Derelict former church set to hit market following £3m residential conversion

From left: Rob Edwards, Peter Dowd, James Winters

A £3m church conversion in Waterloo, north Liverpool, is nearing completion, with the 10 individual apartments going to market next week (April 8).

EW Developments, a Bootle-based property development company, is behind the project, on behalf of the London-based owners of St John’s Church.

The church was built in 1865 on an island plot at the bottom of St John’s Road.

It was the focus for the local community until its congregation found an alternative site on nearby Picton Road in 2006.

Since then the property has been vacant and had fallen into disrepair.

However, EW Developments were engaged two years ago and following a lengthy year-long planning process, work eventually began on site 24 weeks ago.

Now the scheme is six weeks away from completion and ready to go to market, with the cost of each flat based on a ratio of £275 per sq foot.

Work has included the retention and renovation of the original 130-year-old organ, and pulpit, in the new communal entrance area.

The interior has been converted into 10 luxury apartments, most containing original features like the stained glass windows, as well as the original slate roof.

Several of the one- and two-bedroom apartments feature spacious kitchen/dining areas, as well as en-suite bathrooms and mezzanine rooms, accessed by hidden doorways among the kitchen panels, leading to stairways to the spacious floor above.

The complex also includes a 12-car parking space, bike storgage unit and 450 sq metres of communal gardens.

EW Developments is owned by Liverpool businessmen James Winters and Rob Edwards, with the latter acting as architect on all projects.

The firm recently converted the Our Lady of Good Help Church in Wavertree into 16 luxury apartments in 2023, following a 2019 renovation of an abandoned Victorian building into the Phoenix Hotel in Kirkdale.

With apartments set to go to market, Rob Edwards said: “The interest has been brilliant.”

Local Labour MP for Bootle, and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Peter Dowd, recently toured the site, which he hailed as “imaginative”.

He said: “It is brilliant to see St John’s Church reinvigorated by James and Rob, rescuing a vacant site and bringing a historic building back to life in such an imaginative and productive way after almost two decades of decay.

“I am thrilled that such a lovely heritage building is being developed constructively, allowing new memories to be made in the Waterloo area, especially at a site which obviously holds a lot of history for so many families in the area.”

He added: “I am especially pleased by EW Developments’ commitment to restoring original features of the church – such as the organ and stained glass windows – which makes this site a stand-out development in North Liverpool.

“I am excited to follow the progress of James and Rob, who are both from Bootle, as they continue to breathe fresh life into the city through their unique and exciting developments.”

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