Shrine success in gaining key National Churches Trust grant

National Churches Trust (NCT) has awarded a £4868 Foundation Grant to restore 3 corroded steel framed windows at Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena’s Shrine Church, New Brighton.

This Shrine church, fondly known now as The Dome of Home, is a major landmark overlooking Liverpool Bay for the last 86 years since it was built and is cared for by the Institute of Christ the King. Since 2013, it has undergone five major restoration projects funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, AllChurches Trust, National Churches Trust and private donations large and small.

While undertaking the redecoration at The Dome earlier this year, three further windows were found to need repairs badly. Scaffolding had been installed to allow access to the high ceiling, but unexpectedly, when the architect examined these high-level windows, the corroded steel frames pushed through. As this was not included in the large National Lottery funded project to restore the dome, drum and main Sanctuary roofs, it was an extra strain on already stretched resources. Thank goodness for this well-timed grant award from National Churches Trust!

The Rector of the Shrine, Canon Amaury Montjean said, “We’re very grateful to NCT for this Providential award. I’m hoping all the work, decorating, lighting scheme and these windows will be completed by Christmas, ready for visitors.”

The Dome of Home has begun a programme of activities to engage a wider audience: from free monthly Heritage Talks in-person or on YouTube entitled ‘Organ music shaped our heritage’; to conferences for conservation professionals; to Liverpool TV films about the Restoration Project; to becoming a Dementia-friendly church with a Postcard Memory Project with schools, the local community and Care Homes to save and archive memories that may be lost.

Canon Montjean added, “The church is open, daily, and welcomes everyone. The Organ Recitals are completely free-of-charge to showcase and explain liturgical organ music.  Next Recital is Sunday 12th December at 4pm. All welcome! We’ve even overhauled the heating system so that it’s warm when you pop in!”

Anne Archer, Project Manager commented, “Many people have happy memories of Merseyside’s own traditional English seaside resort – New Brighton. To celebrate the church’s restoration, we will be launching a Memory Project in January 2020 to collect memories about ’New Brighton: 86 years under the shelter of The Dome’, for local exhibitions, submission to our Guidebook and archived with Wallasey Central Library.”

If anyone is interested in submitting memories of New Brighton in general and/or the church, or helping with the collection and sorting, please email .

The National Churches Trust is the national, non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting churches of all Christian denominations in the UK.

It aims to:

* Provide grants for the repair, maintenance and modernisation of church buildings.
* Act as a catalyst to improve and bring resources to the management of church building.
* Promote the value of church buildings to the community at large.

 

Appeal: New Lighting & Chandeliers for the Shrine

Our project to restore the main sanctuary roof, dome and drum has been completed successfully. The church has been decorated in a colour similar to the original 1930s scheme to match the beautiful marble on the main altar. This was largely and providentially funded by a single private donor. Deo gratias!  The contractor will begin to remove the scaffolding at the end of September. 

As you know, the Institute relies on Divine Providence in our undertakings, and to date we have not been disappointed. Many good people have responded to His inspiration to help, so thank you, everyone for your time, prayers, patience and financial donations.

However, during these projects, we realised that to make this church fitting for Our Lord, it was imperative to commission several additional work.

Repair the Sacristy

 

The windows were rotten and roof leaking. This work was urgent, so we instructed the architect and contractor to proceed immediately, but we still need extra funds to pay for this.

Lighting replacement

We must now replace the old, orange lights in the nave and Sanctuary for new lights that are unobtrusive, economical, easy to control and compliment the new decor. The contractor discovered many of the existing lights were broken when he inspected from the scaffold. These fittings can’t be reinstalled so, unless we want a dark winter, we don’t have much choice but to press on. We have only a few weeks left with the ‘bird-cage’ internal scaffold, so we can save money on the installation, if we can raise funds quickly. Our Lighting Designer recommended that the failing lighting installation be replaced with 52 LED floodlights that are dimmable and provide better glare control and better colour rendition. This is not cheap and unexpected.  We need your help!

New chandeliers fittings for the Nave

Have you seen the beautiful sample Chandelier hanging from the scaffold? Such lighting fixture would really enhance our very bare nave, more in keeping with its original Italianate design. This bespoke design in the picture opposite, is made of wrought iron, electrified with 15 LED lights on 2 tiers in an Antique gold finish, manufactured by a company in the South of France. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales have very kindly donated £10,000 towards this exciting enhancement. But we still need more funds to buy three more!

National Lottery Heritage Fund has already funded the restoration of roofs and windows of the church for approximately £1.2 million but they won’t fund any decoration or lights. We will be contacting our previous funders such as AllChurchesTrust and National Churches Trust for help, but these applications take a long time to complete, and success is not guaranteed.

To download this appeal on a PDF format, please click here
To download the Donation / Gift Aid form, please click here

We rely on your generosity for this last but important phase to give glory to Our Blessed Lord!

Thank you and God bless you all.