01 Apr 2012
On Monday afternoon, Bishop Victoria took a few moments out of her busy Holy Week schedule to receive an open letter of support from over 70 Christchurch church leaders for the decision made by the Diocese about the Christchurch Cathedral.
Steve Graham, spokesman for the letters’ organising team, says the letter comes from people who know what it means to actually lead churches and manage church buildings, a viewpoint largely overlooked in the current debate.
“We wanted to encourage Bishop Matthews and other Anglican leaders during this difficult time." he said.
Bishop Victoria said it was just wonderful to receive it.
The letter says:
An Open Letter about Christ Church Cathedral
The recent decision to deconstruct the Christ Church Cathedral announced by Bishop Victoria Matthews has been very controversial. The Cathedral is a symbol of Christchurch.
Many have given to it. We have all benefitted from it. We all care about it.
As church leaders we know how important church buildings can be. But we also know that God is too great to be limited to a building no matter how sacred or special it might be. God’s real ‘church’ is the people and people matter more to God than any building.
We support Bishop Victoria Matthews and the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch in their decision to deconstruct the Cathedral.
We grieve the loss of a building that has meant so much to all of us
We recognise how difficult a decision this has been.
We affirm the responsibility and the right of the Anglican Church to make that decision.
We pray for the Bishop and other leaders as they face the challenges this brings.
We believe that a new Cathedral will better serve the people of Christchurch.
Alan Aitken, Managing Trustee, Community Development Network Trust
Alan Jamieson, Senior Pastor, Spreydon Baptist Church
Alan Missen, Co-Moderator, Presbytery of Christchurch
Alemayehu Asres Fenta, Evangelist, Medhanealem Evangelical Church (Ethiopian)
Amy Page-Whiting, Senior Pastor, Cashmere New Life Church
Andrew Doubleday, Pastor, Opawa Community Church (Methodist)
Anthony Rimell, Senior Pastor, Breezes Road Baptist Church
Bernhard Wewege, Senior Pastor, Every Nation Christchurch
Bob Robinson, Senior Lecturer, Laidlaw College, Christchurch Campus
Chris Ponniah, Lead Pastor, Parklands Baptist Community Church
Christy Parry-Jennings, Manager, Affinity Child and Family Services
Clint Ussher, Lead Pastor, The Well Church
Craig Fairhall, Pastor, Bryndwr Baptist Church
Daphne Marsden, Pastoral Care Pastor, Spreydon Baptist Church
Di Sargent, Leadership Team, Spreydon Baptist Church
Donald Scott, Senior Pastor, Northcity Church
Doug McConnell, Senior Pastor, Avonhead Baptist Church
Dugald Wilson, Minister, St Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Avonhead
Edward Karlsen, Senior Pastor, Papanui Baptist Church
Ginette Edmonds, South Island Ministries Coordinator, Overseas Missionary Fellowship
Jack Stuart, Senior Pastor, Christchurch Chinese Church
James Peter, Pastor, Open Door Christian Centre
Janet Perry, Elder, Westchurch
John Alpe, Senior Pastor, St Albans Baptist Church
Judy Harvey, Secretary, Canterbury-Westland Baptist Churches
Ken Shelley, Senior Pastor, Kings Church
Kim Peters, Senior Minister, Lincoln Baptist Church
Lionel Brown, Missioner, Order of St Luke the Physician in New Zealand
Matt Watts, Vicar, Anglican Parish of Burnside-Harewood
Maurice Atkinson, Pastor, Oxford Baptist Church
Maurice McLaughlin, Coordinating Chaplain, Christchurch Men’s Prison
Max Palmer, Executive Director, Life Resources
Michael Brown, Pastor, Westside Church
Michael Tan, Chairperson, Community Development Network Trust
Mike Dodge, Director, Canterbury Youth Services
Murray Frost, Chairman of Elders Rutland Street Church
Murray Robertson, Pastor Emeritus, Spreydon Baptist Church
Murray Talbot, Senior Pastor, Hornby Presbyterian Community Church
Nathan Schwartfeger, Manager, Resonate - Online Sermons
Nancy-Jean Whitehead, Co-Moderator, Presbytery of Christchurch
Nigel Crocombe, Pastor, Temuka Baptist Church
Nigel Ripley, Pastor, Burwood Christian Centre
Paul Askin, Regional Leader, Canterbury Westland Baptist Churches
Paul Bennetts, Senior Pastor, Life Church
Paul Cossey, Pastor, Darfield Baptist Church
Paul & Jillian Larsen-Robertson, Directors, Ellel Ministries Aotearoa New Zealand
Peter & Vera Hira, Oversight Pastors, Christchurch Worship Centre
Phil King, Minister, St. Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Bishopdale
Philip Stedman, Pastor, Riccarton Community Church
Phyllis Harris, Minister, Lincoln Union Parish
Ray Gorrie, Senior Pastor, Travis Junction Life Centre
Rachelle Brown, Canterbury Area Chaplain, Order of St Luke the Physician in New Zealand
Rob Purdue, Executive Chairman, Bright Hope World
Rod Robson, Pastor, Ilam Baptist Church
Roger Spicer, Pastor, Halswell Baptist Church
Sally Cowie-Curham, Coordinator, Christ’s Church Pray
Samuel Maddimadugula, Coordinator, Shekinah Trust
Sandra Palmer, Pastoral Leadership Team, Riccarton Baptist Church
Stephen Leppard, Pastor, Emmett Street Christian Centre
Steve Burgess, Senior Pastor, C3 Christchurch
Steve & Sarah Hira, Senior Pastors, Christchurch Worship Centre
Steve Graham, Dean of Studies, Laidlaw College, Christchurch Campus
Stewart McLellan, Pastor, Christchurch North Elim Church
Steve McMillan, Ecumenical Chaplain, Christchurch Hospital
Wes & Janet Chambers, Senior Pastors, Living Waters Christian Centre, Christchurch
Wilhelmus Noordanus, Pastor, Cambodian Fellowship Baptist Church
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