The community Night Markets regularly held in Liverpool has recently found a new home, on the site of the local Anglican church.

The Markets, traditionally held on Liverpool’s Macquarie St, had outgrown its previous site, and council had been looking for an alternate site, settling on the more spacious grounds of St Luke’s.

“Interestingly, we had been thinking about doing something similar on our site, because we've got blocks of units going up around us,” says the rector of St Luke’s Liverpool the Rev Stuart Pearson. “We didn’t have the people resources or skill base to do it ourselves, though. But then council approached us about the possibility of running it on our site. We’re right in the middle of Liverpool CBD, and they thought it would work well for the night markets, so that’s where it kicked off.”

The most recent markets, held in early March, had a medieval theme, with combat re-enactments, dress up themes, rides and community stalls all on show. Mr Pearson says he sees it as a great way for the church to also engage more with the community, and for them to check out the church in a neutral setting.

“We also had our own stall with information about our ministries, our play groups and ESL classes, things like that,” he says. “We also opened up the church building so people could have a look around, have a chat with parishioners. There was one guy I spoke to who normally never would probably set foot in a church or talk about things, but wanted to talk about how his life was going, and was happy to do so in the context of that event. It was actually surprising about how many conversations were had through that about the church and about life. The night itself was terrific, it ran for six hours but we’re looking forward to it happening again.”

Mr Pearson says that while the church was actually prepared to host it as a monthly event, the plan from Liverpool Council is to host the Markets quarterly, in order to concentrate the people and scale of the event.

“We see this as seeking the welfare of the city,” says Mr Pearson. “This is a way we can contribute to the life of Liverpool in a positive way. Apparently we had something like 3000 people on site, and the space means people can circulate, chat, and just connect more rather than walking up and out of the main street, and we’re glad we’ve been able to provide that, while also having an opportunity to just connect with people more.”