Send Love at Christmas – and Help St Peter’s Too!

With so many restrictions on travel at the moment, more of us might be sending Christmas cards this year to keep in touch with our friends and family and show we care.

If you’re one of those people, how about helping out St Peter’s by slipping one of these little magnets inside your Christmas cards! They’re the size of a standard business card — about 9cm x 5cm and less than 1mm thick — so would fit easily into any Christmas card without adding any cost to the stamp!

We have two different designs available: one is an image of the commemorative plaque on the Church Hall, celebrating the day that John Lennon met Paul McCartney at St Peter’s; the other shows the Church in 1957.

Special Offer!

The magnets cost £1.50 each but we have a special offer of 20 magnets for £25.00 (saving £5.00) – quote MAGNET20 when ordering!

How to Order

Please email beatlesstpeters@gmail.com to place your order, stating the number of magnets required and which design(s) you would like. Please also include your location when ordering so that shipping costs can be calculated.

Shipping start at only 99p for one magnet sent within the UK. There is no limit to the number of magnets you can order (stock permitting) and we do ship worldwide! Magnets can also be bought or collected (by appointment) from the Hub (Simon Peter Centre) at St Peter’s Church!

As with all the items in our online shop, all proceeds go towards the upkeep, maintenance and financial commitments (including the support of various charities) of St Peter’s Church and, in these difficult times, every penny really does count!

Email beatlesstpeters@gmail.com if you have any questions or to place your order!

Signed Posters – Only 6 Left!

If you’re thinking of buying one of our VERY limited edition signed posters as a treat for yourself or as a Christmas present for the Beatles – or Quarrymen! – fan in your life, you need to hurry!

We only have SIX left!

These posters, based on the commemorative plaque on St Peter’s Church Hall, were signed by Rod Davis, Len Garry, Colin Hanton and John Duff Lowe when they were all at St Peter’s in 2017 for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the day that John met Paul. We thought we had sold them all but, while he was tidying up in preparation for his retirement, the wonderful Graham Paisley found a pile of posters at the back of a cupboard, including some signed by the four Quarrymen!

We had these available for sale during International Beatle Week during the limited hall openings, and the remainder were made available through the online shop.

There are six remaining and it is extremely unlike that we will ever be able to get any more! So don’t delay!

Email us at beatlesstpeters@gmail.com NOW to place your order and avoid disappointment!

You can see a full range of our current merchandise in our online shop by clicking HERE

Remember, too, that we currently have an offer of FREE SHIPPING for every order that totals £80 or more ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Use code JOHN80 when placing your order!

Virtual Tour of St Peter’s Church Hall: Catch-Up Link

If you missed today’s live stream of the virtual tour of St Peter’s Church Hall, you can catch up anytime via this youtube link: https://youtu.be/i851gUjLndU

Hopefully next year we can celebrate John’s 81st birthday with a party for everyone in the Church Hall!

But don’t forget, in the meantime, you can bring a piece of St Peter’s home to you via our online shop! Click here for the full range, which includes our brand new design t-shirts! (Limited numbers available until after Christmas so buy now to avoid disappointment if you’re planning a Christmas surprise for someone, or a Christmas treat for yourself!)

ONLINE SHOP LAUNCHED!

Due to the current situation we are unable to welcome visitors to St Peter’s Church, and so we wanted to find a way to bring a part of St Peter’s to you! Today we are delighted to launch our new online shop!

New Design Revealed!

We have a range of items available for sale but we are most excited to be able to finally reveal our new design! Currently this is only available on t-shirts and will be sold exclusively online for the time being. Only 95 shirts are currently available, although we will be restocking in the new year. If you want to be one of the first to wear this exclusive item, place your order now!

Our new design! Limited number of t-shirts currently available

To see all the items available for sale, and information about how to order, click the shop link here or click on the ‘Shop’ tab at the top of the page!

Special Offer! Free Shipping!

In honour of John’s 80th birthday we will be offering FREE shipping – anywhere in the world! – for orders that total £80 or more throughout October! Just quote JOHN80 when placing your order!

Just a few of the items available for sale!

If you have any questions about the online shop, please email us on beatlesstpeters@gmail.com and we will be happy to help!

Exciting Addition at Strawberry Field!

We’re absolutely delighted to be sharing exciting news from our friends and neighbours at Strawberry Field! The world-famous piano that John Lennon used to compose and record one of the great peace anthems of the 20th century, Imagine, is on loan to Strawberry Field courtesy of the estate of the late George Michael. 

It was always George’s intention that the iconic musical instrument should be enjoyed by the people of Lennon’s home city. “It’s not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people,” said George to journalists at time of purchase. The upright Steinway piano, purchased by the singer songwriter in 2000, is now one of the most valuable musical instrument in rock ’n’ roll history.

