Regeneration

Let there be Lighthouse: planning consent given for new church

By Mark Gorton at

The Church of the Good Shepherd has secured planning consent from Wirral Council for a new-build facility and community centre designed by architects at Shedkm on Bold Street in Liverpool.

The new structure will replace the existing church and parish hall between Telegraph Road and Pye Road. Now more than 60 years old the existing buildings are described as “no longer fit for purpose”, and their structural problems have made them increasingly difficult to maintain. The Church is also keen to create ‘the church of the future’, another reason behind the ambitious plan to start afresh with a new building.

Shedkm says that the existing building also “fails to capitalise on [its] superb location, offering blank, unwelcoming facades to both streets”.

The shape of things to come

Shedkm’s designs feature rooms and halls surrounding a central place of worship. There is a kitchen, offices, multi-purpose meeting and function rooms, and a hall. Glazed to the front, the building is designed to fit with the building line of the street while also giving passers-by a good view of the facilities within.

The Church of the Good Shepherd and Parish Hall have their roots in the late 19th century. When the current St. Peter’s Church was built in the lower village of Heswall in 1876, the Parish had a vision to reach out to the emerging town centre up on Telegraph Road.

St Peter’s Church, Lower Heswall

To provide for the growing needs of church and community, a small mission room was built in 1891, followed by the current Parish Hall in 1926. The present Church of the Good Shepherd replaced the mission room in 1963.

The Church says it consulted with and listened to many bodies and people, but especially to young people, who hold a special place in the design of the new church and the facilities and services it intends to offer. Youth was also the inspiration behind the new name: the Lighthouse Church.

The cost of building the scheme will be approximately £1.3 million, and the Church says it is around half way to achieving its funding target.