As well as its local significance, it is known through the people who have served here and the events which have taken place. Archbishop Michael Ramsay was ordained deacon in the church when he became curate here, and many other well known names within the Church of England served as curate or Rector. Back in 1953 the first televised Eucharist in Britain was broadcast from the church (after much argument about whether the congregation should be filmed receiving Communion), and today it is still the venue for many civic and maritime services.
This ministry has now been recognized as St Nick’s has been admitted to the Greater Churches Network, the first church in the Diocese of Liverpool to join the group which was founded in 1991. The Network exists to provide support and a voice to churches across the country which, by virtue of their great age, size, historical, architectural, or ecclesiastical importance, display many of the characteristics of a cathedral. Most churches in the group also fulfil a role which is additional to that of a normal parish church. Although the building cannot compete with the size of Tewksbury Abbey (another member of the Network), the position at the Pier Head and in the City means that the ministry of the Church is busier than ever.
The Rector of Liverpool, the Revd Crispin Pailing, said, “Our Tower was the last and first sight of land for seafarers’ across the centuries. We still have a strong connection as the “Seafarers’ Church” but today we also reach out to the professional district of the City, the civic community, the thriving visitor economy, and of course the growing number of city centre residents.” Asked about the significance of joining the Greater Churches Network he said, “It is really helpful for us to join up with churches which experience similar challenges. I hope that we shall benefit from the support we shall receive, and within the wider Church it gives us a voice. Many elements of our ministry are shared across this Diocese in different ways, and so in turn I hope that we can be a resource and a support to others who recognize some of what we do in their own ministry.”
The Church is open every day to visitors between 9am and 5pm. For more information about the Greater Churches Network visit www.greaterchurches.org
and to discover more about Liverpool Parish Church and for information about daily service times visit www.livpc.co.uk