John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird who is now Honorary President of Strawberry Field says, “Bringing John’s piano to Strawberry Field for the first time to mark what would have been his 80th birthday is a wonderful gesture – one that will bring joy to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Liverpool every year to get closer to the history of The Beatles and John’s legacy.”

John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird with the ‘Imagine’ piano on loan to Liverpool’s Strawberry Field exhibition to mark what would have been John’s 80th birthday courtesy of the estate of the late George Michael.
Photo credit – Ant Clausen

The piano, which was toured globally by George Michael as a symbol of peace in the early 2000s, has never before been placed in a location so steeped in John Lennon history. One of the most cherished musical instruments of all time, archive film footage from 1971 shows a relaxed Lennon at the piano composing ‘Imagine’ before he turns to his keyboard player to remark : “That’s the one I like best.”

The Estate of the late George Michael comments,
“The George Michael Estate is proud to be associated with Strawberry Field and the work that the Salvation Army do at the centre to help young adults with learning difficulties acquire the skills and experience they so badly need to get employment which work is even more vital today than it was when the Centre first opened . Estate representatives have visited and been shown around  the centre and the site, met with the staff and learned a great deal about the work which is done there and did not hesitate to agree to the loan of the iconic John Lennon “Imagine” piano as part of the permanent exhibition they have on site especially as this is just the type of association that George would have wanted for this unique piece. We know that the piano will be a source of hope and inspiration to all who come to see it and to the young people who attend Strawberry Field not only during these difficult times but for many years to come in the same way that it inspired  George since he bought it some 20 years ago.”

George Michael, a huge fan of The Beatles and John Lennon, composed on and played the piano which can be heard on the title song of his Patience album.

Strawberry Field has been in the care of The Salvation Army since the 1930s as a place that supports vulnerable young people and a site of spirituality and inspiration. This legacy continues with The Salvation Army’s redevelopment of Strawberry Field in order to give young people with learning difficulties in Liverpool the chance to succeed in realising their career aspirations.

Major Kathy Versfeld, Mission Director for Strawberry Field, says,
“Since The Salvation Army first acquired the property in 1934, Strawberry Field has been a place of refuge and peace for all those who, like John, sought sanctuary beyond its beautiful red gates.  We are absolutely delighted to be able to place on display in our exhibition this wonderful ‘instrument of peace’, sharing as we do with its owners an enduring passion for peacemaking and the transformation of communities and individual lives. We are grateful for this generous loan and know that it will make a huge difference to the work that we are able to do within our Visitor Centre, not just with our Steps to Work trainees but also as we offer a place of inspiration and hope to all visitors through the gates.”

John@80 – Live Event from St Peter’s

While the celebrations for John’s 80th birthday aren’t quite what we planned, we will be marking John’s 80th birthday on Friday with a live streamed tour of the Church Hall (via facebook live), where John and Paul met on July 6, 1957, and the Lennon-McCartney partnership began.

Starting at about 12.30pm (UK time), we’ll take you round the Church Hall and show you the spot where it all began! We’ll also try to answer any questions you might have about that special day or about John’s many other connections with St Peter’s Church. You can email your questions in advance to beatlesstpeters@gmail.com — please use ‘John80’ in the subject line — or ask them live on the day!

To view the live stream, please make sure you have liked our facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/beatlesatstpeters – and then tune in on the day.

We’ll also be making a special announcement about our exclusive merchandise and revealing our brand new design!

And hopefully next year we’ll be able to host the two-day celebration that we had planned for this year as we celebrate John@81! As 8 + 1 = 9, we think John would have liked that better anyway!!

Graham – Bye For Now

Today is a sad day for many of us at St Peter’s Church as Graham Paisley, our beloved verger, is retiring. Through the years, Graham has welcomed thousands of Beatles and football fans to St Peter’s and given endlessly of his time as he took visitors on tours of the Church, Church Hall and graveyard, and shared stories of his dad, the legendary Liverpool manager, Bob Paisley.

Photo credit: Jackie Spencer, https://www.jackiespencerbeatleguide.com/

There aren’t enough words to describe how much Graham has done through the years, or how much he means to us. We will miss him dreadfully!

The good news, though, is that Graham has hinted that he will still come along to talk to visitors for special events including International Beatle Week. So we very much hope that this is only goodbye … for now!

If you have memories of Graham, we’d love to hear them! Our hope is to build a page on our website dedicated to Graham in return for his dedication to the Church and to our visitors! You can email us on beatlestpeters@gmail.com or leave comments and photos on our facebook (St Peter’s Church Woolton: History and Heritage) or twitter (@beatlesstpeters ) page. If you want to post a message to Grham, we’ll make sure that everything is passed on to him.

