About

Every diocese is obliged by Canon Law and by the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, to maintain an archive. The Diocesan Archive ensures that all records generated by the Bishop and his administration, are “preserved [boxed and listed], transmitted, renewed and appreciated because they represent the most direct connection with the heritage of the Church Community.

The Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch had its beginnings in a collection of material from the time of its first Bishop, Bishop Grimes. This collection contained everything, from his diaries to his lantern slides, his letters to his bus tickets — everything that passed over his desk, in both directions.  The Diocesan Archives has remained at its core the material the Bishop of the day has dealt with.

 

For more information on our Archives please contact the office on 03 353 0752 or email archives@chch.catholic.org.nz

 

what we hold

The Catholic Diocese of Christchurch Archives has remained at its core the material the Bishop of the day has dealt with.  There are many significant areas within the Christchurch Diocesan Archives relating to the building of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and to its later reorganization, to parishes, schools, buildings, events and organizations.

A significant collection of photographs is held, catalogued by a dedicated group of volunteers who continue to index and make the archives accessible.

There is a growing collection of objects — everything from presentation trowels and keys to sports trophies, artworks and medals.

And finally, we hold an extensive reference library, which compliments the Archives collection and helps staff and researchers contextualize the extant archives. To follow is a small taster of the type of items we hold at the Archives:

Letter from Francis Petre, architect, to Bishop Grimes suggesting an alternative design for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament 6 February 1899

Diary of Bishop Grimes 1911

During the consecration of a Bishop two ornamental loaves of bread and two small ornamental barrels of wine are used, decorated two with silver and two with gold, bearing the escutcheons of the Consecrator and of the Bishop-elect. These were used in the consecration of Bishop Ashby 1964.