The Dedication and Opening of the Bishop Selwyn Chapel in August 2016 was an important date because it also signified the official completion of Holy Trinity Cathedral. Gone is the corrugated iron that clad the Newmarket-end of the building. Instead, the amazing Fearon Hay-designed, glass-walled Chapel stands looking out to Neil Dawson’s garden cross and to the city beyond.
Extending from the Cathedral's ambulatories, and located behind the High Altar, The Bishop Selwyn Chapel is a multi-purpose venue seating up to 120 people designed to accommodate a wide variety of community events and enable greater community access to the Cathedral's auditorium.
The sweeping ceiling covered in gold leaf floats above the glass walls. The walls behind the alter not only fully retract, but also disappear giving the ultimate feeling of reaching out to the community beyond. At night the Chapel has a soft golden glow, uninterrupted by the lighting recessed into the ceiling.
Fearon Hay Architects’ design sought to “complete the journey (or procession) from north to south on the site; from the front of the cathedral through to the columbarium and the maunga,” explains architect Jeff Fearon in an interview with Justine Harvey for Architecture NZ. “We wanted to create a sense of movement and looseness and for the chapel to have a strong presence – a sense of visual permeability.”
The final part of Selwyn's Vision is the consecration of Holy Trinity Cathedral. With the work completed on the Bishop Selwyn Chapel, Holy Trinity Cathedral moves closer to this celebration which is expected to take place in 2017, the year that marks the 60th anniversary of the laying of the Cathedral's foundation stone.