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.”
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.