The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes was built in thanksgiving to God for the light bombing of Blackpool and surrounding areas during the Second World War.
The Shrine, designed by architect Francis Xavier Velarde, was built between 1955 and 1957 with funding from local parishes. It is one of very few post-war churches listed Grade II*.
The Shrine of our Lady of Lourdes was built as a war memorial thanksgiving chapel between 1955 and 1957. It was designed by Francis Xavier Velarde (1897-1960) and its construction was funded by contributions from local parishes. Velarde built more than a dozen churches and chapels, all but one of them for Roman Catholics. Velarde was interested in blending historic styles freely in a way that is nevertheless of its time. His designs were thought eccentric by many during his lifetime; today he is highly regarded for his originality and distinctive style.
The Listing description states that the Shrine has “a perfect, diminutive jewel-like quality that transcends conventional church formulas.”
The chapel is clad with Portland stone externally and has a copper roof, ornamented with four statues of saints, one at each corner. There is a large scale relief of the Trinity on the facade above the entrance by the sculptor David John.
A first phase of repairs, costing £100,000, was completed in April 2008. This consisted of repairs to the leaking copper roof and re-designing a defective rainwater disposal system.
In 2015, thanks to funding from a number of trusts and foundations, we were able to replace the electrical system which had been disconnected as unsafe.
There is a great deal still to do to bring this wonderful building back to its former glory. We now need to raise approximately £400,000 to complete repairs and introduce new facilities, which will ensure the building can host a wider range of suitable community activities and occasional services of worship.
If you would like to help us to restore the Shrine, please do make a donation or even leave a legacy which will have a lasting and memorable benefit.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes stands on Whinney Heys Road, close to Stanley Park and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
It is difficult to park very close to the chapel, due to double yellow line parking restrictions. There is a multi-storey car park further down Whinney Heys Road.
IN THE AREA
You can download a short guide to The Shrine here.
Grid Reference: SD332368
Whinney Heys Road
Visitors should ring our keyholder in advance to arrange to get access: 01253 865770.
The Shrine does not have fixed pews so can be used very flexibly; in recent years it has been used for exhibitions, fashion shows and a range of other events.
If you would like to hire the Shrine for an event please contact Vivienne Cooling at the HCT.