(When I was young, my nan, used to tell me ‘The church’
is the people, not the building.’)
Once each window was a work of art,
every few feet a different story being told-
parables pictured on stained glass,
which, when the light shone through,
blessed the aisles with colour.
The building provided shelter for those
who kept faith in testing times, believed
these walls would deliver them from harm.
Men and women looked to the ceiling
and prayed that their sons would come home,
and that the bombs would miss
so they had a place to come home to.
On all sides the stairs connect it to the city
like veins to a heart whose beat has changed.
It tells its stories now with shattered glass
and the light that beams through old wounds
to feed the weeds in the cloisters
and the creepers which wrap-round
iron bars. Gutted like a dead lamb,
opened to the heavens, but standing
like a monument to the Scouse spirit,
to a city that endures, that has survived;
the strikes, the bombs, the slander,
of the Sun, and the managed decline.
Here they sent Adolf a message:
sie können unsere Häuser zu brechen,
aber Sie werde nie unsere Herzen brechen –
and that message hasn’t changed much;
you can break our homes,
but you will never break our hearts.