Thank you, Graham, from the bottom of our hearts! And we hope to see you around the Church again soon!

Photo credit: Jackie Spencer, https://www.jackiespencerbeatleguide.com/

Beatle Week 2020 – Bring it On!

The Hall looks very different for Beatle Week 2020 but we are absolutely delighted to be able to open our doors this year! We might not be welcoming as many people from around the world, as we usually do, but we know you are all with us in spirit.

And for anyone who can come to visit this year, here’s a look at some of the safety precautions that we’ve put in place.

The Hall will be open from 10.30 am to 2.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Strict social distancing is in place and all visitors are respectfully requested to wear face-coverings while inside.

Safe, two-metre spaces are marked out in the Hall
A one-way system is in place
Photo opportunities of the robes worn by the Rose Queens and a piece of our stained glass windows!
You can still stand on the spot where John met Paul!
A safe shopping area
The one-way system leading out of the exit door
Beatles masks on sale for anyone who needs one!

Beatles Face Coverings!

If you want to visit the Church Hall this weekend (open 10.30 to 2.30 on Saturday and Sunday) you will need to wear a face covering to go inside. And, of course, the perfect face covering is one that’s Beatle-themed!

Recently, one of the young men our congregation set up a business to try to cover the income from the summer job he lost because of lockdown. He learned to sew and has been making face coverings, including some made from Beatles material!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Reuben will be at St Peter’s on Saturday and Sunday and will be selling his Beatles face coverings at the Church Hall.

So this is your chance to support a hard-working young man AND stand on the spot where the Beatles began! Beatle Week 2020 might be different but it can still be very special!

If you can’t make it to Liverpool this weekend, but would like a Beatles face covering, they are available online. Visit https://www.jonesmasks.co.uk/ to place your order.

Church Items in Beatles Auction!

This year’s Beatles Auction takes place online on Saturday August 29, and St Peter’s Church has three items in it. One of them is even featured in the main advertising banner, which is a great honour!

Further information on our items, as well as all the other lots and information on how to bid is available on the official auction website: http://www.beatlesauction.co.uk/

The old Church collection box, featured on the banner is Lot 50 in the auction.

It was hand-made by a member of the Congregation during the 1920s, and the maker’s initials and the year ‘1929’ are carved into the base. 

The collection box has stood by the main door to the Church since that time and, as far as everyone can remember, has always been there.  Although we can’t imagine John ever putting any money into it, we’re sure that Mimi would have used it, and we’re certain it was in use during the 1950s.

Also in the auction are four panes of glass taken from the stained glass windows in the Church Hall.

These were part of the stained glass windows in the Church Hall, which we believe were originally installed when the Hall was built in the middle of the 19th century.  The windows are clearly visible in photos dating from the 1940s onwards and, when Paul ‘auditioned’ to join the Quarrymen in 1957, he did so in the light shining through these windows.

Reflecting their importance in Beatles history, Beatle guide, and friend of St Peter’s, Jackie Spencer used to call our stained glass windows the “Sgt Pepper windows” because the colours of the glass are reminiscent of the suits worn by John, Paul, George and Ringo on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

A few years ago we noticed that the lead which surrounded each pane of glass was bending and buckling.  The danger that this posed was even more apparent in 2018 when one of the panels fell out of the window.  Fortunately, this was saved and is now part of the exhibition in Roag Best’s Beatles History Museum in Mathew Street, but it did prompt further investigations into the state of the windows.  In 2020, it was sadly confirmed that the windows posed a grave threat to health and safety and that they could not be repaired.  With regret, we were forced to make the decision to remove the original stained glass windows and replace them with plain glass.

However, we fully recognise the importance of the original stained glass in the history and heritage of St Peter’s and every pane of glass was saved.  These will eventually be made available for sale, with each piece of glass housed in a special presentation box complete with a display stand.  Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 means that we are unable to move forward with these plans for the foreseeable future.  In the meantime, these four panes of stained glass are being offered in the auction.

The final item is a floor block, which was part of the original floor of the Church Hall.  In 2001, a fire in one of the side rooms in the hall resulted in the replacement of small areas of the original floor.  All the floor blocks which had suffered varying degrees of fire damage were saved, including this one which was taken from the side room.

The side room was used by the youth club, of which John was a member, and would also have been used by the Quarrymen, including Paul, during the youth club dances.  It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the current Rector of St Peter’s, the Revd Kip Crooks.

This particular floor block has been partially restored to its 1957 glory by Colin Hanton, drummer with the Quarrymen.  It has not been varnished, or changed in any other way.

More information on all our items, including how to bid can be found at http://www.beatlesauction.co.uk/

Good luck and happy bidding!