Embarking on a tour of historical Anglican churches in Birmingham, England, unveils an illustrious tapestry of over 50 sacred sites steeped in architectural splendor and spiritual significance, all erected before the First World War.
Among these gems, the Church of SS Peter & Paul in Aston stands as an architectural masterpiece, alongside the enchanting St Mary the Virgin in Acocks Green and the serene St Silas’ Church in Lozells.
From the magnificent St Martin in the Bull Ring to the grandeur of The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip, each church boasts unique historical narratives and captivating design elements.
The elegant St Edburgha’s Church in Yardley, the iconic St Paul’s Church in Jewellery Quarter, and the tranquil St Saviour’s Church in Saltley are just a few highlights in this illustrious list.
This curated selection offers a fascinating glimpse into Birmingham’s spiritual heritage, showcasing diverse architectural styles and preserving centuries of religious legacy. In another article on this website, you can read about the historical roman catholic churches of Birmingham.
Church of SS Peter & Paul in Aston
The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul in Witton Lane, Aston, Birmingham, holds a rich historical tapestry within its walls. Nestled within the Church of England, its origins are shrouded in uncertainty, possibly dating back to a British Roman settlement unearthed in a 2013 archaeological dig.
The church’s Grade II* listed building stands between the A38(M) and Villa Park, the renowned home of Aston Villa Football Club. Originally a minster church, the first masonry structure emerged in 1120, evolving over centuries with significant renovations in 1480 and 1879 under the guidance of architect J.A. Chatwin.
The church houses notable monuments, including relics of the Arden family, ancestors of William Shakespeare, and tributes to figures like John Rogers, commemorating his Bible translation.
Reflecting the community’s resilience and sorrow, a poignant mosaic honors two young lives lost to violence, highlighting ongoing efforts against gun and knife crime. Boasting a historical organ crafted by Banfield in 1901 and subsequently rebuilt by Nicholson in 1967, the church has been graced by talented organists like Thomas F. Thomason.
The churchyard bears testament to significant figures and historical events, adorned with notable memorials, including Commonwealth war graves and the Aston War Memorial, a Grade II listed structure.
St Mary the Virgin in Acocks Green
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Acocks Green, Birmingham, holds a significant historical heritage within its walls. Founded as part of the Parish of Yardley, the growing population in the 19th century spurred the demand for a separate parish church.
In 1864, local meetings led to the church’s establishment, with the site provided by Yardley Charity Trustees and an endowment from John Field Swinburn. Designed by J.G. Bland in 1864, the church was consecrated in stages from 1866 to 1867.
Originally planned with a tower and spire, only parts of the original design were realized. A chancel, designed by J.A. Chatwin, was added in 1894, yet elements like the north and south transepts and tower remained unfinished, as seen today.
The church’s architectural plan features a conventional orientation with a Gothic Revival style typical of the Early English period. The nave, supported by columns adorned with acanthus leaves, showcases a memorial to John Field Swinburn and columns separating the nave from the chancel, all displaying contrasting stonework.
Bomb damage from 1940’s attacks persists, altering the church’s original features, with windows, trusses, and the pulpit relocated or replaced. The chancel boasts a wooden barrel vaulted ceiling, an altar of Devonshire marble, a reredos of alabaster installed in 1903, and an East Window by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
St Edburgha’s Church in Yardley
St Edburgha’s Church, also known as Old Yardley Church, stands as a Grade I listed building in Birmingham’s Yardley area, a part of the Old Yardley conservation area. Its origins stretch back to the 13th century, built under the Diocese of Lichfield and dedicated to Edburgha of Winchester, King Alfred’s granddaughter and a canonized nun.
Constructed in stages across centuries, the church’s nave, north aisle, and Becket Chapel date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Its tower and spire, constructed in 1461, underwent restoration in 1898.
Rising 149 feet tall, the church tower bears Henry Ulm’s probable workmanship, aligning with spires at Sheldon and Kings Norton. For centuries, St. Edburgha’s stood as Yardley’s sole church until Marston Chapel’s consecration in 1704.
An intriguing aspect is the north aisle’s doorway, boasting carved Tudor rose and pomegranate symbols commemorating the union of Henry VIII’s brother, Prince Arthur, and Catherine of Aragon. Mysterious scraped marks on the tower’s base puzzle observers, their origin shrouded in uncertainty.
