Heritage Lottery Fund Awarded


St Mary’s Church, Liscard, a Church of England parish church in Wallasey, has received £35,381 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project that will enable the building’s restoration to be carried out and its heritage to be more widely understood by schools and the community. The project will begin in January, with building work completed by Easter and the project as a whole completed by Christmas 2018.

St Mary’s was opened in 1877, its future was put at risk by a major outbreak of dry rot, discovered in January, with part of the roof now held up by scaffolding as a result, and things looked so bad that Historic England placed the church on its Heritage at Risk Register. The church community will be contributing towards the cost of the project, helped by fundraising by parish groups, but the restoration of the building would not have been possible without this important grant from the HLF.

The grant will also enable the heritage of St Mary’s to be better understood by visiting schools and the wider community. A new guidebook and explanatory signs around the church will help visitors appreciate the building and its history and, in addition to Sundays, it is intended to open to the public twice weekly from next summer, with trained volunteers to welcome visitors. A strong partnership already exists with Liscard Primary School, whose pupils regularly visit the church as part of their curriculum, and the Heritage Lottery Funding will help church members, working with teachers from the school, to produce high quality educational resources to support this.

St Mary’s is increasingly used by the local community, and a number of groups are based in the building during the week. The church’s Open House project, now in its fourth year, is particularly popular, usually attracting about 50 children and parents for a variety of activities after school on Tuesdays. The project has strong links with the local food bank and provides access to a local “Skills for Life” course run by Christians Against Poverty.

Commenting on the award, Church Warden David Harvey said “everyone at St Mary’s is delighted to have received support thanks to National Lottery players and we are confident that this important part of Wallasey’s heritage will now remain as a focus for our community long into the future.”