£2m fundraising bid to secure historic ‘radical community hub’
A unique place of worship and “radical community hub” in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter has embarked on a £2m fundraising campaign to secure its future.
St Bride’s Church, on Percy Street, is also an arts space which supports social justice projects for marginalised groups.
The Grade II-listed building opens its doors to a growing congregation, hosts regular arts events and community groups, and has become known as a welcoming and respectful space in the city for LGBTQIA visitors in recent years.
But having fallen into a state of severe disrepair, it is currently on the Historic England Buildings at risk register, which identifies the listed buildings most at risk of being lost as a result of decay.
St Bride’s has been working hard on developing a vision for an ambitious refurbishment of the neoclassical building, which dates back to 1829.
Liverpool-based architects HBMA have combined considered contemporary design with an appreciation of the church’s original features to create an exciting vision for an inclusive worship and community space.
A contemporary entrance pavilion formed in structural glass will announce a new entrance with level access for all. The pavilion has been designed to maintain the character of the protected Georgian streetscape around St Bride’s.
Inside, a welcoming hub space will feature a community café and will allow access to all of the spaces within the building.
The interior of the church as it is today was subdivided in the 1980s. The new plans will take the existing ground floor facilities and move them up to the first floor gallery space, which is currently unused.
This will allow the whole ground floor to be opened up for worship and flexible community use.
A new lift and fully accessible unisex toilets will ensure inclusivity for visitors of all abilities and gender identities.
Project architect Paul Ashton said: “St Bride’s is unique as it is the best surviving neoclassical church in Liverpool. We have found a way to revitalise the existing building in a manner that works for today’s congregation whilst providing a beautiful and welcoming architectural space for the wider community and the city beyond.”
St Bride’s estimates it will need to raise £2m for the regeneration and is working towards a Heritage Lottery application.
Martin Randal from St Bride’s said: “The church is about people – not just buildings. This project will enable us to enhance and develop our distinctive ministry, along with our partner organisations, as well as preserving a priceless part of Liverpool’s built heritage. St Bride’s is really excited about these plans.”