Liverpool’s St Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church Gardens set for grand reopening to the public on Saturday 17th June.
The much-loved St Luke’s – better known as the Bombed Out Church – will reopen its Gardens for the first time in nearly two years, since it closed for extensive repairs in September 2015.
Following a public consultation, a bidding process was launched and Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet approved the bid from community-based company, Bombed Out Church Ltd, to run the Grade II* listed church for the next thirty years.
The reopening will feature two special concerts of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album to tie in with the city’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the band’s landmark LP.
The reopening has been a long time coming for Curator and Artistic Director Ambrose Reynolds and he says, “We’re delighted to reopen the church to the public once again, a chance to start thanking all of the people who have backed us through this process.”
City Mayor Joe Anderson, who made a commitment to secure the long term viability of the of the church, said: “The reopening of St Luke’s gardens marks the beginning of what we all hope will be a highly successful new era for the Bombed Out Church. Ambrose and his team have put together a fantastic programme to celebrate the opening weekend which augurs well for the future and highlights the potential for the venue to be one of the city’s cultural crown jewels.”
Opening weekend details:
Saturday 17th June
The Stratford Festival Orchestra & Choir will be performing a live version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. There will be two recitals at 1.00pm and 5.00pm.
The Orchestra’s Musical Director, Simon Kemp, says, “The Beatles material really lends itself to an orchestra and has rich opportunities for vocal harmony. We’re looking forward to taking those songs that everyone knows and loves, and creating an epic event.”
This will be a seated fundraising event, first release ‘Earlybird’ tickets are priced at £10.00 and general sale tickets are £15.00. Refreshments will be available from a licensed bar, serving bottled beers, wine and prosecco. Food will be available, provided by local firm “Relish”.
Sunday 18th June
The gardens of St Luke’s Church will open from 12.00pm – 5.00pm. Members of the public are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the gardens. There will be entertainment, refreshments and food available. Entry to the gardens will be free of charge.
The interior of the 185-year-old city centre church, which has undergone a £500k restoration funded jointly by the council and Historic England, will reopen in mid-July.
The venue, which is also a memorial to the May 1941 blitz, will continue hosting exhibitions, theatre and classic cinema and now wants to open itself to weddings, parties and festivals too.