ST LUKE'S CHURCH - LIVERPOOL
(The Bombed Out Church)
BRYAN MCCAHEY'S BOOK
The blitzed shell of St. Luke’s Church, Liverpool, is so fully embedded in our collective consciousness, that it seems impossible to imagine it as anything other than a papery gothic ruin. Its empty window tracery and roofless nave might have been built that way. Yet less than seventy years ago, it was an active parish church with coke in its boiler room, wind in its organ bellows and a full ring of eight bells in its splendid tower. Built as a Corporation “show-piece” to serve the refined gentlefolk of the Rodney Street area, the foundation stone of St. Luke’s Church was laid as early as 1811 although the church did not open its doors until 1829.
Peace and Good Neighbourhood recounts some of the history of this well-loved Liverpool landmark. In particular, it tells the curious tale of the bells which eventually found their way to St. Luke’s belfry from a Norfolk bell foundry via a Manchester warehouse, a journey which took over ten years. The bells were hung in the world’s first cast-iron bell frame, a feature which survives in the charred tower, almost seventy years after the bells crashed to the ground.
The book charts tells their complete history from early campaigns to silence their vigorous pealing to the looting of the broken bell metal from the bombed church in 1941.
The Merseyside Bell Restoration Group (MBRG) was officially adopted in December of 1994, but had been in unofficial existence for 20 years prior to that date. The MBRG is administered by a group of six Trustees who are all church Bellringers. Peace & Good Neighbourhood was written by Bryan McCahey and first published on St Luke’s Day, 18th October 1995.
The book chronicles the history of the site of St Luke’s, construction of the church, history of the bells themselves, and also the significance of the ‘first all-metal bell frame’ still in situ in the tower. This frame design (1828) was the forerunner of all modern bell frames. It also describes the destruction of the bells and body of the church in the blitz of 1941. This book is the FIRST edition and is a truly rare item! It is a 61-page hard backed book and printed using letterpress and as such it is one of the few truly hand-made books published in recent years. The book also contains a list of the peals rung between 1829 and 1931 together with illustrations of the church and VERY rare photographs of the bell frame!
The price of the book is just £12.50 inclusive of post and packaging. All proceeds go to the restricted St Luke’s Fund, administered by the MBRG, and as such it cannot be used for any other project or purpose within the MBRG. To order a copy, please contact us via e-mail on the Contact page and we would be happy to take your order. You can pay via posted cheque.
Contact us for further details or to place an order via the 'Contact' page.
METAL BELL FRAME
BRYAN MCCAHEY'S BOOK