In March 2020, Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena Catholic Church was awarded a much-coveted ‘Heritage Grant’ of £362,900 by National Lottery, to complete the restoration of the roof and dome. As the country begins its recovery from Covid-19, we have been given permission to start this project, our biggest one yet. The contractors will begin to scaffold the Dome and main sanctuary roofs at the end of June and the regeneration will be seen for miles across Wirral.
Project manager, Anne Archer, said, “Some of the planned project activities to engage with the heritage will be slow to start, especially the planned visits by Care Homes, while the church reopens for individual visits. They will happen and we will become much more dementia friendly, but the bulk of this work will be when the building works have been completed.”
“However, we are still hoping to arrange scaffolding tours for the public as part of the Heritage Open Days in September, and a conference for Heritage professionals. Work on New Brighton’s memories for a very special book will start remotely with some of our partners. Our great team is working on keeping this church open for everyone and would welcome more volunteers.”
Thanks to the help of Wirral Borough Council, The Dome of Home has been able to implement social distancing guidelines and reopen to the public for 2 hours daily. ‘Wirral Together’ Fund awarded £337 for hand sanitisers, notices and PPE for volunteer stewards. At the moment, the church is open for 2 hours every day from 1-3pm. This will change from 24th June to 5-7pm when the building work begins.
Canon Montjean, Rector of the church said, “We are delighted to reopen our church so that local people can pay a visit to our sanctuary, safely. Please check our website for updated times.”
If you have a smart phone, it is likely that you will have a facility called QR (Quick Response) in the phone which reads a bar code and opens up a preprogrammed link to a website. If your phone does not have a QR reader, there will be several free ones at your app store/
We have set up two links to help you reach our streams:
Your Canons will prioritise your Sacramental life here at the Shrine in New Brighton during this unprecedented crisis.
His Eminence Cardinal Nichols, together with the Bishops Conference of England and Wales have accordingly decreed that all public Masses in our country be suspended from 8pm on Friday 20th March until further notice.
Our community needs to cooperate in avoiding mass gatherings, which spread the virus, but our priority is to preserve and continue fostering the spiritual life and access to the Sacraments.
Therefore, there will be no public Masses or other services until further notice. Your priests will continue to celebrate Mass in private. Daily Mass at 9.30am (including Saturday and Sunday) and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6pm will be live streamed on the ICKSP Dome of Home Facebook page and on ICKSP Dome of Home YouTube channel for you to watch (you do not need a Facebook account).
Confessions available on request: please contact us to arrange a meeting. The confessional will be slightly reordered as well.
Daily Adoration & Benediction: 6pm to 7pm, in the main church, respecting distancing rules whilst praying.
We strongly recommend that you make a daily spiritual communion, with your families if possible, and that you receive the Sacrament of Confession at least as often as you usually do. Feel free to contact us to arrange confession at any time.
Given the current restrictions, Holy Communion cannot be received at the Shrine Church. We shall nevertheless do our best to answer individual requests. It is heart-breaking for priests to write such words to his flock, but the root of our sorrow is the loss of the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, which should never be separated in the minds of the faithful from Sacramental Communion.
The church will be open for prayer daily from 8.30am to 7pm: please feel free to come for personal prayer. We have left some Holy Water at the back of the church to fill your own bottle to take with you. We will also leave some blessed candles to use at home.
Regarding a more materialistic matter, we still depend entirely on your generosity.
We would be very grateful if you could continue your financial help, by leaving your offertory envelopes at the door of the presbytery. Thank you for this support as well.
Please be assured of our prayers in these most difficult times for the Church and the world.
Our beloved landmark church has been awarded £362,900 by The National
Lottery Heritage Fund to complete the restoration of the majestic dome
and main sanctuary.
This architecturally ambitious basilica, built in 1933, the church
dominates Wirral’s skyline, and was nicknamed during the Second World
War. Its distinctive green dome has been lovingly known as ‘The Dome of
Home’ since mid-20th century, when sailors would see the church from the
River Mersey. ‘The Dome of Home’ is one of the last iconic Art Deco
buildings to survive redevelopment in New Brighton, whilst still
retaining its original function, and continues to open its doors for
everyone to enjoy.
