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Church of St John the Baptist, Central Christchurch

Church of St John the Baptist, Central Christchurch

Christchurch and Canterbury suffered a devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on Saturday September 5 at 4:35am. This has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, many of them significant. 100,000 homes have been damaged. Much of central city Christchurch is closed. This page has been following developments as best as possible, and with its significance in a search for “Christchurch earthquake” has been reorganized to be as helpful as possible.

The above animation was inserted into this post on September 6. It is taken from here.

Click here for the top animation I can find for the quake period.

What is open and available

A Google Map has been created by Mr David Knight from Wellington to help people in Canterbury find out what services and shops are open, and what roads and bridges are closed, following Saturday’s devastating 7.1 earthquake and its hundreds of aftershocks.
View Canterbury & Christchurch Earthquake Map – What’s open and working? in a larger map

Anyone can add information to the map, which is continuously being updated. My suggestion is that churches also add what they can currently provide.

Making donations

To make a donation for victims of the quake:
– Phone 0900 33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation
– FreeTXT ‘QUAKE’ to 555 to donate $5 or FreeTXT ‘QUAKE’ to 333 to donate $3 from any Vodafone mobile
– Donate online at
– Donate in person at any branch of NZ Post, Kiwibank, ANZ, National Bank, ASB, TSB and BNZ across New Zealand.
– Mail a cheque (made payable to New Zealand Red Cross) to: Canterbury Earthquake Appeal, Freepost 232690, PO Box 12-140, Thorndon, Wellington 6144.


Facebook event: “Student Volunteer base for Earthquake clean up” has over 3,000 attending – going out to help where needed. I’m proud of you Sam! A cheer for many young people out there helping – there’s a lot of positive stories in amongst the frazzled, tired, frightened most-of-us.

Church services

Wonderful collection of worship & prayer resources for following a natural disaster

Anglican services this Sunday
Roman Catholic services this Sunday

The Anglican Cathedral congregation will be meeting here at Christ’s College. The Chapel pre-dates the cathedral and the diocesan offices were first here. Christ’s College was intended for the Square, with the cathedral as its chapel. When Christ’s College moved to its current site there were complaints about how far it was away from the city!

Sunday September 12 update

Slip closes road and rail between Christchurch and Kaikoura.

Cathedral Square - the Dean presides - the Wizard in the congregation

Cathedral Square the Dean presides the Wizard in the congregation

Cathedral Square service on TV3 news
Cathedral Square service on TV1 news

A congregation of about 500 were at the 10am Eucharist in Cathedral Square, the Cathedral being closed until further notice. (photo source: Anglican Taonga)
The bishop’s pastoral letter
Lynda Patterson’s Cathedral Square sermon

Anglican communities throughout the diocese now have signs everywhere:
Feeling Shaken?
Open to talk and pra

There have been eight quakes in the last 24 hours (366 quakes in total so far. 3 hours of quakes in total). A fire destroyed a home opposite the Arts Centre in the night. St Luke’s community worshipped at St Michael’s. St Luke’s structural damage appears to have happened in the Wednesday morning quake. The Community of the Sacred Name brick building is questionable. As is Rosary House. St Paul’s Dallington, I understand, will be demolished.

Saturday September 11 update

Still quakes. The cordon in the central city has been removed. Demolition continues.
The City Mission is able to provide help
I know people have also taken furniture etc. to the Salvation Army in Linwood (177 Linwood Ave) for others who need it.

Friday September 10 update

The cordon was to have been removed in central Christchurch, but, after quakes in the night, the cordon is still in place. 2,300 homes are uninhabitable. Job losses are beginning to be announced.

Thursday September 9 update

Update 3:30pm

Bishop Victoria deconsecrates historic chapel at Churchill Courts

Bishop Victoria deconsecrates historic chapel at Churchill Courts

With no real warning the historic chapel at Christchurch’s Churchill Courts aged care complex was hastily deconsecrated yesterday as a demolition crew waited to tear down the dangerous, unstable building.

It was originally built to serve St Saviour’s orphanage. The orphanage has long gone, but the chapel found a new life when the Churchill Courts’ complex was built around it. Further photos and text at Taonga.

Update September 9 9:30am: There have only been 7 aftershocks in the night – only three 4 or more in strength. There have been a total of over 350 shocks, lasting a total of about 3 hours. Southbridge school is the first to re-open. Central Christchurch is still closed.Yesterday’s morning quake may have originated from a different fault. A 6 strength shake is still possible, and may even happen months from now.

