A LANDMARK Wirral church could re-open fully if plans from a religious order are given the go-ahead.

SS Peter and Paul’s in Wallasey was shut by the Diocese of Shrewsbury in August 2008 due to falling congregation numbers.

The church’s day chapel recently opened its doors once more for weekly mass after a massive campaign from parishioners.

But the future of the main church building was still uncertain until the Institute of the Christ the King expressed an interest in the site.

The order, which has around 70 priests, has a track record of restoring churches and could provide much-needed investment for the locally-named “Dome from Home.”

Rt Rev Mark Davies, Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury, said: “I welcome the interest shown by the Institute of Christ the King in establishing a new foundation in the diocese and working for the restoration of the church of Ss Peter and Paul.

"I look forward to exploring the practicalities of such a foundation providing mass for the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form and the possibility of the church becoming a centre for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in which all can share.”

Priests of the Institute of Christ the King celebrate mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which is primarily conducted in Latin.

The Extraordinary Form is celebrated each week at Sacred Heart Church, Moreton, by a visiting priest from the Institute.

Bishop Davies will also be considering provision for the ordinary form of the mass in English.

Monsignor Gilles Wach, the French founder and superior general of the Institute, will visit the historic church after Easter and will hold direct talks with the bishop.

If successful, SS Peter and Paul’s will become the first Catholic church in Britain to be run by the Institute.

Canon William Hudson, a spokesman for the Institute of Christ the King, said: “We are in the process of discussing this with Bishop Davies.

"It is a very serious proposition and while there are a number of issues that need to be addressed - notably financial - we are sure that the faithful will be just as generous as when the church was built.

"Our order has considerable experience in re-opening churches in very similar circumstances to Ss Peter and Paul.

"I am confident that with the guidance of the bishop, a solution can be found to the benefit of the Catholic community at large.”