Liverpool's Bombed Out church reveals bright future
The Bombed Out Church is reopening to the public after a £500,000 restoration project with a special event this morning.
The Pagoda Youth Orchestra Flower Drummers will perform at the 10am ceremony to mark the end of the work and celebrate the removal of St Luke’s from the Heritage at Risk register after 18 years.
As part of the refurbishments of the 185-year-old city landmark, which was destroyed in the Liverpool Blitz in May 1941, a new 3-G architectural lighting system has been installed to mean St Luke’s can be transformed in to any colour remotely by the touch of a button.
And the new lights, designed and fitted by Liverpool company MJ Quinn, were given a test drive as darkness fell last night.
Earlier this year Liverpool City Council awarded a 30-year lease to St Luke’s Bombed Out Church Ltd to run the venue as a distinctive space for arts and events. The organisation will also support the vulnerable and provide opportunities for volunteering.
And it has plans, subject to heritage funding, to develop the much-loved grade II* listed church including reinstating the balcony in the nave, mezzanine floors in the vestry, and potentially a glazed canopy in the chancel with the nave remaining open to the elements.
Photos by Gareth Jones
Bombed Out Church Ltd director Ambrose Reynolds said: “I’ve dreamed of days like today. For me St Luke’s has always been a place of beauty and wonder but now with the support of Liverpool City Council and Historic England everyone else will get to see it with a fresh pair of eyes.
“This venue has so much potential and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help shape its future.”
And Mayor Joe Anderson added: “It’s been a personal goal of mine that we restore St Luke’s to its rightful place as one of the city’s crown jewels and I’m delighted that as of today it is no longer on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
“This amazing new lighting scheme gives St Luke’s a whole new dimension to be part of city wide celebrations. It’s also a signal of the quality we should come to expect as part of a wider strategy to attract, enchant and enthral a new generation of admirers.”
Liverpool City Council and Historic England both invested £250,000 in the restoration work.
The Bombed Out Church gardens will be open to the public from 11am today.