MEMBERS of an iconic Wirral church are appealing for the return of life-saving equipment that disappeared over the Christmas holiday.

The iconic Shrine Church of Ss Peter, Paul and St Philemona in New Brighton – also known as The Dome of Home - was fitted with a public access defibrillator (PAD) in May 2016.

The portable device can be used by a member of the public to help restart the heart when someone has a cardiac arrest. This is when the heart stops pumping blood around the body and they lose conscious almost at once.

Appealing for its immediate return, church spokeswoman Anne Archer told the Globe today: "Defibrillators, accessible for the whole community, can be lifesavers if they are working, nearby and available when a person suffers a cardiac arrest.

"Canon Montjean from The Dome of Home was delighted when the British Heart Foundation provided an accessible defib in May 2016 for local community use in such an emergency.

"The defib was located in an outdoor cabinet attached to the church, available 24/7. Our volunteers check weekly that it is in good working order."

Wirral Globe:

Ss Peter, Paul and St Philemona in New Brighton was fitted with a life-saving defibrillator in 2016. (Picture: Craig Manning)

"We hope it was useful to the person who needed it, but perhaps after a stressful situation, it has been forgotten about?

"If you know where this defib might be, could you please return it as soon as possible, so that someone else can use it in a similar emergency.

“If they put it back in the cabinet, that’d be great. If they can put a note through the presbytery door or email to say it has been returned, that would be good as well, because we will be able to get it up and running with North West Ambulance Service the sooner we know it is back and respond.

“But I understand if someone wants to remain anonymous.”

Wirral Globe:

Ss Peter, Paul and St Philemona in New Brighton was fitted with a life-saving defibrillator in 2016. (Picture: Craig Manning)

At the time the device was fitted Canon Amaury Montjean, rector from the Shrine Church said: “We are delighted to have received this lifesaving package.

“Our church is open all day every day and our visitor numbers are increasing with groups booking our heritage tours.

“The defibrillator will be placed in a yellow cabinet on the outside wall of the church to the right of the entrance porch, accessible 24/7.

“This will give visitors, volunteers and local people the best chance of survival should they suffer a cardiac arrest. We’re keen to get as many people as possible trained in CPR too.”

The Grade II-listed building, which first opened in 1935, was nicknamed the Dome of Home because it is one of the first things seafarers see when they sail back to Liverpool.

In 2012, this church used to be the only Catholic church in England where all Sacraments were performed in Latin.

It was the first church with this purpose but since then, several other churches have been established by their respective bishops.

Judy O’Sullivan, the British Heart Foundation's assistant programme director said at the time the defibrillator was fitted: "More than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital every year but less than one in ten survive.

“More people could be saved if more defibrillators were available in public places and if more people felt confident using them and performing CPR.

“We are delighted that The Dome of Home have joined the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign - by making another defibrillator available in New Brighton and teaching CPR locally.

“It could really be the difference between life and death.”