Alongside the structural restoration work that will take place, the
funding will also ensure that there will be exciting activities to
enable specific members of our community to discover this historic gem
for themselves. Working with partners such as Williamson Art Gallery,
Wirral Borough Council, multiple care homes, community centres, and
local schools and libraries, activities including a dementia friendly
heritage package, a memory book and heritage talks will be delivered.
Other activities include a Reformation Workshop for students, continued
professional development for heritage workers, a conference for other
churches interested in applying for funding and Heritage Open Day
scaffolding tours and lectures. There will be something for all ages and
abilities, and all happening in this wonderful building.
Previous projects have been phased since 2013 and supported through
the National Lottery’s Grants for Places of Worship programme, restoring
two-thirds of the roofs. However, concrete bursting from the Dome ring
is putting previous investment at serious risk, and water ingress
threatens the historic fabric. During the last project, a large lump of
concrete fell onto a repaired chapel roof, confirming urgency.
Fortunately, contractors were able to ‘patch’ repair onsite. This new
project will cover the Sanctuary barrel roof with a membrane, repoint
brickwork, restore steel windows and cast-iron rainwater goods treating
the structural concrete problems, making the whole church safe and
Canon Amaury Montjean from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign
Priest and Rector of the church is delighted. He said: “This is our
biggest project yet, which has taken 18 months of careful planning by a
committed team of people! Thank you everyone, from the architect and
structural engineer, to the wonderful volunteers, supported by prayers
to ‘Our Lady of Good Success’ from the congregation. We have a special
‘Thank You cuppa’ for all National Lottery players planned to accompany a
recital of church heritage at The Williamson Art Gallery near the end
of the project, so watch this space!”
Canon Montjean added, “Match funding is going well, but not yet
complete. AllChurches Trust awarded £12.5k in March 2019 for this
project and we have received £15k in private donations. We still have
another £17k to raise and launch a further fundraising campaign today.”
Manager, Anne Archer, was overjoyed with the news. She said, “Our
volunteers have worked extremely hard planning this project, proving
that we have the capacity to succeed. It is these people who have won
this award for our church. The grant will ensure the dome becomes a
living, lasting legacy for the New Brighton community.”
David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery
Heritage Fund, said: The commitment of the Dome of Home’s volunteers is
to be applauded, as is their drive to share the fascinating heritage of
the landmark church with the wider community through a carefully
considered activity programme. Encouraging communities to discover their
history is positive not only for safeguarding the heritage itself but
also for increasing wellbeing and strengthening community pride. We are
delighted to support this worthwhile project, with thanks to National
Lottery players for making it possible.”
The Dome of Home is recruiting more people to get involved in the
activities, with the aid of Community Action Wirral. This contributes to
helping Wirral become a Dementia Friendly Borough as part of their
Action Plan pledge to help older people live well. Anyone interested in
helping and joining the fun, please email contactus(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)domeofhome.org ”
I think of you all each morning at the Altar and each evening as we
pray the Angelus before the statute of Our Lady in the Cathedral. I
think of your families and your work; of the loneliness of old age and
the generous hopes of youth; of those seeking their vocation, especially
the men discerning their vocation at the Cathedral and our seminarians
preparing for the priesthood and the young couples preparing for
marriage; I think of all our priests and deacons and consecrated women
and men, and of the whole mission of our Diocese. We know that in the
offering of every Mass our lives, our prayer, our work and our
sufferings are “united with those of Christ and his total offering, and
so acquire a new value”i. In the simple prayer of the Angelus we also
seek to unite ourselves to the “yes” Mary gave to God’s word and thereby
to Christ Himself. In the Angelus we say with Our Lady, “Let it be to
me according to your word”.ii This is a perfect prayer to accompany the
Year of the Word.
