Spring greetings from St Luke’s Bombed Out Church! The sun is shining and we’ve been really busy over the last few months already, so we thought we’d round up what’s been happening here.
At the start of April we opened our St Luke’s Garden Bar & Café officially for the season, where we kicked off with our Easter plans which included an Easter Egg hunt in collaboration with St Ann's Catholic Primary School. This saw over 450 children visit us throughout to take part in our activities.
Our April Beer Festival welcomed many visitors and real ale enthusiasts from across the world to sample some of the nations finest cask brews. Cider also played its part and the beautiful sunshine on Friday and Saturday really lifted the whole event. We had bands such as The Penniless Tenants, Splintered Ukes and Vesper who aided in getting those dancing shoes out! More information on our Beer Festival can be found on our Blog Post here.
The end of April also saw us host our first legally binding wedding with Emma and Liam. Liam’s great Grandad, Dennis Dunne was a firefighter who fought the flames when the church was bombed during the May Blitz, making this a truly historic day.
The Liverpool String Quartet returned for a celebration of May, where they took us on a musical journey around Europe exploring the traditions and festivities of the turning of the seasons.
For the first time, Chess took over St Luke’s Bombed out Church at the beginning of May which saw European U-14 champion Sviatoslav Bazakutsa win his simul match against 12 adult local chess players in some style!
This event saw over 190 people attend and play, from beginners to advance players. It was fantastic to see all 75 chess sets used throughout the evening.
Woman Grand Master Viktoria Radeva from Bulgaria also attended and got a draw in a blitz game v Sviatoslav. This event was ran by Liverpool Chess club and Chess in Schools as part of the EuroStreet programme for Eurovision.
As part of Eurovision, St Luke’s also held their first Eurovision-themed bingo in partnership with BingoNightsUK. Where prizes from tickets to Knowsley Safari to Quirky Quarter and to a two night stay at Sunnyside Guest House B&B were just some of the amazing prizes up for grabs. Over 100 people took part, and partied the night away.
Motel Sundown took to stage on the same weekend where they offered beautiful Americana/Folk Rock set list along with their own originals and a few songs for the Eurovision fans. St Luke's will be welcoming them back again soon.
The first Graduation celebration of the year was also held in May with Liverpool John Moore’s Architecture department. Congratulations to all graduates and thank you for sharing your celebrations with us.
The Maker’s Markets and Groove & Grind Record Fair have once again been a fantastic addition to our event calendars. Where all sorts of artists, bakers, and music fanatics, including Elvis Costello, enjoyed our grounds whilst taking a browse through fantastic collections of homemade pieces and much-loved vinyl.
Our rose and wildflower beds are blossoming in the memorial garden. We’ve seen a massive boost of birds, bugs, and bees since we started our gardens project, and it’s been lovely to hear words of encouragement from passers-by.
Eurovision was a monumental highlight, and one that will go down in history for Liverpool. St Luke’s screened the final and thank you to the 200 people who partied with us and to Live Events Ltd for their support with video wall and PA.
The city saw an increase of 384,036 visitors between the 1st – 13th of May and we are so proud to have supported this incredible event and welcomed so many visitors, both local and international to St Luke's Bombed Out Church over this period.
Although Spring saw many happy moments for St Luke's, one came with great sadness. One of our Directors, Mark Hensby passed away at the end of April. Mark was an energetic and passionate man who made an important contribution to St Luke’s Bombed Out Church’s recent success.
He was an unabashed believer that the Bombed Out Church should be preserved for the benefit of the people of Liverpool, and in his memory we will continue our commitment to sustainably managing
Bombed Out Church as a vibrant space for culture, community, remembrance and heritage engagement. Here’s to you, Mark.