Spire rebuild @ St James NB aug 2015


undefinedWork has started on restoring the landmark spire at St James' church in New Brighton, which will be dismantled stone by stone and rebuilt. A fundraising organ concert in aid of the restoration project will be given at the church next month by Thomas Allery, the Director of Chapel Music at Worcester College, Oxford.

An eminent musician, Thomas will play a programme that will include Handel, Bach, Vierne and Elgar, on the magnificent organ at the church in Albion Street, in the heart of New Brighton on Saturday 19 September, starting at 7.30pm

Tickets priced at £8 (free admission for accompanied children) are available from Forbers fruit and veg shop in Victoria Road, and from Usher Travel in Wallasey Road in nearby Liscard. Tickets will also be available on the night at the concert. For more information phone Julia Codling on 0151 639 5468.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £250,000 has been awarded for the spire restoration, and the parish is also busy fundraising, with a programme of fairs, sponsored walks, concerts and other events. The eventual cost of the restoration is likely to be more than £400,000. The fundraising campaign is called ‘inSpire’. If you can help please speak to Julia Codling on the number above.

The Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Les Rowlands, is coming to visit the work underway (scaffolding has already been erected as our top photo shows) on Wednesday 19 August, at 10.30 am.
St James’ is a Grade II listed building, and its history is closely linked to the history of the area. The church was an integral part of the plans of the founding fathers of New Brighton when they created the Victorian resort. The New Brighton Heritage Centre has moved into part of the church, offering displays of many cultural and social history documents and artefacts, as well as an exhibition about the spire restoration project.

The spire is one of two big landmarks in New Brighton. The other is the ‘dome of home’ – the dome of the RC shrine church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena – which is also undergoing restoration.

The spire at St James’ church is the tallest of its kind in the Wirral. Because of its height – 172 feet – and its exposed location overlooking Liverpool Bay, the spire has suffered from the effects of storms since it was built in 1856 and might become unsafe unless work is carried out.

Thomas Allery (below) will give a concert to raise funds for the spire project