Calling Photographers, Artists and Poets!

Restoration of our landmark church is now in its fourth phase. Three previous Heritage Lottery Fund grants have enabled essential repairs to numerous roofs and side walls of the church, to stop water ingress. A fourth project is now underway, to secure funds for the dome and the main sanctuary, to preserve the building for future generations.

Project manager, Anne Archer said, “As part of the community outreach for this next HLF grant application, we are planning a ‘Reflections Book’ containing stunning images and inspiring reflections.”

The church would like to showcase local talent and our beautiful Wirral, to produce a book to make people stop and ponder. They are looking for a variety of high-quality photos/artwork of local scenes and people, that will bring a smile and recall happy memories. The book will be available free of charge to libraries, care homes, day centres, schools and on request. Some local schools have already expressed an interest in submitting some children’s work.

Canon Montjean, Rector of the church added, “We hope the book will include a couple of photos showing family events at the church such as a wedding or baptism, so we need people to check their old photos and to get in touch.”

All old photos collected, taken in or outside the church, will be used for another strand of the project: to produce a digital, searchable archive of life events, that visitors can access. Has anyone in your family been married or baptised at the church? Please contact us about your family heritage being included.

The church is keen for this book to be inclusive of all, including people with dementia. And so, for the poets among you, they are looking for poems and reflections with simple language and short sentence structure.

For more information on how to submit artwork, photos or reflections, email  contactus(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)domeofhome.org or phone 0774 323 5046. Deadline for all submissions is Friday 28th June 2019.

In support of Wirral as ‘Borough of Culture 2019’, The Dome of Home is hoping to produce a 2020 local calendar with 12 of the best submissions, available September 2019. There will be an art exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery Community Café during the whole of November 2019 and a November Sunday afternoon Recital showcasing the best poems and reflections, also at the Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.  Any New Brighton businesses who would like to distribute this calendar, please get in touch.

Get creating!

Shrine featured on BBC Radio Merseyside

The recent award of match funding from the Allchurches Trust was covered in the weekly faith programme from BBC Radio Merseyide ‘Daybreak‘ on Sunday 17th March.

The show, whose usual host is Helen Jones, was presented on this occasion by Paul Beesley and the feature on our church can be heard here (forward the play slider to 1:08).

[You will need to be either a registered BBCi user or be prepared to register]

Important Match Funding secured

The restoration of our church, has received a significant boost this week from Allchurches Trust.

Architecturally ambitious and built in 1933, our church dominates Wirral’s skyline. It was nicknamed ‘The Dome of Home’ by merchant seamen returning to Liverpool during The Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War.

This restoration project initially began with National Lottery Heritage Funding in August 2018. A grant of £12,200 from Allchurches Trust to The Institute of Christ the King, who care for the church, means that over half of the match-funding support for 2020 work has now been secured.

Great plans are taking shape to complete the restoration of the majestic dome, drum and main Sanctuary of this beautiful landmark church including activities for the whole community linked to Wirral’s Borough of Culture 2019.

Since 2013, two-thirds of the roofs of this basilica-like building have been restored. 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 watertight.

Canon Montjean, Rector of the church, said, “This grant from Allchurches Trust is a substantial contribution towards our match-funding for our most ambitious project yet! Thank you so much to Allchurches Trust and National Lottery players. We’ve launched a new ‘Friends’ group to help fundraising and they will be delighted at this massive help towards our target in November 2019 when we must submit the next HLF application.”

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and gave £16.9 million to churches, charities and communities in 2018. Its funds come from its ownership of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

Allchurches Trust grants officer, Paul Playford, said: “This project is a true celebration of this heritage gem, but also of the rich history of the local community, and the church’s continuing and growing role within that community. It’s wonderful how this project is bringing together local people of all ages to share their reminiscences and collective experiences, with the aim of preserving them for future generations and improving wellbeing. We’re delighted to be able to support such an ambitious
and innovative project.”

Canon Montjean added, “We’ve planned our heritage activities to welcome new people, stimulate nostalgic memories but keeping the church’s primary function, open all day, every day, accessible for everyone to enjoy the oasis of traditional worship and Gregorian chant.”

Teams of volunteers are planning a varied Activity Programme for the whole community. It includes a dementia-friendly inspirational ‘Reflections book’, with contributions from local artists, photographers, poets and schoolchildren. There will be a digital photo album collecting and archiving personal heritage associated with the church, musical activities to bring the community together, a Secondary Education Pack and Continued Professional Development for Heritage professionals: something for all ages and abilities, and all happening in this wonderful building. Project Manager, Anne Archer commented, “Things are coming together. We’ve begun to collect family photos of events at the church for our new digital Photoalbum archive, to be completed in 2020, during the second phase of the project; and we’re just about to launch publicity to collect stunning local images from artists and photographers with inspiring reflections interspersed with memories of the church, to make people stop and ponder. It’s really exciting.”

If anyone has photos, artwork or reflections to contribute to this project, would like to join some volunteers to help or just book a volunteer-led Guided Tour or school visit, email contactus(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)domeofhome.org or follow us on Facebook Dome of Home, Twitter @domeofhome or phone 0774 323 5046.

HLF 4 Presentation booklet

In September 2018, we won HLF funding for Development to prepare a second round Application by November/December 2019

This second round pass is highly competitive, but funding would restore the Dome, drum and Sanctuary roofs, to improve New Brighton. Local councils and museums have large teams of people working on Heritage Grant applications. We will not succeed in getting this funding without your help!

Please find here a presentation of the grant and a sign up form, if you want to help us for this development phase.