Huge national ‘prayer’ landmark near Birmingham gets green light

A new national landmark which aims to profile a million answered prayers has been given the go ahead to be built on a site on the outskirts of Birmingham.

Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer in Coleshill, which will eclipse the size of the Angel of the North, will stand at 169 feet and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year, contributing £9.3m to the local economy.

The arch structure, which will sit on land near Coleshill Manor in between the M6 and M42, will be constructed using a million bricks, with each one representing an individual prayer that has been answered for people across the country.

Using interactive technology and a bespoke app, visitors will be able to use their smart device, holding it against a brick to read the personal answered prayer story it is linked to.

After North Warwickshire Borough Council granted planning permission, the Secretary of State ratified the decision, giving Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer CEO Richard Gamble the green light to start the build.

The former chaplain of Leicester City Football Club is the visionary behind the scheme.

Gamble said: “It’s been 16 years since the idea was first born. To finally receive the official consent is incredible. We are building a very special landmark and it is an amazing opportunity for the British people to leave a legacy of hope for future generations. Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will make hope visible to the UK. The unique thing about the project is all about the community: it is crowdfunded and a million people will come together to crowdcreate this incredible piece of art with their stories of hope. What we’re doing is historic.”

It is anticipated that Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will create 60 jobs during its two year construction phase from 2021, thereafter providing 20 full-time positions for employees to work for the charity in the visitor centre, café, bookstore and a 24 hour on-site chaplaincy support service.

It is also estimated that the monument will generate an additional gross social value of £1.4bn, including £430m in charitable donations.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and a member of the judging panel who decided on the design, said: “I am delighted Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer has now finally got planning permission and work can get underway. It’s an incredibly ambitious, stunning project and is a landmark for the Midlands. It has been a long process, but this landmark will serve as a place of hope for many, and one that will help us remember the Christian heritage of our nation. A massive thank you should go to everyone involved who has turned this vision into reality.”

After a competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects between 2016-2019, the winning Möbius strip concept, using an ‘eternal’ surface which seemingly has no beginning and no end, was put forward by Paul Bulkeley, from Snug Architects in Southampton.

Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2021 with completion in Autumn 2022.