At the beginning of Lent, the Book of Genesis tells how human history
began with our first parents saying “no” to God and his loving purpose.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that: “Man,
tempted by the devil let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and,
abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command”iii. This is original sin
and “all subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of
trust in his goodness”.iv Yet amid the disaster of this primeval fall,
we hear the first announcement of the Gospel telling of the Saviour to
come and of a New Eve, the Mother of Christ, who would truly be the
Mother of all who live. Together with Our Lady we now repeat her fiat,
her “yes” to all God asks of us and to the grace God wishes to pour into
In a time of amnesia – forgetfulness – of the Christian past, we
recall how England began with this desire to say “yes” to God’s grace,
in order that a once pagan people might share Christ’s victory in the
wilderness by learning to live “by every word which comes from the mouth
of God” and worshipping and serving the Lord God alone.v Our national
identity would be forged by the Christian faith we now share. England’s
Monarchs would entrust this land to the Mother of God so that, like
Mary, we might respond to God’s word in faith. They recognised England’s
high destiny to be a place where the joy of the Annunciation will never
This year, the Bishops invite us to renew that solemn act of
entrustment to the Blessed Virgin Mary amidst the de-Christianisation of
our society, re-echoing the call with which Lent begins, “Come back to
me with all your heart”.vii On the Fifth Sunday of Lent, we will make
this act of entrustment together at the end of Mass. In Shrewsbury
Diocese, I want us to also make this entrustment throughout Lent using
the simple and profound words of the Angelus. Where Monarchs once acted
on behalf of their people, today may this same act of dedication be
renewed in the hearts of each one of us. Let us entrust ourselves, our
families, our diocese and our whole nation to the Mother of God that we
may say with her, a decisive “yes” to God’s grace and God’s plan for our
The Angelus seems especially appropriate for this purpose, for it is
the prayer of the Angel’s announcement to Our Lady. Following the Second
Vatican Council, Saint Paul VI commended the Angelus prayer especially
for our times as it vividly recalls with the words of Scripture the
Incarnation of the Son of God and leads us to pray that we may be led
“by his Passion and Cross to the glory of his Resurrection”. viii Pope
Paul asked us to use this prayer “whenever and wherever possible” amidst
our working day, however busy we might be.
This Sunday, prayer cards will be distributed across the Shrewsbury
Diocese so we can have the words of this beautiful prayer to hand. I
wish to invite you to pray the Angelus with me each day and especially
around midday on Wednesday 25th March, when we celebrate the great feast
of the Annunciation. The two or three minutes we give to this prayer
will be like a ‘breath of fresh air’ in the middle of the day, allowing
us to raise our minds and hearts to God and to re-direct all to His
United with you in this prayer and entrusting us all to the most pure heart of Mary,
Ss. Peter & Paul and St. Philomena submitted the application for a grant to National Lottery Heritage in November and we are awaiting a decision in March.
Last Thursday was our last chance to present our proposed project to our National Lottery Investment Manager and one of the committee who will be deciding whether to fund us. They were particularly impressed with the volunteer contribution during development and the promised contribution of volunteers for delivery, if we get the grant.
The investment manager explained that although some of our activities have a relatively low budget compared to some other projects from councils and museums, that is because of the massive volunteer contribution. Thank you to all who have helped so far, whether through your time, your energy, your sacrifices and your prayers.
The board of trustees will meet at the beginning of March to decide whether we deserve funding. Competition is tough. A novena for the success of our HLF application for our restoration project will be organised at the Shrine from 25th February to 4th March.
To implore the help of Our Lady, we will be saying a Novena. The Novena will be prayed at the end of the Morning Mass on weekdays, and at the end of the 10.30am Mass on Sunday.
A small booklet about the devotion and Novena to Our Lady of Good Success is for sale at the Piety Shop for £5.
On the Feast of the Epiphany, and perhaps in the days that follow, it is traditional that we seek God’s blessing on our homes and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows!
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk, blessed at Mass on the Epiphany, to write above the home’s entrance as shown in the above graphic and for a special blessing from the Rituale Romanum to be given by the priest.
The letters C, M, B have two meanings:
• They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
• They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.”
The “+” signs represent the cross and 2020 is the year.
Please speak to a Canon if you wish to have this blessing upon your home.
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