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Wed September 23 2020

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Green light for Birmingham prayer wall

14 Sep Planning permissions has been granted for a piece of public art made from one million bricks to be built near Birmingham.

The structure is designed by Paul Bulkeley
The structure is designed by Paul Bulkeley

The bricks will take the form of a giant Möbius strip standing 50-metres, higher than the Angel of the North.

Called Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, the structure will be built at Coleshill Manor, near Birmingham. It is the initiative of a group of Christians who have raised the money for it privately. Each brick will represent an ‘answered prayer’, with a digital link to a different story. Using interactive technology and a bespoke app, visitors will be able to hold up their smart device against any brick to read the specific answered prayer story behind each one. Stories of Christians’ answered prayers are still being collected.

North Warwickshire Borough Council’s decision to grant planning permission has been ratified by the secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

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When the planning application was submitted in January 2020, it had been hoped that construction would start before the end of 2020. The backers are now saying that they plan to start construction in spring 2021, with completion before the end of 2022. As well as the structure itself, there will be a visitor centre, café and bookstore.

The edifice has been designed by Paul Bulkeley from Snug Architects in Southampton, who won a RIBA design competition last year. Ramboll is the project’s structural engineer. Planning and development consultancy Turley provided support on planning.

The driving force behind the project is a former chaplain of Leicester City Football Club, Richard Gamble. “It’s been 16 years since the idea was first born,” he said. “To finally receive the official consent is incredible. We are building a very special landmark and it is an amazing opportunity for the British people to leave a legacy of hope for future generations. Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will make hope visible to the UK. The unique thing about the project is that it’s all about the community: it’s crowdfunded and a million people will come together to crowd-create this incredible piece of art with their stories of hope. What we're doing is historic.”

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