The church harbors an incised alabaster slab dated 1462, depicting Thomas and Marion Est, albeit significantly weathered. Within its tower reside eight bells, installed in 1950, replacing earlier bells with a history dating back to the 17th century. The bells endured recasting, repairs, and an infestation of death watch beetles in the 20th century, eventually being rededicated in 1950.
Christ Church in Yardley Wood
Christ Church in Yardley Wood stands as a Grade II listed Church of England parish church in Birmingham, its foundation stone laid in April 1848.
The church, a creation of Sarah Taylor of Moor Green based on designs by architect Arthur Edward Perkins, was consecrated in March 1849 by the Bishop of Worcester. Its parish was carved out of St Edburgha’s Church in Yardley and St Nicolas’ Church in Kings Norton, solidifying its ecclesiastical presence in the area.
Over time, expansions and alterations shaped the church’s physical structure, including the completion of the west tower in 1896. Yet, the parish underwent changes, with segments forming new churches like St Agnes’ Church in Moseley, Holy Cross Church in Billesley Common, and Immanuel Church in Highter’s Heath, each gaining independence.
Christ Church houses historical wood paneling and carvings donated by the Earl of Denbigh, originally meant for St Bartholomew’s Church in Birmingham. These treasures found a new home at Christ Church following the devastation of St Bartholomew’s during the Second World War, adding to the church’s historical legacy.
The church also had a rich musical heritage with a barrel organ initially installed from St Mary’s Church in Moseley. Subsequent modifications and replacements, notably by Halmshaw and Conacher, extended the organ’s capabilities. Although the original organ is no longer present, its significance remains documented in the National Pipe Organ Register.
The Holy Trinity Church in Birchfield
Holy Trinity Church, a Grade II* listed parish church in Birchfield, Birmingham, faced challenges in 2018 due to its deteriorating condition, landing it on the Heritage at Risk Register. However, subsequent repairs successfully removed it from this register, preserving its architectural significance.
The church, laid in May 1863 under architect J.A. Chatwin and consecrated in 1864 by Bishop John Lonsdale, was designed for 612 congregants, spanning 117 feet in length and 48.5 feet in width.
Adorning its interiors are exquisite stained glass creations by renowned Victorian manufacturers like Clayton and Bell, Heaton, Butler and Bayne, John Hardman, and Alexander Gibbs of Bedford, adding artistic brilliance.
Emerging as a parish from St Mary’s Church in Handsworth in 1865, parts of its area formed All Souls’ Church in Witton in 1926.
Under Vicar Eve Pitts in 2010, the church secured a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for crucial repairs. Despite its inclusion in Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, restoration efforts prevailed, leading to its removal from the list and ensuring its preservation.
The church once housed an 1866 Banfield-crafted organ, documented in the National Pipe Organ Register.
St Martin in the Bull Ring
St Martin in the Bull Ring, a Grade II* listed Church of England parish church in Birmingham, holds historical significance as the city’s original parish church.
Rooted in the 13th century, the church’s structure evolved over time, boasting a grand nave, chancel, aisles, and a northwest spire. Historical records link the church to Birmingham’s timekeeping as early as 1547.
Transformations shaped St Martin’s; it was encased in brick in 1690, and its spire saw significant reconstruction in later centuries. Architect Philip Charles Hardwick removed the tower’s brick casing in 1853, introducing an open-air pulpit.
In 1873, architect J.A. Chatwin led the church’s reconstruction, revealing medieval wall paintings and beams behind the ceiling. The exterior features Grinshill stone, while inside, sandstone and an elaborate timber roof create a striking atmosphere.
Notable features include Victorian floor tiles showcasing the de Bermingham family’s arms and a Burne-Jones window in the south transept. The church’s bell history, evolving from four to sixteen by 1991, and its pipe organ’s extensive evolution, highlight its auditory heritage.
St Martin in the Bull Ring stands as a cherished historical and architectural gem, witnessing Birmingham’s evolution through centuries of transformations, discoveries, and restoration efforts.
St Paul’s Church in Jewellery Quarter
St. Paul’s, an Anglican church in Birmingham’s Georgian St. Paul’s Square within the Jewellery Quarter, holds rich historical significance.
Built in 1777 by Roger Eykyn, its Grade I listing reflects its architectural importance. Consecrated in 1779 on land from Charles Colmore’s Newhall estate, it served Birmingham’s early industrial magnates like Matthew Boulton and James Watt, who had their own tradable pews.
Initially a rectangular structure, it underwent expansions, notably the tower and spire additions designed by Francis Goodwin and erected between 1822 and 1823. In 1841, it gained parish status, taking land from St Martin in the Bull Ring and merging with St Mark’s Church in 1947 after its demolition.
The church endured wartime bombing, undergoing extensive repairs post-World War II and further restoration from 1985 to 1994. Notable within are the enamelled stained-glass window, an homage to the Conversion of Paul crafted by Francis Eginton in 1791, and a window by Ward and Hughes from the 1880s.
Its organ, tracing back to 1830 by James Bishop, underwent numerous expansions and renovations, finally remodeled by Hill, Norman & Beard in 1964, retaining mechanical and electro-pneumatic actions. The bells, initially three, were upgraded to a ring of ten in 2005, celebrating the St. Martin’s Guild of Church Bell Ringers’ 250th anniversary.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip
The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip, an Anglican cathedral and episcopal seat in Birmingham, holds a distinguished history rooted in its inception as a Baroque-style parish church designed by Thomas Archer and consecrated in 1715. Located on Colmore Row, it became the seat of the Diocese of Birmingham in 1905, earning its Grade I listing.
Its establishment arose from the need to accommodate Birmingham’s growing population, transitioning from the medieval St Martin in the Bull Ring. Robert Philips donated the land, leading to construction initiated in 1711.
Thomas Archer’s design, inspired by Roman architecture, reflected elegance on a budget, costing significantly less than projected due to material donations. It remained a parish church until 1905.
The cathedral’s history is marked by significant architectural transformations, notably the extension of the chancel in 1884-88 by J. A. Chatwin, complementing its Italianate Baroque design. The interior features galleries typical of English Baroque churches, while its exterior flaunts tall windows supported by pilasters and a distinctive single tower topped by a lead-covered dome.
In World War II, the cathedral endured bombings, losing some structural elements. However, key treasures, including Edward Burne-Jones’ windows, were safeguarded and later reinstalled during post-war restoration efforts in 1948.
Beyond its architectural grandeur, St Philip’s holds relics like the Burnaby obelisk and serves as a cultural repository, housing the St. Philip’s Parish Library and six heritage-listed monuments, evoking Birmingham’s historical tapestry.
Holy Trinity Church in Bordesley
Holy Trinity Church, Bordesley, a Grade II listed former Church of England parish church in Birmingham, was built between 1820 and 1822 in the decorated perpendicular gothic style by architect Francis Goodwin.
The construction cost £14,235, primarily funded through public subscription and a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners. The church, consecrated in 1823, had a parish assigned from St. Peter and St. Paul, Aston.
Its exceptional interior boasted fittings and galleries. The church featured a rectangular plan with a shallow canted apse faced in Bath stone, adorned with spirelet pinnacled buttresses, and octagonal pinnacled turrets at the corners.
Larger turrets flanked the recessed entrance bay under a parapeted gable. The west window had cast iron tracery with a pattern of ribs over it.
Holy Trinity played a significant role in the High Church movement, led by Rev Dr Joseph Oldknow and later by Richard William Enraght. Enraght’s Anglo-Catholic practices, such as burning candles and incense, led to his trial and imprisonment in 1880. His convictions under the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 caused a national uproar.
Enraght’s replacement, Rev Alan H Watts, faced opposition when attempting to assume office in 1883, encountering protests and disorder during services.
The burial ground, closed in 1873, saw some remains removed due to road widening; the church itself ceased services in 1968, undergoing proposals for repurposing and sheltering the homeless until the late 1990s.
Presently, it remains empty, with past proposals for demolition and, in 2014, consideration for residential conversion. The interior, once richly adorned, was stripped of its decorations, leaving behind a coved ceiling and a transformed interior space.
St Benedict’s Church in Bordesley
St Benedict’s Church, located in Bordesley, West Midlands, stands as a noteworthy Church of England parish church, a manifestation of Byzantine Revival architecture dating back to the early 20th century. The church, situated about 2.5 miles east of Birmingham city centre, is a Grade II listed structure.
The church’s origins trace back to a mission established by St Oswald’s Church in Small Heath in 1898, initially housed in a temporary iron structure. In 1909, the architects Nicol and Nicol designed the present church, a sturdy replacement constructed with red brick and sandstone dressings.
Consecrated in 1910, the church embodies Byzantine Revival style, featuring an impressive nave flanked by north and south aisles, adorned with round-headed arches on sandstone piers.
Emphasizing its dedication to Benedict of Nursia, a statue stands proudly in a niche above the west end porch. Inside, the chancel boasts a striking Byzantine-style painting executed by Henry Holiday between 1912 and 1919, portraying Christ in Majesty surrounded by angels and saints.
