by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Choirs and music groups will be delighted that work has started on the new parish facilities and music centre at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Christchurch.

An digital impression of the new parish  facilities and music centre (centre and left, grey building) at St Mary’s Pro- Cathedral in Manchester Street, Christchurch.
An digital impression of the new parish facilities and music centre (centre and left, grey building) at St Mary’s Pro- Cathedral in Manchester Street, Christchurch.
The new parish complex includes offices for use by the parish, an expanded space that will include the former Catholic Shop, which was in Chancery Arcade, and facilities for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Choir, other music groups and the wider community.
Fr Chris Friel, St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral administrator, said that after three years of development the new parish complex will be a welcome re-start for the diocese and city.
“It will incorporate a state-of-the-art acoustically designed choir area, music and instrument storage areas, rehearsal room, library storage and kitchen facilities. With new landscaping and improved off -street car parking, the facility will be available for hire to other choirs and music groups for rehearsals or as a music events centre,” he said.
Don Whelan, musical director for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said that the new facilities will demonstrate that Christchurch can be a welcoming home for creative artists, and that the Catholic Church music treasury is a heritage to be shared with others.
“It is a vital boost in morale for all those involved in the ministry of music and those [performing] in events both locally and internationally. The highly regarded Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Choir and orchestra is an integral part of the diocese and the new facility will be very welcome,” he said.
The development is being built by Fusion Homes and project managed by Opus International Consultants. It is hoped the new $1.6m facility will be completed and opened in December, 2015.

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