Church leaders have welcomed plans for a new national landmark which aims to profile a million answered prayers after it was given the go-ahead to be built on a site near Coleshill on the outskirts of Birmingham.
The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, which will eclipse the size of the Angel of the North, will stand at 169 feet and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year, contributing £9.3 million to the local economy.
The iconic ‘eternal’ arch structure will be constructed using one million bricks with each representing individual prayers that have been answered for people across the country. In addition, using interactive technology and a bespoke app, visitors will be able to use their smart device, holding it against any brick to read the individual answered prayers and the personal stories behind them.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, said the local Catholic community is looking forward to playing its part in the “exciting project”.
“The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer promises to be an exciting project,” he said. “I hope that all those who visit it will find some space and inspiration to consider the value of prayer in their lives.
“The local Catholic community looks forward to playing its part in supporting this work so that together we can leave a legacy of faith for generations to come.”
The Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart, also expressed his own excitement and support, calling the Eternal Wall “an encouragement to personal and national prayer and to attract visitors for exploring the journey of faith”.
Meanwhile, the Rev’d Yinka Oyekan, President of the Baptist Union said the wall will be a lasting symbol of what faith can accomplish.”
News that planning permission had been granted left the man behind the project, Richard Gamble, overjoyed.
Mr Gamble, the former chaplain of Leicester City FC, said it had taken 16 years to get to this point. “To finally receive the official consent is incredible,” he said.
“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. It is unique in that it is all about the community: it is crowd-funded 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.”
It is anticipated that Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will create 60 new jobs during its two-year construction phase from 2021, thereafter providing 20 full-time positions.
“We want to celebrate and remember all the prayers that God has answered for individuals throughout our nation’s history,” said Mr Gamble. “Each answered prayer could provide hope to those who visit. ”
Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2021 with completion in Autumn 2022.
Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer is looking to gather one million answers to prayer. Share yours at: www.eternalwall.org.uk/testimony
Picture: A CGI visualisation of the intended design of Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer.