Sacred Heart Cathedral immediate closure
Following a verbal report from structural and civil engineers Dunning Thornton, the Parish has been working through a process of due diligence regarding the structural condition of the Cathedral. Yesterday it received a peer review of the detailed seismic assessment (DSA) that recently advised that the Cathedral was ‘’earthquake prone’’ under the Building Act 2004. Both reports have confirmed that the Cathedral currently presents a significant risk to occupants in an earthquake event.
Our Parish Finance Committee and Parish Pastoral Council met last night and recommended to the Parish Leadership Team of Fr. Ron Bennett (Moderator), Debbie Matheson (Lay Pastoral Leader) and Fr. James Lyons (Priest in Sacramental Ministry) to close the building immediately. This decision was not taken lightly. Cardinal John Dew has been advised of this recommendation and the Cathedral complex, including Connolly Hall closed today.
However, one piece of good news, Dunning Thornton have suggested an interim solution which would allow us to use Connolly Hall, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the foyer (they are part of a separate structure built in the 1980’s and are not earthquake prone). We are engaging with the engineers and LT McGuinness to ascertain the cost and timetabling required.