Photo exclusive: Pictures from inside quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral

For the first time in years, pictures of the wrecked interior of the Christ Church cathedral have been released.

The images come from a Beca drone that was flown inside the building in 2019.

The footage was released exclusively to the Herald.

The building was devastated by the February 2011 earthquake and stood fenced off for years until a decision to reinstate it was made in 2017.

Heritage expert and Anglican lay cannon Jenny May was one of the few people who entered parts of the damaged building after the earthquake, alongside Urban Search and Rescue, to retrieve items important to the Anglican church, including the processional crosses, silver chalices, and the bishop’s crosier.

Ten years on, the drone footage revealed an interior frozen in time, with large piles of rubble throughout the building, and a thick layer of pigeon poo covering everything under the rafters.

An area near where the cathedral tower collapsed had developed its own “micro-climate”, with trees and plants growing in exposed areas.

Stalls, seats allocated to the cathedral’s canons and lay canons, remained, as well as the organ, which contained about 4000 pipes.

Stabilisation work on the building is now well underway, and the entire reinstatement is expected to take up to eight years.

Many heritage aspects of the building are also being saved, rescued, or put back together, including the large Rose Window in the West Wall.

In October 2020 it was revealed the cost to reinstate the cathedral, build two new buildings, and do the surrounding landscaping would be about $154 million.

The Christ Church Cathedral Reinstate Trust is expected to soon release a guided video tour of inside the building, narrated by May.

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