Liverpool: parishioners from closed church protest with lilies

 Campaigners tied more than a hundred lilies to the railings of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Everton on Sunday - to appeal for it to be reopened. The church was closed in 2001. The group were joined by past parishioners from two other closed churches - St Michael's in Ancoats, Manchester, and St Marie's in Widnes, Cheshire. A message of support was also sent from St Joseph's, in Sailorstown, Belfast. Spokeswoman Kay Kelly, said they had chosen Sunday as it was the feast of St Anthony of Padua, when lilies used to be blessed in St Mary's. She said: " We have the faith that St Antony will still bless them. We pray that the church will reopen. People will not give up their faith." St Mary's, nicknamed 'Liverpool's Vatican', was built in 1907, by a donation from Amy Elizabeth Rosalie Imrie, heir to the White Star shipping line. She gave up her wealthy lifestyle to join the Poor Clares. A plaque was unveiled to her last year. Two years ago Liverpool City Council put a preservation order on the Grade Two Listed building's Italian High Renaissance-style interior fixtures and fittings.

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