and as a result of their efforts £527 16s 11d was added to the fund.

On August 18th, 1902, a meeting of delegates from the Cathedral Chapter, the Standing Committee, and the various Committees of the Cathedral Completion Fund was held, at which it was decided to obtain the authority of Synod for a loan, to enable the Committee to complete the fabric of the Cathedral. The Cathedral Chapter agreed to recommend the Synod to consent to the raising of a loan on the security the Dean and Chapter Estate for the purpose of completing the fabric of the Cathedral, provided the Chapter could get satisfactory assurances that the money required for interest and sinking fund would be. raised without trending on the ordinary revenue of the Cathedral. It was then resolved that the two Committees engaged in collecting funds for the Cathedral should be amalgamated, and should proceed to ascertain whether, the necessary guarantees could be obtained. On September 8th, 1902, the amalgamated committee pledged itself to use its utmost endeavours to raise the £3500 required [?] the Synod would authorise the load, and a fresh canvass was commenced. On October 13th the subscriptions totalled £1615 and on the 23rd the loan of £7000 was authorised by Synod. Immediately afterwards Mr R. M. Morten's promise, of £1000 was announced, and the total new subscriptions amounted to £3323 on October 27th, 1902. More money continued to come in, and last month, the total amount promised was £3758 11s 10d. In order to provide for the cost of fitting, furnishing, and appointing the completed portion of the Cathedral, the Synod of 1903 increased the amount of the loan from £7000 to £10,000.

The present financial position may be summed up as follows, allowance having been made for subscriptions promised but not paid and for other contingencies. Altogether £16,521 8s 4d has been received towards the cost of completion. £10,251 3s 1d from the original Cathedral Completion Fund. £1422 7s 6d from the Citizens' Fund, £527 16s the from the Ladies' Association, £3758 lls 10d from the Final Cathedral Completion Fund, and £561 9s interest on deposits. The amount spent on the work totals £19,260 5s 9d, made up is follows:- Foundations £138 6s 6d, transepts contact £9158, timber for transepts £634 2s 7d, chancel contract (including timber) £7385, architect, clerk of works, printing, stationery, postage and salaries 1944 16s 8d. A debit balance of £2738 17s 5d thus remains. The total cost of the Cathedral to date has been about £65,000.

Mr George Harris, Chairman of the joint committee, points out that this amount is very small compared with the very large sum involved. An appeal has been made to the general public to assist in making up the deficiency, as it is the earnest wish of the committee that that building should be handed over to the Chapter without any liability attaching, as the freewill offering of the public of Canterbury, and as a fitting expression of their appreciation and satisfaction at having so noble a work completed. The public have been asked to subscribe either by promises to the secretary or made through the offertories at the consecration services, which offertories will be in aid of the building fund. Mr Harris adds that the committee have arranged to advise Bishop Julius, whose absence from the consecration service is deplored by all, by cable of the result of their efforts. The Bishop unfortunate breakdown in health, was largely attributable to his very earnest work in connection with the completion of the Cathedral, and it would not be too much to say that his restoration to health would be greatly assisted were the committee able to cable Home to-morrow that the deficiency had been made up.

800 chairs for the Cathedral arrived from England on the "Lurline" on 15 June 1881.
Star, Issue 4118, 2 July 1881, Page 3

A Description of the Cathedral.
Mr C. J. Mountfort, the superintending architect, supplied a representative of "The Press" with the following architectural particulars of the Cathedral:-

Christchurch Cathedral, which was designed by the late Sir Gilbert Scott about 1855 is a Gothic building in the early English style of architecture, of which it is considered to be a characteristic example. Subject to the necessary modifications to suit local requirements, and some slight alterations in connection with the vestries, referred to more fully further on, the works have been carried out in accordance with the original design. In addition to the alteration in the vestries the other departures from Sir Gilbert's plans have been the creation of the western narthex, a two-storied porch on the north side, and an alteration in the material used in the construction of the spire, which was originally designed to be of timber.

This plan of the building shows nave and aisles, north and south transepts, a chancel, choir and sanctuary which has an apsidal semi-circular termination, a tower at the north-west angle, vestries on the north and south sides of the choir, and porches over the main entrance at the west end and at the entrances on the north and south sides of the aisles.

The dimensions of the building are as follows:- Length (internal) 197 feet, width of nave 34 feet, width of aisles 17 feet each, the length of the nave and aisles being 106 feet, the transepts (each) 28 feet by 28 feet, the main crossing (?)7 feet by 36 feet, the choir 32 feet by 24 feet the sanctuary 30 feet by 30 feet; the extreme length across the transepts and transepts and the main crossing being 93 feet, the vestries (upper and lower) each 24 feet by 16, and the tower 19 feet by 19 feet. The walls of the aisles are 22 feet high and those of the nave, transepts, choir, and sanctuary 46 feet, and the height from the floor to the ridge of the main roof over the nave, transepts, chancel, choir and sanctuary, 71 feet. The tower is 97 feet high, and the spire, to the top of the cross, is about 113 feet, a total height of tower and spire of about 210 feet.

