Yoko Ono joins more than 18,000 people in backing 'save Bombed Out Church' campaign
By Marc Waddington
Mar 24, 2014
St Luke’s Church is owned by the council, which says it is struggling to afford the cost of maintaining it
St Luke's Church Bombed Out Church which is up for sale
More than 18,000 people – including Yoko Ono – are backing a campaign to save the ‘bombed out church’ from being handed over to a private company.
They mobilised over the weekend in response to the news the council was in talks with a local business that was looking to take on St Luke’s for weddings.
St Luke’s Church at the bottom of Leece Street is currently owned by the council, which says it is struggling to afford the cost of maintaining it.
But the news it could end up in private hands caused uproar, with more than 18,000 people signing on an online petition between Friday and last night.
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One objector, who left a comment on the 38 Degrees e-petition, to be sent to the council, said: “Most people are aware that Bombed Out Church represents the city’s loss during WWII, but to many it also represents those times of struggle and survival, lack of jobs, and injustice.
“In 2014 many would be expecting St Luke’s to play a major part in honouring the dead of 1914-18.
“The Art and Literature communities revere the building.
“The world has a great affection for Liverpool, and neither we nor they will allow such an important part of Liverpool’s heritage it to be destroyed or turned over to an ‘unknown’ corporate identity without a fight.”
After the news that the church could be either given up or sold by the council broke on Friday, Mayor Joe Anderson issued a statement in response to the uproar.
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He said: “Let's be clear, I am not selling the church to become flats or houses. I am willing to look at a proposal with an open mind and make a judgement based on the offer.
“Having no money will mean that we can no longer do as much as we would like that’s why I am open to alternatives to ensure that St Luke’s remains and will remain with us for a long time.”
But last night, he was telling his followers on twitter that “no matter how much budgets shrink we simply would not sell off St Luke’s it is as much a part of City as Town Hall”.
But at the same time, Urban Strawberry Lunch issued a statement saying: “We urge the public not to panic. Nothing is going to happen immediately.
“We will soon be announcing firm plans to set up a Friends of St Luke’s and take up ownership of the church if and when it comes up for sale.
“We have been assured by the mayor’s office that we can have first option on the purchase of St Luke’s so we can continue to open it to the public as a space of the people, by the people and for the people of Liverpool and its visitors.”
The ECHO is awaiting further comment from Liverpool council.