Magazine article Anglican Journal

Cathedral 'Can't Be Restored'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Cathedral 'Can't Be Restored'

Article excerpt

St. Jude's Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut--known as the "igloo" church for its distinctive dome-and-spire shape--has been declared structurally unsafe following a Nov. 5 fire and cannot be restored, said Archdeacon John Tyrrell.

"The building inspector examined the building and declared the laminate beam structure unsafe and it will have to come down, " he said in an interview. The nighttime fire badly charred the building's interior and its furnishings. Many of the cathedral's artifacts, including wall hangings by Inuit artists, a historic crozier (bishop's staff), a narwhal-tusk cross and altar rails in the shape of dogsleds, were also destroyed, said Mr. Tyrrell.

On Dec. 21, Litanie Pitsulak, 27, was arrested and charged with arson, breaking and entering to commit an offence and possession of stolen goods under $5, 000. He appeared in court in Iqaluit on Jan. 23, but at press time, a plea had not yet been entered.

The congregation is "mourning the loss" but "worship has never stopped, " Mr. Tyrrell noted, adding that services are taking place in the parish hall, which is next to the cathedral but was undamaged. He said he has had no contact with Mr. Pitsulak, but that the congregation had a "service of healing" as a way of coping with the emotional effect of the fire.

The diocese of the Arctic is currently in discussions with the cathedral's insurer, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, a U.K.-based insurer with offices in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Halifax. …

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