The pause in the demolition of Christ Church Cathedral is a positive sign that the building's fate is not sealed. Its destruction, which had seemed the inevitable outcome of the Anglican Church's stand, is now less certain as the Government and the diocese consider the Greater Christchurch Building Trust's report that sets out a plan for the cathedral's conservation. The result is the sense that, for the first time, the contending parties are in dialogue.
The previous lack of serious dialogue had raised the temperature of the debate, causing unnecessary division in a city in need of unity. Positions had become entrenched, personal accusations were too common and the tone was embittered. The pause to consider eases that tension, at least temporarily. Even if the Anglican hierarchy remains committed to demolition, the advocates of retention will at least have the consolation of knowing that they were listened to.
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