Christchurch, New Zealand

The head of the Anglican church, Dr. Rowan Williams, had a first-hand visit to Christchurch which is still reeling from over 12,000 aftershocks since the major earthquake last year and here’s what he had to say about the destruction:

“Driving around, I thought the only thing I’ve seen like it was when I was in Beirut a few years ago, but someone was saying to me just now there were no bomb craters,” says Dr Williams.

This coming from someone who visited Beirut in 2007. The official website of the Church of England has a few words on his visit to Lebanon:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, completed a visit to Armenia, Syria and Lebanon in September [2007].


In Lebanon, the Archbishop met Palestinian refugees at the Dibayeh camp outside Beirut.

I found some photos of his visit through the All Saints’ International Congregation – Beirut blog and the following description of events:

[Dr. Rowan Williams] and his delegation were able to visit leaders from all the religious communities, expressing his support for Lebanon, and in particular for the Christians. He undertook this visit with a desire to gain some personal understanding of the particular situation in Lebanon. As part of his visit to All Saints’, Archbishop Williams spoke at a special service and took part in laying the corner stone and a ground breaking ceremony for our new bell tower.

Not sure what bomb craters Dr. Williams visited while in Lebanon but this has not been the first Beirut comments out of Christchurch. From a family that decided to leave the city to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, I expect many more comments to continue to me made.

Dr. Williams should be receiving his Looks Like Beirut Certificate soon.

ChristChurch Cathedral, after the 2011 earthquake collapsed its spire.

ChristChurch Cathedral, after the 2011 earthquake collapsed its spire.
Image via Wikipedia
According to Dr. Williams, this looks like Beirut.