Both have been dreadfully munted by the huge earthquakes that tore the centre of Christchurch and (mainly) eastern suburbs apart.
But there is a third cathedral, so to speak, which still stands, and indeed stands waiting "to be called.".
I am using a fair dollop of artistic license here - playing on the not uncommon usage of the expression "cathedral" to describe some of the great cavernous concourses or elegant and ornamental railway stations of the world.
Here's few examples, these culled from only a few minutes searching on Google - Antwerp Station; St Pancras Station (or more about same from the New York Times); Bristol Temple Meads; Canary Wharf London
And here's some even more spectacular station buildings (these just for interest).
You get the ghist. A big space of grand proportions can really reach inside the human soul, lift the spirit up into the rafters, make us feel good.
There's another thing vaguely Biblical about Christchurch's "Third Cathedral" - it's the humblest building in the whole city! Indeed at the moment little more than a derelict rubbish dump. "As you do unto the least of me..." etc
The "Cathedral" of which I speak is this building below - all 200 plus metres of it;
This was New Zealand Railways goods shed, number 3 I think. I am told there were seven separate sheds once - though this one designed for bulk storage was probably the longest. It sits at the "bottom of main street" so to speak, in Sydenham, between the Colombo Street overbridge and the Durham Street overbridge.
Amazingly considering Sydenham took such a hammering from both of the two largest earthquakes, the building is still standing, no visible or reported structural damage as far as I know. It would provide a remarkable station concourse, although of course much re-lined and platforms and other more attractive features such as a glass atrium might be constructed on the actual sides of the building.
It could allow not only a railway station, but a completely new and far for more flexible under-cover bus exchange, a long distance and tour coach depot, car share, bike hire, rental car outlet and much more beside. Electric shuttle buses or modern or heritage trams could actually drive throught the very middle of the building. Trams or bus services could connect to the central city every 2 or 3 minutes.
The key point of a bus exchange is facility to transfer, so whilst having a good bus station in the city centre is needed, as long as all major routes travel through the city the point at which meet and cross in common can be anywhere, though obviously interaction with passenger rail would be the prime driver in this case - effectively rail would deliver passengers to the centre hub of city bus route spokes in every direction.
Some added options that spring to mind are that this massive station might also include a cinema, theatre complex or inside circus space; or a memorial museum to the earthquake which includes, (literal or abstract versions) wall sections of prominent buildings lost, the section rebuilt to orginal plan in bricks, limestone, bluestone etc; or even a spiritual religous centre constructed from the stone and beautiful woordwork of several different churches now lost; or a vast covered children's playground - with things like sizeable pirate ships etc; a native forest walk, with mountain stream wekas, wood pidgeons etc; a giant international street and farmers market open to at least 10pm every night. Sections of the saw-tooth roof could have glass removed or replaced by coloured and tinted glass, or by hydraulic louvres allowing natural sunlight or closure according to the weather. The industrial quality of the building might be made part of the interactive design and strengthening, perhaps incorporating giant machinery parts or even a whole embedded steam locomotive.....or it could have an added central tower building looking to mountains and Port Hills.
.. possibilities are endless but done well [not too kitsch] this tough old survivor could become as much an icon of Christchurch as the city's real Cathedrals have been in the past, Cathedrals which could take decades to reconstruct. if at all.
The original internal platforms have been removed but a substantial apron of land exists between the north face of the shed and the railway line to Lyttelton. I imagine more than enough land to create a through-line passenger platform (for trains continuing to Heathcote) and one or two terminal-line platforms, handling loading or unloading of three or four short trains or diesel railcar units at a time. (This apron area is currently covered with earthquake rubble from a demolition firm that leased the site and has gone broke. see photos below)