Flying high for the angels


On 26 June, the Revd Heather Atkinson will be straying well outside of her comfort zone by taking on the zip-wire challenge above Penrhyn Quarry, North Wales. She's doing it in a bid to save the nineteenth-century wall paintings of angels found at St James', New Brighton. The challenge will help to raise a proportion of the £300,000 needed to conserve the damp-damaged works of art. 

Heather will be joined by three other members of her congregation.

Can you support the conservation of the angels? 

The zip-wire is the longest in Europe (a mile long) and the fastest in the world, with some people reaching speeds of over 100mph, flying 500 feet above the ground. Heather has set up a Just Giving page where you can sponsor her and her parishioners. 

Last year the dampness in the building was cured through an extensive restoration project, largely funded by a £250,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The walls are now drying out, which will enable work to save the angels to begin.

The wall paintings, which were created by the eminent Victorian church artist Alfred Hemming, are the most stunning part of St James’ church and can be seen in detail by taking the “virtual tour” of the building on the church’s website

The Revd Heather says: “The murals are what makes our church building unique. They are of stunning quality and we must do everything we can to stop them deteriorating beyond repair. The zip-wire challenge will help raise significant funds towards that aim. What more appropriate way to save our angels than by flying for a mile at five hundred feet up?!”

The conservation of the artwork will be a future phase of a multi-phase restoration programme which began in 2015 with the rebuilding of the church’s iconic spire. 

St James' Church, New Brighton, and the angels painted by Alfred Hemming

Page last updated: 28th May 2019 12:18 PM