Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


A group of volunteers have come together to preserve a 15th Century Chapel in Lydiate (St. Catherine's Chapel), which is a ruin but designated a Scheduled Monument by English Heritage and, to this end the volunteers have created a 'Friends Group'. The group have already commissioned, with Heritage Lottery Funding, a survey of building and the company, which has undertaken the survey, is due to report very soon on actions needed to preserve the building itself. In addition, the group wishes to improve the general appearance of the surrounding grounds and fencing in order to make the overall area safe and secure - this falls outside of the remit for Heritage Lottery. The overall aim of the Friends Group is to improve the site in order that local groups such as scouts and guides, local schoolchildren, arts groups can make use of the facility - to put on Shakespeare plays, historic reenactments and also to provide a venue for talks /presentations to a wide range of local groups such as ramblers. The Friends Group already has a wide membership from a wide range of backgrounds such as marketing and finance, surveying, conservation, regeneration and medieval history amongst others, but these services are being provided on a voluntary basis .
The site is important for the local community, from a historical viewpoint, as it was originally a private chapel for the Lord Of The Manor who named it after his wife, Catherine, back in the 15th Century. It is also located next to one of the oldest pubs in Lancashire, The Scotch Piper Inn (built in 1320), and to the north, lies the remains of Lydiate Hall, the former residence of the Lord Of The Manor. Many walking groups already visit this area in order to get a glimpse of the historical heritage of the above facilities.
Therefore, the whole area is rich in history and the volunteers from the Friends Group are determined to ensure the site in its entirety is preserved and maintained for future generations to come. The group has already has around 40 members, and is looking to grow those numbers even more especially if the momentum of improvements is maintained over the next few years.
Apart from the works required to preserve the building, the Friends Group have identified other improvements which need to be carried out, such as perimeter fencing, replacement of entrance gate, hardstanding in the area immediately in front of the Chapel, biodiversity initiatives such as wildflower planting as well as the provision of bird boxes.
The group are seeking funding/fundraising for biodiversity initiatives from other sources, but is requesting funding from Aviva Community Fund for the following:-
1. Perimeter fencing: estimated cost £2500
2. Entrance gate: estimated cost £500

Without the valuable work that local group is undertaking, it is certain that this site would fall into disrepair as the local authority, Sefton Council, does not have the funds to step in to help to preserve the site, although they have provided conservation advice to the group. Also, it is worth pointing out that many of the volunteers are retired individuals who possess professional expertise which will be of great benefit to the project delivery and the long term sustainability of the project. Also, the individuals concerned are excellent at networking with other local groups and organisations such as the local Council, Catholic Archdiocese, local scout groups, University Of The Third Age, local businesses, local press and Lydiate Parish Council.
In summary, the collective skills of the group have the capability to ensure a positive outcome for the site for the benefit of the whole community.

Maghull and Lydiate Local History Society

Moment of Pride

It is encouraging to see so many able local people rally round very quickly to develop plans for the site , and have already obtained funding for the building survey. In addition, members of the group are fantastic networkers and have made links with local churches, scout groups, schools etc.

Location: Lydiate