Recognized as a Grade II listed building in 1982, St Benedict’s holds historical significance, evident in its architectural integrity and artistic expressions. Its parish archives, deposited with Birmingham Central Library in 1998, remain a testament to its enduring legacy. Additionally, the vicarage, designed by Nicol and Nicol and built in 1911-12, stands adjacent to the church and holds its own historical importance, designated as a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1997.
St Francis of Assisi’s Church in Bournville
St. Francis of Assisi’s Church in Bournville, Birmingham, stands as a significant parish church within the Church of England, characterized by its historical and architectural heritage.
The church’s roots date back to Bournville Village Trust’s land allocation in 1905, resulting in the consecration of the church building in 1925, an architectural creation by William Alexander Harvey.
The church hall, now part of the community center, was established in 1913, followed by the chapel’s construction in 1966, donated by the Cadbury family in memory of their children.
A cornerstone of the church is its notable features, including the majestic stained glass window, created in 2006 by Catherine Pinnock, depicting the Prayer of St. Francis. The meticulous craftsmanship of artisans like John Poole, sculptor and letter-cutter, is evident in the intricacies of the font and capitals, symbolizing unity and humanism.
Annie-Rose Hemming’s artistry adorns the Reredos with a representation of St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, showcasing Brother Sun and Sister Moon, capturing the essence of praise.
The church resonates with poignant memorials, like the Altar Cross honoring Roland Cartland, and Lt. Christopher Barclay’s memorial window, crafted by Nora Yoxall and Elsie Whitford. Additionally, the Votive Candle Stand, designed by Adam Barrett, represents healing and prayer.
The church’s history is interwoven with craftsmanship, from Francis Thomas Ames’ handcrafted Lectern to William Bloye’s evocative carvings on the North and South Door Tympanums, depicting St. Francis’s teachings.
Christ Church in Ward End
Christ Church in Ward End stands as a Grade II listed parish church within the Church of England in Birmingham. Its history, rooted in the late 1920s, began with the generous donation of land by the Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company.
The church’s inception unfolded ceremoniously, marked by significant events like the cutting of the first sod in 1934 by Revd. W.E. Dugmore and the laying of the foundation stone by Rt. Revd Ernest Barnes, Bishop of Birmingham, a ceremony graced with Masonic rites.
Designed by architect Holland W. Hobbiss and constructed by William Deacon and Son of Lichfield, the church was consecrated in 1935, an event of profound significance in its establishment. The architectural beauty of Christ Church houses notable sculptures by William Bloye, adding artistic grandeur to its sacred space.
Throughout its evolution, the church expanded its offerings, incorporating the side chapel in 1951, adorned with elements from St Stephen the Martyr’s Church. It attained parish status in 1965, eventually embracing the parishioners of St Margaret’s Church upon its closure in 2005.
The church’s musical soul resides in the organ, crafted in 1948 by Alfred E. Davies & Son Ltd., lending melodic depth to its spiritual resonance. Christ Church remains a testament to timeless architecture and spiritual community woven into Birmingham’s ecclesiastical heritage.
Bishop Latimer Memorial Church in Winson Green
The Bishop Latimer Memorial Church, a Grade II* listed parish church in Winson Green, Birmingham, boasts an intriguing origin—the funding for its construction remains anonymous.
Designed by architect William Bidlake, the church’s Gothic-style edifice was consecrated in 1904, marking the inception of its sacred presence in the community.
Established as an independent parish in 1904, the church emerged from the territories of St Cuthbert’s Church in Winson Green and St Chrysostom’s Church in Hockley, carving its unique identity within Birmingham’s ecclesiastical landscape.
Throughout its existence, the church underwent significant restoration, notably in 1938, enhancing its structural integrity and preserving its architectural heritage.
A distinct facet of the church’s history unfolded in 1958 with the installation of eight bells, originally crafted in 1776 by Robert Wells and previously housed in St John’s Church, Deritend. Later transferred to St John’s Church in Perry Barr in 1972, these bells echo a rich historical resonance.
Embracing an ecumenical spirit, the church evolved into the Bishop Latimer United Church, embodying a harmonious partnership between the Anglican Church and the United Reformed Church in Winson Green.
Anchored by a two-manual pipe organ by James Jepson Binns, the church resonates with both history and collaborative faith, fostering a spirit of unity and reverence within its walls.
