The Church is fine (pen vs earthquake)

Anna Cull Pen vs earthquake Oxford Tce

Built in 1881, the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church was one of the many buildings conspicuously absent from the landscape when we flew over Christchurch last month. I’ve circled the relevant piece of dirt in the photograph below (click on the photo for a closer look). The building was badly damaged by the September 2010 earthquakes and then completely collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake. It was famous for having a sign out the front which read: “Our building is cracked, the Church is fine!” Although the neoclassical structure (an unusual style for Christchurch) is not going to be rebuilt, there are reports that the damaged Oamaru stone is to be used in a sculpture ― what a wonderful way of honouring the spirit and tenacity of its congregation.

Where Oxford Terrace Baptist Church isn’t, Christchurch, 2013
Where Oxford Terrace Baptist Church isn’t, Christchurch, 2013

Anna Cull Pen vs earthquake Oxford Tce comparison

The sketch is originally from this student project. Ben Heine’s ingenious Pencil Vs Camera images were my inspiration for this series.

8 thoughts on “The Church is fine (pen vs earthquake)

  1. Oxford Tce Baptist was the first church Mum and I attended when we arrived in New Zealand in 1974. You’re right; its architecture was unusual for the city. Even though it is gone, may its memory live on. Thanks for being part of that.

    1. Of all the pen vs earthquake posts, this one was the most challenging to shoot because there was nothing left of it — which was very disconcerting — and I have such fond memories of rehearsing here with Celebration Singers (all those years ago). Sigh.

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