Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena’s Church, New Brighton has received National Lottery support* for its new project, ‘Protecting The Dome of Home: A living, lasting legacy for the New Brighton Community’, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to complete the regeneration of New Brighton’s iconic “Dome of Home”, with restoration work on the majestic dome and main sanctuary. Development funding of £72,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help The Institute of Christ the King, who look after this church, develop their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant for this project.
The proposed Activity Programme includes a dementia-friendly oral history project, 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.
Work so far has been phased in three projects under the Grants for Places of Worship Programme, restoring two-thirds of the roofs. However, concrete bursting from the Dome ring is putting previous HLF investment at serious risk, and water ingress threatening 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 Amaury Montjean, Rector of the church is delighted. He said, “This is our biggest project yet. Please God, the next 18 months of careful planning will win us a main Heritage Grant to make all the roofs watertight, including the Dome!”
An architecturally ambitious basilica, built in 1933, Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena’s dominates Wirral’s skyline, and was nicknamed ‘The Dome of Home’ by merchant seamen returning to Liverpool during The Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War.
“HLF encourage Activities to welcome more people to this church through heritage. It is open all day, every day, for everyone and the Activities help more people understand the church and enjoy the sanctuary provided here.”
Canon Montjean added, “This new project is going to be the best one yet! Last month, we won the prestigious Marsh Innovative Church Project Award 2018 for our WWII Audio Tour, showing how this church helped during difficult times. We will need three new positions for the new project, a Conservation Architect, Project Manager and Engagement Officer, so if anyone is interested…?”
The Audio Tour is part of an Education Pack for Primary Schools booked via emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information about the new consultants posts, contact Canon Montjean on email@example.com. Closing date for applications is Friday 31st”
August with shortlisted candidates invited for interview on 12th”
Founded in 1990, The Institute of Christ the King is a traditional, international order of priests, based in Florence, Italy. The priests are called ‘Canons’ because they sing prayers of the church in Gregorian chant and services are said in Latin, the traditional language of the church. As part of their agreement with the Diocese of Shrewsbury, they have guaranteed to service the church with clergy.
The Institute has a proven track record of restoring churches in Europe, Africa and the United States, including in the UK, three successful HLF Grants for Places of Worship Projects on this church since 2013. Canon Montjean, rector of this Shrine Church since 2012, was personally responsible for building a new school while in Montpellier (2007). The Institute will oversee the restoration of the Shrine in New Brighton with the experience such past ventures give it.
* HLF Heritage Grant applications are assessed in two rounds. This project, ‘Protecting The Dome of Home’, has initially been granted round one development funding of £72,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £362,900.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.