St Peter’s Church in Hall Green
St Peter’s Church, nestled in Hall Green, Birmingham, has an intriguing history. Initially established in 1923 as a small wooden building dedicated to St Cadoc, it arose from Colonel Jervaise’s generous land donation amidst the area’s growth.
The chapel served the community until 1954 when, reflecting the continued expansion, it was rededicated as St Peter’s Church.
However, a fire in April 1959 disrupted plans for its growth, leading services to relocate temporarily to a wooden hut. Eventually, a new parish hall became the spiritual hub for four years. In 1962, the foundation stone was laid for an entirely new structure, and by 1964, the church unveiled its new building, symbolizing a rebirth from the ashes.
Architecturally, the church holds distinction, locally listed as Grade A by Birmingham City Council. Its octagonal shape covered by a concrete dome stands out.
The structure’s grandeur is emphasized by a 35-foot-high nave, with spans of 93 feet from East to West and 75 feet from North to South. The tower itself reaches an impressive height of 102 feet, crowned by a cross that symbolizes faith and resilience.
The church’s allure extends to its stained glass windows, crafted by Tristan Ruhlmann from Alsace, France. Twelve carpet windows, inspired by prayer mats, adorn the space, along with a Lady Chapel window depicting the nativity scene.
The East window, a colossal 18 by 16 feet, echoes the scriptural command to St Peter, designed to inspire congregants with its sheer size and significance.
Church of the Ascension in Hall Green
The Church of the Ascension, once known as the Job Marston Chapel, stands as a significant Church of England parish church in Hall Green, Birmingham, England.
Completed in 1704, it’s believed to be the design work of Sir William Wilson, named after local resident Job Marston, who generously contributed £1,000 to its construction near Hall Green Hall. Consecrated on May 25, 1704, its original structure and later additions showcase the Queen Anne style.
Exteriorly, red brick forms the building, adorned with a stone entablature, supported by Doric pilasters. Moulded stone frames the windows, while the tower at the nave’s west end displays an octagonal brick upper storey topped with a copper cupola.
Inside, the nave boasts a coved plaster ceiling. Between 1860 and 1866, the chancel and transepts were added, marking the church as the oldest classical structure extant in Birmingham.
Before the foundation of the Diocese of Birmingham in 1905, the city resided on the borders of two ancient sees, divided into archdeaconries of Birmingham and Aston. In 1907, the chapel transformed into the parish church of Hall Green under the new diocese.
By 1933, the Bishop of Birmingham took over the patronage, securing its Grade II* listed status in April 1952.
St Paul’s Church in Hamstead
St. Paul’s Church in Hamstead, Birmingham, holds a significant place atop a hill overlooking the former mining village. Initially situated in Staffordshire, its construction in 1865 as a mission church predates its incorporation into Birmingham in 1928, transitioning through Warwickshire and finally becoming part of the West Midlands county in 1974.
Augustus Gough-Calthorpe, the 6th Baron Calthorpe, laid the church’s foundation stone on July 27, 1891. Designed by architect William Davis, the church boasted a charming layout comprising a nave, transepts, aisles, and a chancel, constructed primarily of red brick with Bathstone dressings.
A testament to its architectural appeal, Pevsner and Wedgwood describe it as a delightful countryside church, characterized by a Decorated style.
Following its consecration on September 29, 1892, St. Paul’s expanded its role, forming a designated parish in 1894. This expansion marked a new chapter, distinct from the parishes of St. Mary’s Church in Handsworth and St. John the Evangelist’s Church in Perry Barr.
Adjacent to the church stands the poignant Hamstead War Memorial, a Celtic wheel-cross erected in December 1920. This Grade II listed monument commemorates 22 fallen parish members from World War I, symbolizing the community’s profound sacrifice and enduring remembrance.
St Andrew’s Church in Handsworth
St. Andrew’s Church in Handsworth has a rich history, originating as the mission church of the Good Shepherd in 1894. Initially housed in a temporary building under the umbrella of St. Mary’s, Handsworth, the current magnificent structure was envisioned by architect William Bidlake in the Arts and Crafts style.
Commencing its construction in 1907, the church reached completion in 1908, receiving its dedication in 1910 and subsequent consecration in 1914 upon the establishment of its own parish carved from St. Mary’s and St. James’.
This splendid church boasts a two-manual pipe organ crafted by William Bird and Sons of Selly Park, acknowledged for its melodic resonance and musical depth. The detailed specifications of this remarkable organ can be explored in the National Pipe Organ Register, testament to the church’s commitment to musical excellence and spiritual enhancement.
Central to St. Andrew’s worship is its cherished parish choir, adorned in traditional robes. This diverse choir, comprising members across various age groups, adheres to the conventional ‘SATB’ voice structure.
Their Sunday service at 10:00 am showcases a melodic journey through traditional, classical, and contemporary compositions, magnifying the spiritual ambiance and uplifting congregants through meticulously rehearsed liturgical anthems.
St Mary’s Church in Handsworth
St. Mary’s Church, fondly known as Handsworth Old Church, stands as a Grade II* listed Anglican church in Birmingham, England. Situated on ten acres of contiguous land with Handsworth Park, its legacy and significance are deeply woven into the fabric of the Industrial Revolution.
Positioned near the former Handsworth Wood railway station, the church is celebrated as the final resting place of prominent figures from the industrial era, earning the title of the “Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution.”
Despite its strong ties to the Industrial Revolution, St. Mary’s history dates back centuries. Its earliest parish register from 1558 hints at the church’s ancient origins, with the first stone structure erected around 1160—a modest Norman building occupying a section of the present south aisle. Notable Norman features linger at the base of the sandstone tower, reminiscent of the church’s origins.
Throughout its existence, St. Mary’s underwent several reconstructions in 1820 and 1870. Positioned as a vital Staffordshire country church, it became a focal point within the expanding industrial city.
Described in William White’s 1851 Directory, the church’s picturesque setting on the Hamstead road highlighted its ancient and adorned structure, adorned with recumbent effigies and esteemed monuments of celebrated figures like James Watt and Matthew Boulton.
St Michael’s Church in Handsworth
St. Michael’s Church in St Michael’s Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, stands as a Grade II listed Church of England establishment, rooted in the Diocese of Birmingham. Erected from 1851 to 1855 in Staffordshire, it’s celebrated as a significant local emblem, designed to accommodate around one thousand people, predominantly catering to the labor force of the area’s industries.
The church’s cornerstone was laid by William Legge, the 4th Earl of Dartmouth, in 1852, and consecrated by John Lonsdale, the Bishop of Lichfield. Initially built at the cost of £6,000, it aimed to provide spiritual solace to the factory workers.
Aligned with the Anglo-Catholic tradition, St. Michael’s stands among the array of Church of England sites across Birmingham, dedicated to St. Michael, an Archangel figure alongside Gabriel and Raphael.
Presently, its Sunday congregation numbers around 35, yet they actively engage in community service, notably through a bustling food bank serving local residents. Moreover, the church maintains a close relationship with the associated Church of England primary school.
St Peter’s Church in Handsworth
St. Peter’s Church in Handsworth, Birmingham, once a Grade II listed Church of England parish, now serves as a gathering place for the Church of God (Seventh Day) congregation. Crafted by J.A. Chatwin, it emerged as one of his final architectural endeavors, consecrated in 1907 by the Bishop of Birmingham.
Initially assigned a parish from St James’ and St Michael’s Churches in Handsworth, it fostered a community of worship.
Despite its historical significance, the Church of England declared St. Peter’s redundant in 1977, leading to its abandonment and subsequent deterioration.
In the early 1980s, the Church of God Seventh Day took ownership, reviving its halls for continued Christian worship, preserving its sanctity within the local community.
The church boasted an organ crafted by William Hill in 1846, previously residing in All Saints’ Church, West Bromwich. Moved to St. Peter’s in 1910, it played a significant role in the church’s musical heritage.
However, upon the Church of England’s declaration of redundancy, the organ found a new home in St. Gregory the Great’s Church, Small Heath, leaving behind echoes of its melodious past.
St Peter’s Church in Harborne
St. Peter’s Church, once a revered Grade II listed Church of England parish in Handsworth, Birmingham, now hosts the congregation of the Church of God (Seventh Day).
Crafted by J.A. Chatwin, it stood as one of his final architectural masterpieces, consecrated in 1907 by the Bishop of Birmingham. Initially serving a parish carved out of St. James’ and St. Michael’s Churches, it nurtured a vibrant worshipping community.
Despite its rich history, the Church of England deemed St. Peter’s redundant in 1977, leading to abandonment and gradual decay. In the early 1980s, the Church of God Seventh Day assumed ownership, revitalizing the space for ongoing Christian gatherings, preserving its spiritual essence in the local milieu.
The church once resonated with an organ from 1846, hailing from All Saints’ Church in West Bromwich. Transferred to St. Peter’s in 1910, it formed an integral part of the church’s musical heritage. However, following the Church of England’s redundancy declaration, the organ found a new residence in St. Gregory the Great’s Church, Small Heath, leaving behind echoes of its melodic past.
