Liverpool Cathedral Reopening

Liverpool Cathedral has been open for worship services and private prayer and reflection since April 12th (Monday to Sunday from 11am – 3pm), and expects to open fully to visitors on or around May 17th, in line with the Government’s roadmap to lifting lockdown restrictions.

While the wait to visit one of the city’s most popular landmarks in person goes on, the Cathedral has recorded a virtual tour consisting of a series of videos that encompass all the building’s most important points of interest. These include the magnificent latest art installation in the Derby Transept, “The Outraged Christ” by Charles Lutyens, the iconic Lady Chapel, the Children’s Chapel, the High Altar, the Corona Gallery, the Memorial Chapel and the great Benedictine Window:

Many will be unaware that the Cathedral also hosts a collection of paintings and sculpture by some most distinguished artists of the 20th and 21 centuries, including five Royal Academicians: Tracey Emin, Craigie Aitchison, Elisabeth Frink, Christopher Le Brun and Adrian Wiszniewski.

Cathedrals and churches have always been important patrons of visual art which during earlier times, with mostly illiterate congregations, was a powerful means of communication, education, and spiritual inspiration and reflection. While modern audiences may draw different messages, the tradition has persisted to this day, with Liverpool Cathedral continuing to commission artworks from some of the most eminent contemporary artists, which are displayed throughout the building.

We would like to wish our friends at Liverpool Cathedral the very best for the impending full reopening in a little over two weeks, and hope and pray that the door’s of one of Liverpool’s greatest institutions will now permanently remain open for both the faithful and the curious.

John Moores Painting Prize 2020

John Moores Painting Prize 2020 Candidates

Established by the well known philanthropist Sir John Moores in 1957, and described by the Guardian as ‘the prize at the forefront of modern art’, the John Moores Painting Prize is awarded every two years to the best contemporary painting by a UK-based artist, with the short-listed artworks exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Walker Art Gallery has been closed for most of the past year, opening briefly once more in December, before being forced to close again on the 30th of that month when the latest national lockdown was put in place. The Walker Art Gallery is now set to reopen on 17th May, in line with the Government’s four-step ‘roadmap’ to lifting lockdown restrictions.

For the John Moores Painting Prize 2020 candidates, the gallery’s closure has meant that their work has so far been inaccessible to the general public. Fortunately, however, the Walker Art Gallery and National Museums Liverpool have put together a virtual tour of the 67 short-listed artworks for the prize. This exciting collection of paintings can be viewed on the National Museums Liverpool website:

Kathryn Maple’s acrylic on canvas work The Common was announced as the winner of John Moores Painting Prize 2020, and her painting will now permanently feature in the Walker Art Gallery’s world famous collection. As friends and partners of the gallery, we offer our congratulations to Ms Maple, and wish the Walker team all the very best for a successful (and hopefully permanent) reopening in a little under a month from now.

Probate Holdups

Financial institutions are the main cause of delay in at least 25% of probate cases, according to two-thirds of the legal professionals recently surveyed for the Bereavement Index published by Today’s Wills & Probate. The delay in receiving financial information concerning the estate of a deceased person from institutions takes at least four weeks according to the majority of practitioners.   

While the average probate case takes around three months to complete, delays of up to a year may result from solicitors encountering delays in obtaining the necessary information regarding an estate and its assets, with the report suggesting this applied to one in 14 probate cases. The average delay caused by individuals failing to leave their affairs in order prior to their passing is around two months.

The surveyed legal professionals also expressed their frustrations with the probate process, with 88% labelling it ‘slow and complicated’, and 51% stating that recent probate cases they had been involved in took longer than expected. Three-quarters (75%) believe that the probate process can be improved, indicating that reform of the system is both necessary and likely in the near future.

Bartletts Solicitors is an expert probate law firm, with Louise Nelson having assisted clients with probate matters for 39 years. We offer our clients a winning team with real experience in probate and genuine expertise in this often complex area of law.

UK Housing Market Resurgent

Halifax Bank recently reported that the average UK house price hit a record high of £254,606 in March 2021, representing a 6.5% annual rise and adding around £15,000 to the value of the average residential property over the course of the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, statistics published by HMRC show that the number of transactions in the UK residential property market increased by almost 18% in January 2021 year on year to reach 98,830, the highest monthly total since 2017.

These figures prove that the residential property market has so far avoided the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic and is being boosted by attractive mortgage offers from various lenders, as well as the Government’s mortgage guarantee scheme which ‘guarantees’ 95% mortgages for property buyers with a 5% deposit.

Another key driver of the market’s resurgence is the temporary stamp duty holiday (the tax has been suspended on the first £500,000 of all property sales), which has recently been extended by a further three months until the end of June 2021.

So what does the future hold for the UK residential property market? Experts agree that the long-term outlook is unpredictable, with much depending on the UK’s economic performance and the impact of the Government’s roadmap for lifting lockdown.

Sentiment for the immediate future is positive however, with competitive rates on offer from mortgage providers, and many buyers seeking larger properties for better work-life balance and extra outdoor space. The success of the vaccine rollout and the lifting of lockdown restrictions should also help maintain the market’s current buoyancy during 2021.

Bartletts’ conveyancing solicitors can provide you with a no obligation immediate quotation based on our transparent fixed-fee structure. Find out more about all aspects of the conveyancing process and our Liverpool City Centre-based conveyancing team: