Wednesday, 1 June 2011
The Dome of Home: A Memory and a Confident Hope
The only time I ever went to the church of SS Peter & Paul, New Brighton, was some years before Vatican II, when I was a child at primary school.
I grew up in Liverpool, and we had many a happy day out at New Brighton. We usually spent the day down at the shore, or at the wonderful Art Deco open-air swimming pool. But on one occasion my mother decided to do something different. Turning inland from the station, we walked uphill a little way, to visit the church of SS Peter and Paul. I suppose my mother thought it was about time we made the effort to visit this famous landmark.
I wish I could remember the particulars of the interior, but alas, I can no longer recall them in much detail. Except for this: that to a young child, in those far-off pre-Conciliar days, it seemed to me to be gloriously beautiful. There is a verse at Genesis 28:17, in which Jacob says “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” If I had heard those words at that time, they would have expressed my feeling very well indeed.
Judging from the few pictures I have seen of the church’s present-day interior, it appears at least to have retained its “good bones”. I have confidence that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which is to take charge of this fine church, will enable its parishioners to experience that same sense of spiritual wonder that a little girl experienced all those years ago.
Photograph from Google Images, with acknowledgments to liberator31.co.uk