St Columba's United Reformed Church, Liverpool

 

In June 2015, the National Churches Trust awarded a £10,000 Repair Grant to St Columba's United Reformed Church, Liverpool

St Columba's sits in a prominent position in the Hunts Cross area. It is situated at the corner of the dual carriageway and the main shopping centre so is highly visible to all residents and visitors to the area. The building is a rare form of 1960's architecture with, as far as we are aware, only five other churches in the UK built in this style to the design of its architect Kenneth Paterson. The façade of the church is unusual and leaves no doubt in the mind of the passer-by that it is a place of worship. It is basically a large triangular sloping roof with three triangular dormer windows on each side. The design involves using timber arches inside the building creating a triangle to represent the Trinity. This means the building does not have a square corner. The chancel and indeed the whole church is dominated by the large cross window built of multi-coloured glass set in the east wall.

Project we funded: Over 90% of the exterior structure of the church consists of clay tiled roof. The general consensus is that a tiled roof should last at least 50 years. However, in the case of St Columba there was severe tile slippage. As well as presenting risks to the integrity of the building e.g. water ingress there was also a potential health and safety risk from falling tiles. As the church was built in the 60's without any insulation between the tiles, felt and the internal pine ceiling, there was also an urgent need to insulate the roof to save heat loss. The architect, from Owen Ellis Architects, recommended complete re-roofing of the church with insulation to present building standards. It is expected that this will have extended the life of building to at least 70 years and in all probability, given modern roofing techniques, to over a 100 years.

Impact:

  • New insulation under the original roof tiles will hopefully help cut heating bills
  • The church plans to expand its weekly coffee morning into the back of church
  • The work complements the architectural design of the building making it an even more interesting landmark for the Hunts Cross community.