A HERITAGE lottery grant of £138,900 will allow an iconic religious landmark to carry out vital repairs and engage visitors once more.
The project will help make the SS Peter, Paul and Philomena’s Church in New Brighton church weatherproof by repairing some of the roofs, re-pointing the brickwork and replacing some damaged internal plasterwork.
It will also see visitors benefit from a new accessible toilet and a range of activities aimed at helping them engage with the heritage, art and architecture of the Dome of Home.
The release of a new guide book planned over Easter will be complemented by a new professional website and the successful Heritage Tour - launched for the Heritage Open Days in September 2013 – will continue in order to engage visitors interested in both local and personal heritage.
The church, which was built in 1935, received its Dome of Home nickname from mariners returning to Liverpool during World War II.
It closed in 2008 but a campaign was soon launched against the decision, with services resumed in its day chapel in March 2011.
Canon Amaury Montjean, French priest and rector of the church, said: “Following the enormous success of our first Heritage Open Days last September, we hope to welcome many more visitors throughout the summer on our Guided Tours.
“Our volunteers have been working really hard to secure the necessary match funding for this Stage II Heritage Lottery Fund Grant with the help of other funders such as National Churches Trust, Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation Trust and Latin Mass Society. We are indebted to their assistance.”
Wallasey councillor Paul Hayes said: “It is terrific news that the Heritage Lottery Fund are continuing their support for the Dome of Home.
“This church's contribution to the heritage of Wirral is substantial and this is widely recognised by members of our community, as shown by the huge public backing the church received for its bid for 'Love Wirral' funding from Wirral Council in January."
The council allocated a cash pot to each of the borough’s four constituencies to ensure Wirral looks its best when thousands descend on the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake in July for the Open Golf Championship.
After a public vote, the church’s bid for £500 funding to illuminate the Dome was successful and will go towards creating a beacon for Wirral.