St. Barnabas Church, located in the suburbs of Liverpool, England, is well known by the street it stands on — Penny Lane, which was the inspiration for one of the Beatles’ most popular songs. The church was frequented by Beatles songwriter and bass player Paul McCartney, who was a member of the local choir at St. Barnabas as a young boy.
Before the popularity of the band skyrocketed, St. Barnabas hosted the Beatles for several performance events in the early 1960s. Music has always played a huge part of during the church’s history.
This unassuming but historical church on Penny Lane opened its doors in 1914 and became a sanctuary during and after the war. There are many interior memorials commemorating the lives lost during the war. This beautiful and significant church has many features of interest, particularly the large east window, which is a memorial to the First World War and where it features members of the armed forces.
However, the church recently fell on difficult times. With a decline in regular church attendees over the years, St. Barnabas was set to close in 2019 and the building was scheduled to be sold off. A funding offer from the Church of England to protect the building from disrepair ultimately saved the historic landmark. In 2020, the church was officially protected from closure and given a new life with big plans for the local community.
St. Barnabas has now been renovated to operate additionally as a music venue and community space.
The new interior has a permanent stage, a sound desk and a snack area. Pews have been made removable to make the space adaptable. The staff work alongside local musicians and promote performances in the Liverpool community. The church is now thriving and has rebranded itself as Penny Lane Church. Visitors and Beatles fans still pilgrimage to see the famous landmark.
The church is located at Smithdown Pl. in Liverpool. Church services are held on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.pennylanechurch.org.