The church bells were acquired from the church of Bishop Ryder in Deritend and installed by John Taylor & Co. The set of eight was sanctified on 2nd March 1963. Among them, the tenor bell weighs almost 13 cwt and the ring harmonizes in F#.
Post a fire that destroyed the prior instrument, St. Peter’s acquired a new organ in 1975. Crafted to specification by George Miles, the church organist, details of this organ are available on the National Pipe Organ Register.
St James’ Church in Mere Green
St. James’ Church stands as a Grade II listed Church of England parish in Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, rooted in history. Founded as an offshoot of Holy Trinity Church, Sutton Coldfield, its construction followed the designs of architect Daniel Rollinson Hill, leading to its consecration on 14 December 1835.
Tragedy struck on Good Friday in 1850 when the congregation fell ill due to fumes from church stoves used for heating, marking a somber episode in its narrative.
Evolving into an independent parish in 1853, it received land from Holy Trinity Church, solidifying its distinct identity. Subsequently, a portion of its territory contributed to the establishment of All Saints’ Church, Four Oaks, in 1890.
In a significant architectural transformation in 1908, the chancel underwent a renewal orchestrated by architect Charles Edward Bateman, introducing transepts, an organ loft, and new vestries. Although planned for the entire church, the comprehensive scheme was never brought to fruition, leaving a partial reconstruction behind.
The church once housed an organ by Forster and Andrews, showcasing its musical heritage with an inaugural recital on 7 June 1853. Detailed specifications of this organ can be explored in the National Pipe Organ Register, a testament to its historical significance.
St Cyprian’s Church in Hay Mills
St. Cyprian’s Church in Hay Mills, Birmingham, represents a significant parish within the Church of England. It stands proudly at the end of Fordrough lane, adjacent to the Webster & Horsfall Ltd. factory, marking a historical association with the Horsfall family, the visionary founders and current custodians.
Erected in the 19th century with red brick, it embodies Gothic Revival architecture, a dedication to St. Cyprian, the third-century martyr renowned for his altruism before Roman martyrdom in 258. This historical gem now holds the esteemed Grade II listing.
The church, crafted in red brick with black brick and stone accents, embodies a quintessential Gothic style. Its interior hosts splendid stained glass windows by Hardman & Co., illuminating biblical narratives and saintly stories. A richly detailed set of windows, these artworks, restored and blessed in 2010, hold spiritual significance for the congregation.
Adorning the church’s west front are three grand lancet windows. Depicting various biblical scenes, these windows narrate events from Christ’s birth and the magi’s adoration to St. Cyprian’s preaching and eventual martyrdom. Additionally, the South and North aisles display remarkable representations of apostles and saints, meticulously restored for clarity in 2009.
St. Cyprian’s remains a vibrant hub, hosting regular Anglican services, complemented by diverse events like Bingo afternoons, concerts, and historical days that draw crowds to this cherished venue. Its modern church hall, available for hire, fosters interfaith collaborations, while a serene memorial garden, refurbished by dedicated volunteers, adds a tranquil touch to the church grounds.
Previously housing an organ by Bryceson, St. Cyprian’s adopted an electronic organ by Compton in the 1960s. This instrument, commemorated by a plaque, stands as a testament to the community’s dedication in preserving the church’s musical heritage.
Christ Church in Summerfield
Christ Church, a Grade II listed parish church in the heart of North Edgbaston, embodies a rich history and architectural grandeur. Constructed between 1883 and 1885 by architect J.A. Chatwin, this Perpendicular Style church was consecrated in April 1885. Its foundation stone, laid by the widow of Revd George Lea, reflects its ties to St George’s Church, Edgbaston.
Originally formed from St John’s Church parish in Ladywood, Christ Church underwent changes in 1906, transferring part of its parish to St Augustine’s Church, Edgbaston. The church’s interior is adorned with a timber barrel vault roof, black and red tiled floors, and exquisite stone arches supported by ornate floral capitals.
The west end features a prominent Perpendicular window and paired entrance doorways with intricate wrought-iron strap hinges. Inside, an elaborate stone pulpit, adorned with saints under canopies, and a decorative font stand in tribute to Reverend George Lea.
The high chancel boasts traceried windows, a tripartite blind arcade altar back adorned with texts, and finely crafted hardwood furnishings.
