Where will the wall be built?
We are delighted to announce that The Wall has been given a plot of land for the project on the 16th January 2018. Over the next few months we will be continuing meetings with politicians and local churches before our announcement of where it is in June. It’s an amazing story of how God has connected us with the landowner which we will share in due course.
How does the Landmark benefit the local area?
Another National Landmark in the UK is the Angel of the North in Gateshead. It is estimated that the financial impact of this landmark for the local area has been more than £500 million over the last 10 years. In part this has been due to an increase in tourism. As well as this, businesses have become aware of the area of Gateshead due to the landmark and have followed up and consequently invested in the area. There has also been an increase in investments into public art in the area.
For every brick of the one million bricks making up The Wall, one brick will be donated into social housing. This equates to a hundred houses across the UK and abroad. Once the site has been finalised, discussion will take place with the local council as to how this project can donate into social housing projects within the local area.
Finally, it is free of charge to visit The Wall, and for the local residents this is a great way to engage with public, art but further to this the site will have a large open park area where residents can come and enjoy a time of peace and reflection regardless of faith and belief.
What will it look like?
The Royal Institute of British Architects ran a global competition, which was judged by a panel of experts to find the most stunning design for ‘The Wall’.
It is expected to be an iconic structure representing a wall, but certainly NOT just a flat wall, it will be breath taking. The winner will be announced early 2019.
Is it for all faiths?
The Wall of Answered Prayer is a piece of public art about Jesus, it is open for everybody to visit, enjoy and contribute to with the caveat that the prayers have been answered by Jesus.
The UK and its Christian heritage is incredibly diverse in relation to faith. In order to honour our multi-faith society we believe that this does not involve merging all the faiths together but rather allowing each faith to express itself in the way it sees fit.
What are the features of The Wall?
The Wall has been designed to not only be an iconic architectural sculpture, but to fundamentally remind the generations to come of God’s goodness through reading other’s answered prayers and engaging with what the Bible says about prayer.
The Wall is therefore a visitor’s attraction with many engaging elements. On site, there will be a visitor centre for the public to engage with, within which there will be a 24/7 Prayer Room. Furthermore, there will be an exhibition which will describe what the Bible says about prayer. The exhibition will link to the educational curriculum which schools and colleges can visit to compliment their student’s learning.
Each brick will represent a specific answered prayer by Jesus. Visitors will be able to interact with each brick digitally in several different ways. First of all, visitors will be able to place their phone against a brick and an app will reveal the prayer associated with that brick. For the higher bricks, there will be tourist style binoculars available on site with which visitors can zoom into a brick and the answered prayer will be shown on screen.
On top of this, the site will contain different touch screen terminals on which visitors can type in any topic/situation and visitors will be able to see how others in with the same experiences have turned to prayer and Jesus answered.
How are prayers verified?
Each brick will represent a story of how Jesus has answered a prayer in someone’s life. So this is a tricky one. How do you define what an answered prayer is?
We would like the site to be filled with a range of answered prayers not just the large miraculous ones. There will then undoubtedly be many which only internally individuals involved will be able to validate. So there has to be an element of trust. That said we have a number of approaches to avoid the logging of answered prayers being abused. These are:
- Traditional peer review software
- Customer Research Technology’s Valid8 software
- Spot checking
Each testimony will have the option to upload photos and videos’ declaring of how good God has been.
Why is it called The Wall and doesn’t that have negative connotations particularly with Trumps Wall?
The team behind The Wall are not concerned with any negative connotations associated with Trumps Wall as we are viewing this project with a long term lens. This architectural sculpture will last for centuries by which point the actions in one president’s term will be long forgotten.
The concept of Walls in the Word of God were spoken of referring to the walls surrounding each city. These walls were not barriers but they represented the protection of the God that each city worshipped. For us, every answered prayer represents God’s protection for us in the storms of life. The architects have been given the brief to challenge people’s concept of what a wall is. Therefore the designs shortlisted are not in any way barriers, but represent the Biblical view of God’s protection.
How big is a million bricks?
Is anyone checking the theology of prayers?
Through the use of software stated previously and along with the peer review the charity will not include where ever possible prayers that contradict the Word of God. Our stance as a Christian charity is though not to engage in theological arguments but to demonstrate that God does answer prayer. As such there will not be a particular Christian theology enforced upon the verification process, as we are keen for ‘The Wall’ to represent the broad Christian church in the UK.
How is it funded?
All the funding for The Wall will be from private investment. The project does not want to take any money from the public purse. Some of this will be from major donors and some will be crowd funded from individual donors. When someone sends in their answered prayer there is an option to donate to the project if they wish.
Crowd funding is at the heart of The Wall as there is something special about building a national landmark that is funded by tens of thousands of people.
What stage are we at now?
The vision was birthed by Richard Gamble in April 2004. He started working on the project with some vigour in late July 2015. Over the last few years he’s had a number of meetings with local churches, and politicians at both local and national level, in the lead up to building The Wall and securing the land on which it will be built. Just over 10,000 bricks out of a total of one million have been assigned to answered prayers! The final brick will be laid in 2022.
In September 2017, a global design competition was run in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to determine the design of the project. In December 2017, 133 entries were narrowed down to five designs.
On the 16th of January 2018, the land on which The Wall will be built was secured! The final announcement for where this land is set to be is in June.
For the next six months, surveys will be carried out to give the architects an idea of the landscape. In July, the architects will be taken to the land to inspire them to take their concepts and apply them to the specific area of land that The Wall will be built on. For the next 4 months they will be creating models and providing detailed plans and costs. In December 2018, a panel of judges from the local area, local churches, politicians and experts in the field will decide on the winning design. Then in early 2019, it is expected that we can share where The Wall will be built and what it will look like.