The external walls of the building are chiefly of a bluish-grey hard stone obtained from the Cashmere and Hoon Hay quarries, the doorways windows, and other external architectural features and the stone work in the interior of the building being executed in white limestone from White Rock, Coal Creek, Waipara, Castle Hill, Mount Somers, and Oamaru. The walls of the west gable, the transepts, and the tower are four feet in thickness, the others being three feet. The walls and angles of the building are strengthened by means of external buttresses, which also assist to counteract the thrust of the roof.

The principal entrance to the Cathedral is by the doorway at the western end of the nave access to which is obtained from the porch, the gift of Mrs Creyke, an early settler. This was added to the building in 1894-95. The nave is separated from the aisles by five columns upon each side, alternately circular and octagonal. These carry fine moulded pointed arches, above which, is the clerestory, showing an arcade of couplets of lancet lights. Where the various portions of the building meet and form the main crossing, there are four large columns, which also carry arches of a similar description of those of the nave, though these are more massive in character to suit the necessities of the construction of the edifice. These four large columns and arches are generally considered to form one of the most effective architectural features of the interior. The roof of the rave, aisles, transepts, main crossing, and choir are of open timber construction, while that over the sanctuary has two large arch principals, which are pannelled, as is also the under side of the roof over this portion of the structure. Externally the whole of the roofs are boarded and felted and covered with slates, arranged to an ornamental design. All the main gables are finished with stone crosses, and at the termination of the apse there is a metal cross, heavily gilded. In addition to the lancet windows in the clerestory of the nave (already mentioned), the building is lighted by a large rose window above the western doorway, a two-light window at the west end of each aisle, and in the side wall of the north aisle by four three-light windows, while the south aisle has five windows of a similar description. In each of the transepts there is a large three light window, above which is a small circular window divided into seven lights, while in the sanctuary there are three single light windows. The floor of the building, with the exception of the choir and sanctuary, is finished with hard tiles of a subdued tint, laid in pattern, with richer work in the passages. It is proposed that at some future date the flooring of the sanctuary shall be finished in tiling of a richer character than that of the other portions of the building. It is estimated that the building will seat between 1400 and 1500.

The works carried out under the contracts just completed comprise the north and south transepts, 37ft by 36ft, the main crossing at the intersection of the transepts with other portions on the building (designated "the chancel" on the original plans), 37ft by 36ft, the choir 32ft by 29ft, the sanctuary, 30ft by 30ft, the vestries (lower and upper) on the north and south sides of the building, each of which is 26ft by 16ft, and an underground chamber, 30ft by 13ft, situated to the eastward of the choir, containing the bellows of the organ and the electric motor for working them. This underground chamber, the addition of upper vestries the organ galleries connected therewith and the placing of a door in the north transept instead of the south, constitute the only deviations from the original plain of the structure. The construction of the upper vestries and the organ galleries has been carried out generally in accordance with the plans prepared by the late Mr W. B. Mountfort, the departures from the original design for the building being approved by Mr John Oldrid Scott the son and successor of Sir Gilbert Scott. The portion of the building to be opened to-morrow has been carried out in accordance with that consecrated for service on November lst, 1881, and where possible materials of the same class and character have been used; thus making the structure harmonious throughout.

The lower vestries are divided from the choir by an open, double arcade carried upon a dwarf wall at the back of the Canon's stalls, and from the transepts by ornamental wood screens, from which spring the bracketting carrying the organ galleries. Over the stone arcades between the choir and the arches there are large arches which at some future date will be filled with portions of the organ front when the organ is reconstructed and in the galleries. In order to permit of the present use of the upper vestries, the lower portions of the arches have been filled with a panelled screen. The reconstructed organ, which it is hoped will be ultimately erected in the galleries provided for the purpose, will have four fronts — namely, one in each of the transepts, and one on the north, and one on the south sides of the choir. 

The fine three light windows in the transepts form one of the leading features of the new portion of the building, and when filled with stained glass, will add considerably to the beauty of the church. The stained glass for the sanctuary windows is at present in the hands of the artists in London, and is expected to arrive here about Christmas. The openings have, in the meantime, been temporarily filled.

Consequent on the enlargement of the building, the following rearrangements of the interior have been made:- The pulpit has been removed to its new position against the Barker column, and has been provided with a stone staircase, with an ornamental metal balustrade, in lieu of the wooden staircase formerly used. The Harper memorial cenotaph has been removed from the last bay of the south aisle to the north transept. A temporary gallery has been created in the north transept to receive the organ, which has been removed from its old position in the north aisle. The wind for the instrument is obtained from the bellows placed in the underground chamber (referred to in the description of the building), from which it is conveyed, by wind trunks or pipes, the supply being readily regulated by means of an ingenious arrangement for controlling the speed of the motor and bellows.

It is hoped that at no distant date funds will be forthcoming for the purpose of erecting a suitable porch over the door leading into the north transept.

Text - Press, Volume LXI, Issue 12027, 31 October 1904, Page 8

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