By the end of 2023, the UK will have a new landmark: a monument to answered prayer, visible from six miles away. The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will be made from a million bricks, each one representing an answered prayer. It is designed to declare: ‘Jesus is alive. He listens. He answers.’
We spoke to Michelle Heritage, the Eternal Wall’s Head of Partnerships, about where the idea for this stunning project came from and how it will make a difference.
WEC: This is a big vision! Can you tell us a bit about where it came from?
Michelle: Well, the vision is God’s. The thing I keep coming back to is that this is impossible without him. It’s so out-there, isn’t it? A 53-metre-high christian landmark made of a million bricks, with augmented reality technology and all about answered prayer: everything about it is big.
Humanly speaking, it was Richard, our CEO, who first felt that God had given him a vision for this, seventeen years ago – so, a long time. Through Eternal Wall, we want to ignite conversations about prayer, to get people to ask why we believe what we believe and to want to find out more. We believe people with all faiths and no faith at all will come and we hope that, as they interact with the answered prayers, it will give them hope.
WEC: The build itself has quite a distinctive shape …
Michelle: Yes, it’s a Möbius strip. The idea is that it’s a never-ending loop which represents no-one being on the outside: so it’s a very invitational design. It means that you can just keep on going and exploring. And each answered prayer will represent a facet of God’s character that is eternal.
The location is really significant too. It has the flightpath to Birmingham Airport going over it. It has two motorways running alongside it and HS2 will pass it too. Around 780,000 people will see the wall on a weekly basis and hopefully, many of them will take a detour and find out more.
‘This is impossible without God. A 53-metre-high christian landmark made of a million bricks, with augmented reality technology, and all about answered prayer: everything about it is big.
WEC: It’s an interesting dynamic, isn’t it? We’ve got a huge, unashamedly christian landmark in a really prominent location. What kind of response have you had from the public?
Michelle: I think when you’re doing anything which is unashamedly christian, there will be people who don’t understand. But what we’ve found is that when we engage people in conversation they start to realise that actually this is a really great thing. It’s about much more than the wall itself. So we’re providing a landscaped area just for people to sit and process what they’ve seen and heard, and a team of chaplains to talk and listen to our visitors. And we’re committed to creating lasting benefits for the community and for the country as a whole. When Eternal Wall is built, we will donate a million bricks (or the equivalent) to social housing projects. A hundred houses should be built as a result.
‘We believe people will come with all faiths and no faith at all and we hope it will give them hope.’
WEC: It’s an incredibly ambitious piece of work. How is it being funded?
Michelle: This is a really exciting part of the project. We want it to be crowd funded. We want thousands of people to feel they have ownership. So in the autumn, we’re going to the public and asking people to give: to give financially or to give an answered prayer. Both parts are really important! If we build the wall but we don’t have the prayers, we’ll have a really big wall that doesn’t do anything!
WEC: And for WEC members in particular, how can we get involved?
Michelle: I guess I’ve partly answered that but the other important thing is that you can be praying for the crowdfunding campaign, which is massive in itself. We have a campaign of 40 days of crowdfunding, supported by 52 days of prayer in the run up to it and throughout it, and we have a prayer booklet to guide people on how to pray for us. Prayer, for us, is indispensable.
To find out more about the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer or to donate click here or to share an answered prayer click here.
Main image: Snug Architects and Renderloft. Interview by Simeon Whiting.
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Richard Gamble: “This will be a people's landmark.”