Urgent work to repair the crumbling stonework of St Luke’s Church in Liverpool is to get underway in September.
The £150k project – funded by Liverpool City Council and Heritage England – is the first step in safeguarding the future of the much-loved Liverpool landmark, also known as the bombed-out Church.
The work will involve repairing and replacing heavy stonework, meaning the site will be closed to protect public health and safety. It was postponed earlier this year to allow the summer events programme to go ahead.
Meanwhile, a major consultation exercise is to get underway, asking people their views on the role St Luke’s should play in the life of the city. It follows a commitment from Mayor Joe Anderson to keep it in public ownership and secure a viable future for the building.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Malcom Kennedy, said: “This is an exciting phase in the history of Liverpool’s famous bombed-out Church.
“We have a great opportunity here to engage with the city to find out what they want to happen at St Luke’s, and to explore options for its future use and when St Luke’s re-opens in the new year it will be structurally sound and have a new lease of life.”
Ambrose Reynolds, who has been running St Luke’s as a public space, said: “It has been more than a decade since I became involved in St Luke’s re-opening it to the public, it’s been amazing to see the profound effect that it has on all different kinds of people, both as a testament to history and its connection to our present lives.
“St Luke’s is a place for everyone and that is the essence of the existing programme – to commemorate the past and celebrate the future.
“We welcome this wonderful opportunity to preserve the Bombed Out Church for the future wellbeing of the city and the people.”
The consultation will be open to residents, community groups, existing Friends of St Luke’s and any other interested parties in the city.
It will gauge views on how the Bombed Out Church can be preserved as a living war memorial, the type of events that should be held there and what further facilities or works should be carried out.
The results of the consultation will be used as the basis for decisions to be made in relation to the future of St Luke’s Church and the Council will formally invite expressions of interest.
The successful party must be able to demonstrate that they can offer a viable future for St Luke’s which is in line with the results of the public consultation.
Details of the consultation will be released in the near future.