Thanks must go to both the Daily Post/Liverpool Echo and also the Merseymart for highlighting our campaign. I am also pleased that they spoke to the Vicar at length and that he was able to put the Church's side across. As stated before, the PCC have worked hard on this development and this has not been passed on a whim.
We draw your attention to the recent letters in the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo:
I WAS dismayed to read of the proposals for the picture postcard All Saints Church, Childwall. With the centuries-old Childwall Abbey Hotel just across the road, this is one of the most beautiful and historic corners of Merseyside. Yet we have proposals from the church for “a major revamp” that includes constructing in the centuries-old graveyard a “rotunda”, which might otherwise be described as a mini-hall. The church and local community already have decent meeting facilities in the church hall across the road and in the hotel.
I see little to be gained by the church from their proposals, but a lot to be lost that has been preserved and safeguarded by many, previous generations.
With the plans also including alterations to historic features of the church and the disturbance of graves, it should be asked if all this amounts to cultural vandalism?
It is proposed to pay for this questionable project by building four detached houses on vicarage land, adding further traffic congestion to the blind corner that is the junction of Childwall Abbey Road and Score Lane. If city planners and councillors are in any doubt about opposing this plan, I suggest they pay a visit to this rustic, picture postcard corner of Liverpool, which should be preserved and promoted as a tourist attraction in its own right.
I TOO was dismayed to read of the proposed cultural vandalism threatening Childwall Church. (Letters, November 4). All Saints Church is beautiful, ancient and the most prominent feature of Childwall's history, its origins being mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is the classic village church, standing in its own graveyard and garlanded in arboreal splendour. Its charm is owed to centuries of use and respectful care; its greatest value is as a symbol of religious constancy.
To tack on to this traditional church a modern, circular, extension – a so-called “church-rotunda” – would be tasteless to say the least.
Within the aged and straight(ish) churchyard walls would sit the ancient and straight-sided church, protruding from which would be a modern, circular church-carbuncle. It doesn't take Prince Charles to point out the obvious here! The justification claimed for this desecration is vaguely given as it being part of an “Open to All” policy, and that the benefits of the “added uses” would outweigh the impact on the church setting and its historic fabric.
Well, on the other side of the (narrow) road a new church hall also is to be built, on the site of the current one. That is the proper place for secular activities and it should be designed accordingly. All Saints Church, and its graveyard, are inspirational and visually splendid yet, sadly, the fabric and conventions within Childwall Church have already seen change in recent years with the loss of choir pews. The church and grounds are not simply commercial assets waiting to be optimised; they are the very cherished image of Childwall itself. Those ambitious to embark upon superficial improvements should perhaps be reminded that they are only the stewards of Childwall's finest heritage, the essence of which has been sensitively preserved and passed down from generation to generation for 600 years or so. That is a very rich legacy, not one to be squandered, and I hope that we and future generations will continue to respect and enjoy it.
THE Save Our City Campaign wishes to express its total agreement with the people who have recently written to the local press expressing their strong objections to the proposals for Childwall Parish Church of All Saints.
This lovely church includes a medieval section which is older than any other in the Merseyside boroughs. In a sense, it is considerably older. There was a church on the site before the Norman Conquest.
All Saints has, as other correspondents have mentioned, been altered many times, the last major extension being in 1906. However, the whole complex is remarkable for its unity.
Every component, no matter its date, is built of the local red sandstone and designed in harmony with the oldest part of the church. No doubt this is one of the reasons why it is listed Grade I: the highest category of listed buildings. It is the key component in a unique corner of Liverpool.
The proposed circular building is completely out of keeping with the church and its surroundings. It will also destroy part of the graveyard: one of the very few intact churchyards in Liverpool, and, of course, the oldest.
The desire for toilet facilities inside the church is perfectly understandable, but this could certainly be achieved without any significant damage to that building. It does not need a major extension. A major purpose of the proposed extension is as accommodation for meetings. As a recent letter-writer pointed out, these can easily be held in the church hall.
We hope that the application for this extension will be withdrawn, without the necessity of a public inquiry.
Church is not a commercial asset - George Fowler, Childwall
Cultural Vandalism - Mike Owen, Childwall
All Saints Church doesn't need this - Florence E Gersten, Save Our City Campaign