Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is listed as a Group 1 – Highly Significant heritage item (item no. 46) in the Christchurch District Plan. It is also listed on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero as a Historic Place Category (list number is 47).
Category 1 status is given to places of ‘special or outstanding historical or cultural significance or value’.
Bishop John Joseph Grimes, the first Catholic bishop of Christchurch, commissioned the construction of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The cathedral was designed in 1901 by church architect Francis William Petre who drew inspiration from the rectangular floor plans of early Christian basilicas. The contractor, J. and W. Jamieson, employed fifty men during its four year construction. A tile mosaic in the sanctuary was laid by Italian workmen from Sydney.
The cathedral was blessed and opened by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr. Thomas Carr, on 12 February 1905.
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament suffered extensive damage during the Canterbury earthquakes that commenced in September 2010. In 2011 emergency make safe works resulted in the removal of falling hazards that included the northern bell tower and the main dome. In 2019 it was determined that the future use of the building as a cathedral was no longer viable and its demolition announced.
Here is a 25 minute documentary on the work at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in 2011 while employed at Opus International.