Gardens at Liverpool’s ‘Bombed Out’ church St Lukes to reopen with live music

City council has completed a £500,000 restoration of the 185-year-old Grade II-listed building and the grand reopening of the gardens will take place on Saturday, June 17. Tony McDonough reports

St Luke’s Church in Liverpool

Liverpool’s iconic ‘Bombed Out’ church – St Luke’s – is set for a grand reopening of its gardens to the public on Saturday, June 17.

The city council has completed a £500,000 restoration of the 185-year-old Grade II-listed building on the corner of Hardman Street and Berry Street.

And it will reopen its gardens for the first time in nearly two years, since it closed for extensive repairs in September 2015.

Last month the council announced it was giving community interest company, St Luke’s Bombed Out Church Ltd, a 30-year lease to run the popular site that was severely damaged after being bombed in the 1941 May Blitz during World War II.

The reopening will feature two special concerts of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album to tie in with the city’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the band’s landmark release.

Curator and artistic director Ambrose Reynolds said: “We’re delighted to reopen the church to the public once again, a chance to start thanking all of the people who have backed us through this process.”

On Saturday, June 17, the Stratford Festival Orchestra & Choir will be performing a live version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. There will be two recitals at 1pm and 5pm.

On Sunday, June 18, the gardens of St Luke’s Church will open from 12 noon to 5pm.

St Luke’s in Liverpool took a direct hit from German bombers in the May Blitz of 1941

Members of the public are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the gardens.

There will be entertainment, refreshments and food available. Entry to the gardens will be free of charge.

City Mayor Joe Anderson added: “The reopening of St Luke’s gardens marks the beginning of what we all hope will be a highly successful new era for the Bombed Out Church.

“Ambrose and his team have put together a fantastic programme to celebrate the opening weekend which augurs well for the future and highlights the potential for the venue to be one of the city’s cultural crown jewels.”

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