St Philips Litherland secures National Highways funding for building repair work

First published on: 5th May 2023

Great news for the parish of St Philips Litherland as they have managed to secure a £200,000 funding boost for much-needed building repair works from National Highways.

Rev Canon Andrew Stott spoke to us about the journey to secure funding for the church building;

'The church of St Philip’s is situated on a busy trunk road linking the motorway network with Liverpool Docks. It is a focal point for the local community.

Our mission statement is 'Linking Litherland with our Lord Jesus Christ; open doors, open hearts, open minds'. We hope that a focus on these aspects will lead to growth both in numbers and faith.

Th last Quinquennial report in 2019 showed up significant repairs needed to be done to the stonework of the church building.

• Replacement of the tracery to the North transept window.

• Repair of most windows and Belfry openings.

• Repairing the stonework and repointing of the tower.

St Philip’s Church has strong evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal values which contribute to its cultural significance. This is reinforced by its setting, even though this has been impaired over time by increased residential and industrial development and road widening with an associated increase in traffic very close to the church.

At present, the deterioration of the masonry not only detracts from the church’s appearance and significance but is becoming dangerous.

In order to keep on top of the issues highlighted on the quinquennial report, we asked our architect to come up with costings for the repairs to the stonework. At a PCC meeting early in 2022, we received a quotation for around £306,000 plus vat. Our building fund at that time only had around £38,000. On advice from our architect, we decided to split the project into two phases. Phase one was the transept window, which was in the need of most urgent repairs.

We launched the Building Appeal at our Patronal service in May 2022 and began with a Gift Day that brought in £10,000. We also planned a number of fundraising events to take place throughout the rest of the year. We were successful in securing funding from various grant-making bodies including, The Boulton Cottage Homes Trust, The Benefact Trust, The Sabina Sutherland Charitable Trust, The Nathanial Reyner Trust Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation and The Proven Family Trust.

However, we were still a long way short of the target required.

We always knew we only needed one big benefactor to get on board, but didn’t really know where to look. A chance conversation with Rev Canon Neal Barnes at the 2022 Crism Eucharist, provided us with that one big benefactor. Neal suggested looking into securing funding from the National Highways Agency. The good news was received in February that ‘The application for £200,000 has been approved via our Investment Decision Committee’.

So Phase 2, the work on the Tower began at the beginning of March. Once the scaffolding went up, it was discovered that the stonework on the Tower was in a worse condition than had been estimated visually. The cost for Phase 2 will now be around  £190,000 plus costs, but  this funding from National Highways allows us to proceed with this work.'

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