Dave Bradley, our Church Warden is planning to walk the 134 mile North Wales Pilgrim Way over 11 days from May 26th - June 5th.
Ideally, the walk would finish with a trip to the traditional Pilgrim destination of Bardsey (Ynys Enlli) on the 6th, weather permitting.
He's doing it "partly because it's something I've just got to do, and I know many of you will know that feeling". But he's also hoping to raise money, and you are invited to donate.
Why did Dave choose Saint Bride's? It's his church community and the building is falling to bits is the short answer. But there's more to it than that.
- The building is Grade 2* listed and has significant heritage value. Built in 1829, it is at the heart of the attractive, historic Georgian quarter. It is a building with a 'Wow factor', and is the only surviving neo-classical church in Liverpool still in regular use. The hope is that it can be made more accessible to both local people and visitors to the area. A building the city can be proud of. That is what our application to the Lottery Heritage Fund is based on. Even if that bid is successful, we will have to raise major amounts of money ourselves.
- St. Bride's is currently used by a lot of community groups. Regular users include Merseyside Refugee Ante-Natal Support Group (3 groups); iChoir; Yoga; Hope+ Foodbank; The Red Cross; Narcotics Anonymous; Homeless Meals project; Socialist Singers. Other users and groups come and go. The vision is to bring the building into the 21st century for the benefit of all the users, from across the wider community. At the moment, users are patiently putting up with all sorts of difficulties in a crumbling, dysfunctional building. The vision is set out at greater length on the St. Bride's website.
- The building is also home to the St. Bride's church community. St. Bride's describes itself as 'Creative, Progressive and Inclusive'. It is a liberal church which treats faith not as a creed, but as a 'way', in which we 'live the questions'. Dogma does not matter but social justice and caring do! St. Bride's serves as a beacon of hope to many who have found religion intolerant and divisive. And, for better or worse, church communities need homes and the St. Bride's church building is the one we've got. Without major work, it will literally become uninhabitable within a few years, and then what?
We'll keep you posted on how Dave is going and we'd love it if you could add your word of encouragement either by donation or a kind message. We wish you well Dave and thank you for all you do for St Bride's.