A PROJECT to illuminate an iconic religious landmark in Wirral ahead of this year’s Open Golf Championship has been given a financial boost thanks to a grant from Wirral Council.

SS Peter, Paul and Philomena’s Church in New Brighton has been awarded Love Wirral Grants for two projects, including a scheme to floodlight the Dome of Home in an attempt to create a beacon for Wirral.

The council has 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.

After a public vote, the church’s bid for £500 funding to illuminate the Dome and £500 to repair and paint the boundary wall was successful and will now go towards the £10,000 total cost of the project.

The plan to illuminate the Dome was voted fifth in the Wallasey ward while the repair scheme came 16th and along with the money raised during a ‘wall of coins’ fundraising event held in conjunction with the primary school last month, the church now £1,200 to raise to carry out the repairs and £9,500 to make the illumination dream a reality. 

Canon Montjean, Rector of Ss Peters, Paul & Philomena’s Church, said: “We knew that illuminating the Dome would be popular, but achieving fifth place in the public vote confirms that this project has captured the imagination of local people.

“Not only will floodlighting the Dome enhance Wirral’s night sky, but will remind local people every day that this building welcomes anyone seeking sanctuary and interested in heritage. Visitor numbers are increasing as people discover the haven here is open 8am until 8pm.”

Project coordinator Anne Archer said: “The results of the constituent voting have revealed great support from local people for both projects but especially illuminating the Dome.

“This result is particularly encouraging and has spurred us to seek further support.”

An appeal was also launched for Wirral firms to come forward and sponsor the scheme, something Ms Archer said has already begun.

She added: “In order to realise this dream to improve New Brighton and make this iconic landmark a beacon for New Brighton and Wirral, we are seeking sponsorship from the local commercial sector.”

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.

Organisers, who hope to have the floodlighting project fully funded by May, believe it will complement the recent regeneration of New Brighton’s waterfront and will make it a beacon at night.

Business that would like to get involved with the project should visit domeofhome.org or call Anne Archer on 07743235046.