Government grant enables Cathedral and church repairs

'Urgent work may now begin'

The Metropolitan Cathedral along with two Liverpool churches were among the beneficiaries of a £3m Government grant awarded last month to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for repair work on 29 Grade I and Grade II-listed churches and cathedrals. The work will include the restoration of the stained glass in the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel while vital work can now begin also on St Patrick’s Church, Toxteth (pictured) and St Philip Neri Church.

The Government’s Culture Recovery Fund provided the funding for the patrimony committee of the Bishops’ Conference, having reviewed applications from churches and cathedrals across England, with the input of national heritage specialists and Historic England. The grants programme is part of the Government’s Heritage Stimulus Fund, aimed at supporting major repair projects which have stalled owing to the pandemic.

The announcement came on 22 October that the Metropolitan Cathedral would receive two separate grants, with £20,896 provided for the replacement of the leaking rotunda roof to the Crypt entrance and £10,480 for the aforementioned repairs to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel windows.

St Patrick’s Church, built in 1821 and the city’s oldest Catholic church, will receive £78,524 for urgent external and internal repairs following an outbreak of dry rot. The problem had become worse while the church was closed during lockdown but the funding will ensure the roof and gutters are repaired and the rot eradicated in this Georgian building.

St Philip Neri Church will receive £30,448 for a side-aisle roof covering replacement and Crypt waterproofing works
Archbishop George Stack, chair of the patrimony committee, said: 'We are deeply grateful to the Government and Historic England for awarding the funds to make this happen. It is enormously reassuring to those charged with the privilege and responsibility of caring for these outstanding buildings which are so much part of our heritage, that the urgent work of repairing leaking roofs and failing gutters may begin.'