Press release: Dome of Home future secured by Heritage Lottery Fund and National Churches Trust

Significant funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and National Churches Trust has secured the future for the Shrine Church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena’s, New Brighton (also known as The Dome of Home). The project totalling £298,162 was awarded £210,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) this week.

Press release Dome of Home new funding announced 23.6.15

Also announced was a further grant of £20,000 from National Churches Trust (NCT), a significant contribution towards match funding. Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena, New Brighton, Wallasey, Wirral is to share in a £607,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust. A total of 36 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. Founded in 1953, the Trust has helped over 10,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses with funding for urgent repairs and to pay for the installation of kitchens and toilets to enable more places of worship to become community hubs. 13 of the churches receiving funding are on Historic England’s ‘ Heritage At Risk’ Register.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said:
“The UK’s churches and chapels are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith. But these buildings don’t belong to the past. They pay a vital role in our present and future too, acting as places of worship, community centres or simply somewhere to go for quiet contemplation.”
“The cost of keeping churches and chapels wind and watertight and paying for the installation of modern facilities is far beyond the means of congregations.”
“That’s why I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to provide a £20,000 grant to SS Peter, Paul and Philomena to continue repair work at this landmark church including repairs to roofs, brickwork, plasterwork, concrete and windows. This funding will help ensure that the church continues to serve local people for many years to come.”

Following the success of a previous HLF project completed September 2014, this funding means that essential works to continue the urgent roof and brickwork repairs, internal plaster work and develop a community space will begin in July 2015. An information desk in the church porch will show visitors views from the roof of Liverpool Bay and help them engage with the history, art and architecture of this significant landmark church.

The building of the Church of Ss. Peter, Paul and St Philomena in the 1930s was a visionary project to serve as a beacon for the Christian Faith in Merseyside. Inspired by their parish priest Father Thomas Mullins, the Catholic population of the rapidly growing seaside resort of New Brighton raised funds for a hill top basilica that stands as a striking landmark at the entrance to the Port of Liverpool. Its nickname, ‘Dome of Home’, dates back to the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, when sailors would recognise they were close to the port of Liverpool when they could see the Church from the Mersey.
Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, said: “There is a place of worship in almost every ward, village and town across the North West of England, providing a very powerful connection with our past. Thanks to National Lottery players, today’s investment into St Peter, Paul and Philomena’s Church, will not only complement our previous project – but also see the Church reimagined as an important community space, properly cared for long into the future.”

Since its establishment in 2012 by Bishop Davies, the Dome of Home has been open every day for quiet reflection and traditional services. Canon Amaury Montjean, rector of the Shrine Church was delighted. “We have been preparing for this project since October 2014. This has been extra special week – to receive good news from both Heritage Lottery Fund and National Churches Trust. We must also thank the Latin Mass Society, the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and numerous individual donors for making this project possible.”

Canon Montjean added, “While developing this project, we tested a pilot webcam from the roof and were amazed when 15,666 people accessed our camera page on May Bank Holiday to view Cunard’s Three Queens on the river. We hope this project will help many more people enjoy the views and realise that the Dome of Home is open for anyone, from 8am until 8pm. We are always looking for more people to become involved and are seeking help for the NCT ‘Ride and Stride Event’ on 12th September. If you would like to become involved see“

Notes to editors

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

About The National Churches Trust
The National Churches Trust is delighted to support Ss Peter, Paul & Philomena’s Church, New Brighton, with a grant towards the Restoration Appeal. The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent body concerned with the protection and welfare of Christian places of worship throughout the UK. We help faith communities maintain and enhance the buildings in their care in practical and innovative ways. It tries to ensure that churches, chapels and meeting houses survive and flourish to help local people and inspire visitors. Rising costs and fundraising are only two of the challenges faced by those managing these unique and special places. The Trust strives to raise public awareness about the challenges that congregations whatever their denomination are facing and works in partnership with national, regional and local organisations to help places of worship so that they can serve their local communities. For more details please visit our website, contact our office on 020 7600 6090, or by email at

The Trust receives no financial aid from government or church authorities. We receive hundreds of requests for help each year and can only offer grants towards a limited number of projects. You can help by joining as a Friend and making a donation. The more people that join, the stronger our voice as your national representative will be. The subscription is £30 per year. Friends receive regular newsletters and special offers. Information is available on our website or by telephone. We offer secure facilities for making donations on our website. If you are a UK taxpayer please consider adding Gift Aid to your donation.
· Make a one off donation via our website.
· If you would like to look into remembering us in your will, please contact the office to ask about legacies, or visit our website.
· If you have access to the internet and use Facebook or Twitter please ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the Trust. Our Twitter address is @NatChurchTrust and links to these sites can be found on the home page of our website,

National Churches Trust, 31 Newbury Street, London EC1A 7HU
Tel: 020 7600 6090
Fax: 020 7796 2442

About Institute of Christ the King
Founded in 1990, The Institute of Christ the King is an international order of priests, based in Florence, Italy. As part of their agreement with the Diocese of Shrewsbury, they have guaranteed to service the church with priests and clergy. They have a proven track record of restoring churches to use. In the United States, churches have been reopened and brought back to life in Chicago, Wausau (2003), and Kansas City. They are in the process of building a large new church in Libreville (Gabon). In Belgium a closed church has been reopened and fully restored. The Institute has also built and opened schools, and Canon Montjean, rector of the Shrine was personally responsible for the building of a new school while in Montpellier (2007). The Institute will oversee the restoration of the Shrine in New Brighton with the experience such past ventures give it.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact:

Anne Archer, Project Coordinator, at Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena’s on 0774 323 5046 or 0151 630 7446 or

Canon Amaury Montjean, Rector of Ss Peter, Paul & St Philomena’s, 0151 638 6822 or 0797 212 8097 or

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