A week from today I’ll be going to New Zealand to give a week of lectures on the theology of church architecture. Several years ago, the beautiful and historic city of Christchurch, New Zealand, was rocked by 2 large earthquakes. 183 people were killed.
It was just a blip on the news in the United States, but it destroyed a large part of their downtown and caused major portions of both the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals to fall down, both now unusable. Almost half of the Catholic churches in the diocese are unusable as well. The task they have before them is daunting: rebuilding much of the city, including two new cathedrals. I’ve been invited to do my little part.
This video clip below shows part of a documentary filmmaker’s beautiful and horrifying footage captured as the earthquake was happening. Watch especially from -11:50 forward (note: some uncensored cursing is in the footage as people are panicked) and at -10:55 and forward as the Anglican cathedral takes a major hit (it’s steeple is already gone by then). At -6:11 and forward you can see more of the Anglican cathedral’s condition, with its steeple’s cross lying on the ground.
Please pray for them and for me. The Holy Spirit’s the one who will bring understanding, hope and peace to this place. And hopefully some beautiful new churches as well.