History & Heritage

Co-ordinator: Tony Mossman

Restoration of Velarde’s Masterpiece: 

The repair and restoration of our church building has now started following the award of a grant of £502,500 from the Lottery Heritage Fund. The grant will help cover the cost of the first phase of the building works and our programme of heritage related activities.

Opened in 1953, our church was designed by the noted Liverpool architect Francis Xavier Velarde OBE and is nationally recognised and designated Grade ll* by Historic England for its architectural design. Velarde designed 17 churches of which 13 are in the north-west with 4 in the London area.

This first phase will include re-roofing the church’s pitched and flat roofs, provision of extra toilet facilities, an upgrade of the heating system and replacement of an external metal fire escape. The planned heritage activities include the production, in printed and digital formats, of an exhibition illustrating the life and work of Velarde and information panels for heritage open days and group visits. We will host talks by architectural and heritage experts and heritage groups will be invited to visit the church. Our heritage events will be open to the local community as well as people who live further afield. Students from local primary and secondary schools will also learn about Velarde through art and photography projects. There will be family heritage days and events for older members of the community who remember the building of the church and the development of the parish.

Now that works are underway we will start planning the second phase of the project which will include the replacement of windows, repairs to brickwork, redecoration and other minor works. The heritage activities will also continue with some new ones introduced.

It is thanks to people who play the National Lottery that projects such as ours can be supported by the Heritage Fund.