Project to illuminate ‘Dome of Home’

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The dome of home at SS Peter & Paul & St Philomena, New Brighton. Picture by Alex Ramsay

The dome of home at SS Peter & Paul & St Philomena, New Brighton. Picture: Alex Ramsay

A project to illuminate a historic religious landmark in Wirral is under way.

The Sacred Shrine of Peter, Paul and Philomena’s Church in New Brighton is looking to raise enough money to put floodlights on the dome of the church, which is affectionately known as the ‘Dome of Home’.

The church has passed the first stage of an application for a Love Wirral grant that will see £500 go towards the project if successful in a public vote taking place from the 13-24 of January and is open to all Wirral residents.

Anne Archer, project co-ordinator for the church, told JMU Journalism: “The Wirral constituents get to vote on these projects, to decide what the money goes towards. We are hoping that local residents will be encouraged to vote as we believe this will make New Brighton a better place.”

She added: “This will actually enhance New Brighton, the Liverpool waterfront is very well lit and there are many well-known landmarks. Wirral doesn’t have as many landmarks but the ‘Dome of Home’ is one.”

It is estimated that the scheme will cost a total of £10,000 and the church is looking for Wirral firms to come forward to help provide the rest of the funding needed.

Rector of the church and French priest, Canon Amaury Montjean, told JMU Journalism: “What we are looking for is business sponsorship. We believe that businesses will benefit from the publicity of being involved with a project like ours.”

The church was built in 1935 and given its nickname by mariners returning to Liverpool during World War II. When they travelled back, they would use the dome as a signal that they were home and were safe from U-boat attacks.

“So for the dome to be a beacon that is lit is significant,” added Canon Montjean.

The church is also involved in several other fundraising schemes. It was recently awarded £169,000 of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash as part of a project to repair the building’s leaking roof.

The major building work for the roof is due to begin at the end of March.

About Jack Birch, JMU Journalism