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More Christchurch churches damaged by quakes

By Krissy Dwyer

Published: 4:35PM Wednesday June 15, 2011 Source: ONE News

Churches damaged in Christchurch's February earthquake have been further battered by this week's series of aftershocks.

Paddy Beban, financial administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, says structural engineers are still making assessments.

"Schools have been our priority, but we now have resources to apply to our churches," he said.

"Churches badly damaged in the February earthquake are more badly damaged and remain closed, or are in a state of rubble."

Damaged churches include Burwood, Dallington, Korean Catholic Community, Leeston, Lincoln, Lyttelton, New Brighton, Papanui and Templeton.

Lance Ryan, chairman of the Christchurch Cathedral Management Board, said the historic building has sustained further "substantial damage".

Outside concrete floors have collapsed and have damaged the north and south arches that help support the dome, Ryan said.

In early June, several shipping containers were placed in front of the cathedral's fragile north tower to prevent it from collapsing in an aftershock.

Ryan says this preventive measure has held the tower in place as intended, although the extent of any damage from the latest aftershocks has yet to be determined.

Philip Baldwin, communications officer for the Anglican Church, says people of the church community have different reactions to the new damage.

"Some people feel energised about moving forward despite the building collapses. But some people just don't know how to go forward," he said.

Churches yet to be checked include Christchurch North, Bryndwr, St Albans and Woolsten.

Some churches which have been open since the February quake remain open.

These include Addington and Carmelite Monastery, Akaroa, Beckenham, Bishopdale, Mairehau, Riccarton and Te Rangimarie.

At damaged sites, alternative locations for Mass celebrations have been arranged.