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Restoration begins on bombed out church

First phase of £500,000 will repair crumbling stonework

Written by . Published on February 16th 2015.

Restoration begins on bombed out church

RESTORATION work at St Luke’s the bombed–out church in Liverpool city centre, will cost £500,000 – well over 10 times what it cost to build in the early 1800s, it was revealed today.

With the first of three phases due to start shortly, it means a brighter than ever future for what is recognised as the people’s monument to World War Two, bombed out by Hitler’s war machine Blitz on Liverpool in 1941.

The city council said today a detailed survey estimates the cost of urgent repairs needed to preserve the grade II* listed building at that half a million price tag, recommending the work be carried out in three phases.


The first phase, costing £150,000, will see repairs to crumbling stonework on the higher levels of the building which is currently being held in place by metal supports. A roof will also be installed over the south tower vestry to prevent water penetration.

The phase will be paid for with an English Heritage grant of £74,591 and the rest through the city council’s Building at Risk budget. Mayor Anderson’s council cabinet is being asked to approve the spending at its meeting this Friday (February 20).

The aim is to start work in April/May, with phase one finished by the end of the year.

Future phases will include restoration work on the tower, low-level stonework and the boundary railings to the garden.

A city council spokesman said: “Public consultation is to start shortly to assess what are the most appropriate future ways to use the church, which is currently used for community and arts projects.”

There was uproar in the city when a scheme was put forward to use the bombed-out church as a wedding venue. Though that could well be considered, maybe or possibly, in keeping with the wishes of Lord Derby who donated the site in 1791 on condition that the land should never be used for any other purpose than that of a church.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “St Luke’s is a much–loved building which Liverpool people have shown they want to be protected and made accessible to the public. We will be asking for their views on what they think is appropriate for its future use.

 “However, it is in desperate need of extensive and urgent repairs. Its stonework has vegetation growing out of it and there is a real danger of it cracking and falling.  We have now identified what needs to be done to ensure it has a future and, with the very welcome support of English Heritage, we can start the necessary work to make it safe.

“Not only are we preserving a cherished  building  but by investing in our heritage we will reduce our maintenance costs in the future, Up to now we have been carrying out ad–hoc repairs but patching up is not the answer – we need a long-term solution which will preserve St Luke’s and allow it to be used for appropriate type of events.”


Charles Smith, Principal Heritage at Risk Adviser for English Heritage in the North West said: “We are delighted to be helping the council fund the first phase of much needed repairs to St Luke's Church.  As part of our partnership work with the council, we plan to support the completion of all necessary consolidation works over the next few years, so that this prominent grade II* listed building, which is so loved by the people of Liverpool, can continue to serve an important role within the life of the city.”

St Luke’s was built between 1811 and 1832, and designed by father and son team John snr  and John jnr Foster, surveyors for Liverpool Corporation. The original intention was to use the venue for ceremonial worship and as a concert hall. 

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AnonymousFebruary 17th 2015.

"prevent water prevention"...How's that again?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
PoissonFebruary 18th 2015.

Perhaps he meant to say " penetration " .

John BradleyFebruary 18th 2015.

Probably retention,

PerpendicularFebruary 18th 2015.

Whatever he meant to say, has now been changed. I'm all for "penetration".

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