Wednesday September 8 update

Update September 8 8:30am. Ongoing quakes through the night; then a BIG shake at 7:50am. Lost power for about 20 minutes. On the radio people sound tired, frazzled, frightened. Concern and convictions that other buildings would have been lost. Surprised to see it was only 5.1 – must have been its distance and depth. People checking on each other.
Latest on the new cracks in the cathedral: they have been checked and it appears the building is structurally sound.

Update September 8 2:30pm:
I am not now sure what is happening to the New Zealand Express Company building imaged above. Possibly it is being dismantled rather than demolished. State of Emergency has been extended to next Wednesday September 15.

Of the two badly injured, one has been discharged, the other is still critical in Intensive Care. The sharp quake this morning meant the Civil Defence HQ in the Art Gallery was evacuated.

Update September 8 9:45pm: I have uploaded some more photos I took today onto the slide-show near the top of this post.
Good updates as they happen on the Herald website. Interestingly, this site is mentioned today there at 8:30am
Estimate of the cost has now doubled to $4 billion.

Flickr photos
Water restrictions have been lifted. Water is now safe again in Christchurch & Banks Peninsula (& we have the best water in the world!)

Tuesday September 7 update

Update 9:30am September 7: Aftershocks continue.
The Church of the Holy Innocents, near Peel Forest, was damaged

Update 6:30pm September 7:

St John's Hororata

St John's Hororata

There have been over 120 aftershocks 35 on Saturday up to 5.4; 37 on Sunday up to 5.1; 33 on Monday up to 5.4; 11 today up to 5.4.
Schools and Kindergartens will be closed until September 13.
There are estimated to be 5,000 houses not insured.
The government will help those not earning because of the quake.Cracks have appeared in the Anglican cathedral after the afterquakes.
At lease one welfare centre has been evacuated after further aftershocks.
There are temporary power generators in place.
All Saudi students are being evacuated by their government.
Boarders from the school where I am chaplain joined other young people to clear up where helpful. The Prime Minister has cancelled his overseas trip as has the Bishop of Christchurch. St Albans Coptic church has had major damage to its facade and side wall.
Update on the Christchurch Anglican Diocese website.
There was a quake in Hawke’s Bay today, magnitude 5.2.
The beautiful, significant building, imaged below, is unable to be saved. It was built for the New Zealand Express Company in 1905-1906 and at the time of its construction it was the tallest commercial building in Christchurch. (video clip)


Monday September 6 update

Update 8pm September 6: It appears 100,000 homes are damaged. The State of Emergency may be up for days. There have been about 100 aftershocks. You can check latest quakes here.

St Mary’s, Timaru has been damaged.
Video of the Vicar of Hororata
Images on the Anglican news website (Taonga).

St Mary’s Merivale (and Hall and Vicarage), St Barnabas’ Fendalton, St Matthew’s St Albans, Holy Trinity, Avonside, the Community of the Sacred Name, Rugby Street Methodist Church and Hall, and the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church have all been damaged.

Sunday September 5

Thank you to all for thoughts and prayers for all affected here. It was certainly a very frightening experience – the strongest earthquake in a city here since 1931. The remarkable thing is that an earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter Scale has resulted in no deaths as far as can be ascertained. There have been over 30 aftershocks – some up to magnitude 5.4. These could continue for weeks.

Some of my photos:

The bishop writes, ““My prayers go out to all those in the diocese who have been impacted by the earthquake. We praise God that there were no deaths or severe injuries and my thoughts are with those parishes that have received significant damage. I am aware that many in our diocese are feeling anxious with the ongoing after shocks but I pray that the peace of God be with you and all those involved in the clean up operation at this time.”

St John’s Church, Hororata, near the epicentre of the earthquake, is perhaps the worst-damaged church building (see video clip following). In the central city, St John the Baptist, Latimer Square, has had damage to its bell tower. St Luke’s in the City has lost brick from a number of its window peaks. Other churches further out have also been affected. The Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals appear to have survived extremely well. Christ’s College has come through very well – past work strengthening the buildings has been remarkably successful. The chapel appears unscathed.

A reflection on the difference between Haiti and Christchurch – both experienced an earthquake strength 7. (H/T Brian McMichael)

Other image:
from the Herald
from Yahoo
from the Guardian
from Stuff

6pm update: Every building is being systematically examined and rated.
Green – all safe
Red – no access
Yellow – restricted access

The Anglican cathedral has a green.

Little by little, some areas of central Christchurch are being classified outside the cordon. St Michael and All Angels is now outside the cordon and appears fine.

20% of the city is without water. There are 200 breaks in the water system. Forecasted strong winds haven’t yet arrived – still expected. Basically there is a blanket closure of buildings until Wednesday or until checked by a structural engineer. Urban search and rescue teams have also gone through every place.

10:30pm update: more photos

This is a video of the first flyover of the fault trace.

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