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11 April 2005

The Forum is now in business. The steering group met on 18 March and began planning the networking activities which we intend to carry out. The website is operational. Plans to enhance the site and to make it fully responsive to our needs are in hand. Comments on its design are welcome. The main objective now is to make use of it. Societies are invited to post on it details of their work, their contacts and their forthcoming events. The website address is

This is the Forum’s first newsletter. It is being sent by e-mail to all member societies. Societies are welcome to e-mail it to their committees or general membership if they wish to do so or to print it out and circulate paper copies. The steering group is very keen that all communications should be by e-mail because this saves time and money and will avoid, at least for the moment, the need for the Forum to have funds at all - and therefore the need to have a Treasurer, a bank account, auditors and all that. We ask societies which have not so far given us an e-mail address to which we can send Forum material to do so if they possibly can.

The Forum is primarily a networking organisation. This means that it is a vehicle whereby the many voluntary organisations concerned with Liverpool’s culture and heritage can know what other societies are doing and can work together, if they wish to do so. It is a means for the City Council to be aware of what these various societies are doing. It can give a lead to better recognition of the enormous wealth of cultural activity in the city and give more people access to it. The Forum’s mission has special significance for 2007 and 2008 but is equally relevant in the run-up to these years and thereafter. Liverpool has enormous cultural wealth - in bricks and mortar and stone, in works of art and in the performing arts. The Forum can help to get this better known and appreciated both locally and further afield.

Fruitful links have been established with Graham Boxer and Eilleen Willshaw, of the City’s Heritage Development Team. (Within the Liverpool Culture Company, Graham is Head of Heritage Development and Eileen is Heritage and Historic Environment Manager). The City Council has appointed consultants to advise on a heritage strategy for the city. Comments were invited from interested organisations. Copies of a City Council document “Delivering a Heritage Strategy for Liverpool”, setting the scene for such work, were made available to the Forum’s steering group. It is expected that the Forum will be associated with the development of the strategy once this has been decided. We understand that the City has in mind organising a reception for representatives of cultural organisations during the summer. The Forum’s steering group is delighted that these links have been made. Member societies can use the Forum as a channel of communications to the City if they wish, supplementing whatever direct links they already have.

Liverpool Hope University College announced on 31 March government confirmation that it had met the criteria for a University title. The next stage is for the Privy Council to agree that its title be changed to Liverpool Hope University. We wish the new university well and look forward to co-operating with it in the development of the city’s cultural life.


125th anniversary of Liverpool Anglican diocese
The enthronement of Bishop Ryle in 1880 as the first bishop of Liverpool is to be celebrated on 2 July. The cathedral’s website,, will give information about this in due course.

New Liverpool Monuments newsletter
The Friends of Liverpool Monuments, which was set up on 18 January this year, has published its first newsletter. Contact is via Further information on

Music at St Bride’s, Catherine Street
The church has an “open mike” for musicians every second Friday of the month. People drop in with instruments to play or just to listen. The next session is 13 May. Contact

Interfaith talks about 2007 and 2008 Brother Ken Vance SJ of St Francis Xavier church and David Brazendale of Liverpool Parish church are holding a meeting on 14 April to discuss how people from different faiths in the city can contribute to the celebrations in 2007 and 2008. Contact

Downtown week
This takes place 5-12 June and will be a chance for groups to highlight the value of our heritage and culture, particularly as it relates to downtown diversity. Contact

St George’s Hall is the venue for a recital at 7.30 on 2 May by Ian Tracey. This is part of the Liverpool Organ Day when all three of the City’s prestigious instruments will be on show - Liverpool Cathedral at 11.15 a.m. and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at 3.30 p.m.
The Forum’s steering group was told of a proposal that a Liverpool International Organ Festival be created, presumably a major expansion, with financial and commercial aspects, of the Organ Day. Please let the Forum know if you support this idea.

“An Architectural History of Liverpool”
This is the title of a lecture organised by Merseyside Civic Society at 6 for 6.30 p.m. on 17 May at the Department of Civic Design at Liverpool University. The society’s website is Hope Street Summer Festival This is to take place on Monday 13 June, the last day of the Mersey River Festival. Rehearsals for the performance at the Phil are in May. For enrolment contact

“The city consumed: elitism, exclusion and the fantasy of the urban spectacle”
Urban regeneration in Liverpool and the Capital of Culture will be included in the above talk by Steven Miles at 7 p.m. on 18 May in the large lecture theatre at LJMU, Henry Cotton Campus, Truman Street. The Liverpool Sociological Society is the organiser.

In conclusion…
The Forum can do much to help member societies maximise their impact on the cultural life. The steering group hopes that full will be made of its potential to spread the word and increase co-operation where this makes sense. Comments on the Forum’s plans or on this newsletter are welcome.