WWII Audio Tour and Olly's Friendship Room
WINNER: WWII Audio Tour at SS Peter, Paul and St Philomena (“Dome of Home”), Wirral
The church has developed a free Audio Tour as part of the Education Pack they have available for visiting Primary Schools. The Tour is made up of true to life scenarios written and performed by members of the congregation which help show young people what happened during the Blitz and how faith helped in difficult times. The Tours can be accessed via Smartphone and tablets from QR codes located around the church and visitors are encouraged to wear a 1940s style hat so they can be fully included in the fun! Thanks to Wi-Fi in the church, the tours are available at all times and since the launch in September 2017, hundreds of people and school children have taken part.
While developing the tours, the church was in close contact with schools and the local community to make sure that they were developing something in-line with what they wanted. The church building underwent some major repairs and had to close in 2008 due to the cost of these repairs, but thanks to an enthusiastic local campaign it reopened in 2012 and two HLF projects have now been completed. Local people regard The Dome as ‘their’ landmark church and this project, along with others which are being developed in the community, demonstrate its importance.
RUNNER UP: Olly’s Friendship Room at St Michael and All Angels, Upper Sapey, Herefordshire.
Olly’s Friendship Room was built as part of a rescue project for the at risk church and has become a space for the whole community to use. The aim of the project was to repair the church and provide a warm, comfortable meeting room, offering space for all kinds of educational and enjoyable activities for the whole community. The whole of the small, scattered, rural community were consulted as to what they wanted from the space and it was found that there was a need for a welcoming and accessible place for people to meet and socialise to alleviate isolation and loneliness in the community. Activities held in the room include an Astronomy Club and film nights and they are all volunteer led and run.
The Friendship Room is located at the back of the church and a number of other repairs were carried out, to the tower, the proscenium arch, stonework and other aspects of the building which were in desperate need. The project has bought the whole community together, even those who are not regular churchgoers, to make a space for the whole community in memory of one of their own who was taken too soon.