I grew up just outside Liverpool and rarely went into the City so never really got to know it until I was much older. I used to go to dancing school and competitions took me all over the North West. One of my first memories of Liverpool was stepping off a bus outside the “bombed out church” and being completely captivated by the sight of this magnificent structure. Of course I couldn’t articulate that at 7 but that feeling comes back every time I pass the Church. Can I remember how I did in the competition that day? No, but I will always remember that feeling.
Working in Liverpool City Centre now I see this iconic building every morning as I make my way to the office. It sits at the top of Renshawa St, on Hope Street, between the two cathedrals. The view I have everymorning is of the Clock Tower dwarfed by the Anglican Cathedral. I love it and I am sure that I will miss it when I no longer work here. Hundreds of people pass the Church on a daily basis. I wonder how many even notice it as they rush through their lives. I wonder if there are any children who see it and get that same sense of awe and wonderment that I experienced.
For years I have only ever known it as “the bombed out Church” I now know it is called St Lukes and that is how I will now refer to it. On a lovely sunny day this week, as I took a break for lunch, I found myself being drawn like a magnet to the iconic place. I noticed that the doors were open, a rush of excitement took over me and I quickened my pace and took the steps two at a time. When was the last time you had butterflies of excitement? I can tell you that my butterflies were doing a full production of Swan Lake as I walked up the road and climbed the steps. I was finally going to satisfy that childhood curiosity.
On getting to the top of the steps I noticed that they were allowing people in for a £1 donation, my heart sank, I had left my purse in work. Undeterred I wandered in and asked if they would be open the following day. My luck was in , they were. I resolved to return and to bring my cameral along with me.
The next day I gathered my camera and notebook together (well a girl without a notebook is no use when having a local adventure). The morning was busy and I forced myself to concentrate on the work rather than wishing for lunchtime to come around. Finally, at the earliest available moment I headed off. Sadly my camera let me down as I hadnt checked the battery and so these pictures are all from my iphone. I did have some lovely ones on the camera but can I find the charger? That will be a no
I have always been a sucker for a historical place. I can often be heard ruminatiing on who may have gone before me. This was no exception I took a seat inside and contemplated the history of the place. The Church was bombed during the blitz on 6th May 1941 and remains as a memorial to those people who gave their lives during the two world wars.
The whole place has been filled with flowers. It is used for art, music festivals, outdoor cinema and theatre and weddings. On the day I visited the main area was adorned with sunflowers, so so cheerful. Sadly rumour has it that the council can no longer afford it’s upkeep and are considering selling the place. There has been a campaign to ensure that it is not developers who acquire it. It would be so sad to see this go.
The foxgloves drew my attention to the charred remains of the original timber within the structure. The bright pink against the knarled, blackened beams a reminder that life goes on. I can only imagine how ferocious those flames were.
Seeing the stage area makes me want to find out more about the productions that may be coming up.
I can imagine the colours that the stained glass windows were but feel that the ivy growing and the view through to the building across the street are equally as magnificent.
I always enjoy looking up wherever I go, this was no exception. There was so much to detail to be admired. I had a few pictures of faces and gargoyles too. I will show them another time. After spending some time inside I wandered out into the gardens. There are no gravestones here. I did, however, find a memorial to the great Roy Castle.
I do love my local adventures at the best of times but when they fulfil my long time ambitions they are that bit more special.
If you want to know more about the St Luke’s aka the Bombed Out Church then check out their website
Go and have a local adventure yourself. I promise that you wont be disappointed. If you do then why not blog about it. I love hearing about people looking at familiar places in a new way.