Nicholson and Co installed the church organ in 1889, contributing to the church’s musical heritage. The building, predominantly constructed from stone with plain diamond-paned glass windows, showcases a symmetrical plan with aisles, transepts, and a polygonal apse.
Christ Church in Quinton
Christ Church in Quinton, Birmingham, holds a storied past woven into its foundation. The generous donation of land by George Lyttelton, the 4th Baron Lyttelton, in 1839 marked the inception of this church. Consecrated in 1840 by Bishop Robert Carr, it emerged from St John the Baptist’s Church in Halesowen, forming its own parish in 1841.
The church underwent significant restoration in 1890 under Frank Barlow Osborn and Alfred Reading, with subsequent additions like the entrance porch in 1928. However, the churchyard ceased burials in 1889, hosting 1,415 interments before a new burial ground was consecrated in 1890, overseen by the Bishop of Worcester.
As the parish evolved, a portion was separated in 1933 to establish St Faith and St Laurence’s Church in Harborne. The church’s musical heritage also saw transitions. John Banfield’s pipe organ, inaugurated in 1868, found a new home in 1919 at the Waterfall Lane Mission.
Its replacement, a two-manual organ by J J Binns, served for over 40 years before being relocated to the Church of the Epiphany in Corby. The church’s musical journey continued with an electronic organ by Makin of Oldham, installed in 1987, succeeding the cinema organ introduced in 1963.
St John the Evangelist’s Church in Perry Barr
St John the Evangelist’s Church in Perry Barr, Birmingham, holds a rich history dating back to its construction in 1831 by stonemason Robert Studholme. Consecrated in 1833 by Bishop Henry Ryder, it evolved, incorporating additional structures over time.
The 1880s saw the inclusion of transepts and later in 1888, J.A. Chatwin expanded the church, introducing a chancel, organ chamber, and vestries.
Adorned with windows from prominent studios like Hardman & Co., Pearce & Cutler, and Camm, this church boasts intricate stained glass storytelling. Notably, the tower’s clock from 1838 stands as a timeless feature. As the parish grew, it birthed St Paul’s Church in 1894, carving out a new spiritual space.
The church, steeped in the catholic tradition, resonates within the Church of England. Its bells, originating from 1776, found a unique journey, initially residing in St. John’s, Deritend, surviving destruction during World War II, and eventually being recast and relocated.
Internally, the church presents a blend of aesthetics and spirituality. Its plastered and painted interior contrasts with the exposed timber roof, creating a serene atmosphere. The architectural elements, from the alabaster font to the hexagonal timber pulpit and Lady Chapel, showcase intricate craftsmanship.
The stained glass windows, the east one depicting the Crucifixion, and various memorial tablets add to the church’s rich narrative.
St Basil’s Church in Deritend
St. Basil’s Church, later named St. John and St. Basil’s Church, in Birmingham was an esteemed Grade II listed parish church within the Church of England.
Originating in 1896, it emerged from parts of Holy Trinity and St. Andrew’s Churches in Bordesley. Arthur Stansfield Dixon designed the church, constructed between 1910 and 1911.
In 1939, St. Basil’s unified with St. John’s Church, becoming the united benefice’s primary place of worship. By 1978, its doors closed, leading to a merger with St. Martin in the Bull Ring, marking a shift in parish dynamics.
Today, the church has transformed into the St. Basil Centre, a beacon of support for young individuals. Once home to a pipe organ by Harrison and Harrison from 1911, this musical treasure eventually found its place in Worcester Cathedral after the church’s closure.
This Romanesque architectural gem, characterized by red brick and pantile roof, offers a glimpse of its elegant structure. Its interior, encompassing four bays, once housed a striking mosaic of Christ alongside Saints John and Basil in the apse.
Though repurposed, relics like the screen and pulpit continue to grace its walls, reminding visitors of its rich history.
Church of SS Mary and Ambrose in Edgbaston
The Church of SS Mary and Ambrose, Edgbaston, holds a Grade II listing and stands as a significant parish church within Birmingham’s Church of England.
Its grounds, generously provided by Augustus Gough-Calthorpe, the 6th Baron Calthorpe, witnessed the construction of a grand church that cost £8,000, with substantial contributions from parishioners and the Misses Stokes of the Hawthorns, Edgbaston.
Consecrated on September 28, 1898, by Rt. Revd. John Perone, the Bishop of Worcester, this church became a testament to community dedication.
Crafted between 1897 and 1898 by J. A. Chatwin, this architectural marvel emerged as a daughter parish to St Bartholomew’s Church, Edgbaston. The church’s grandeur is evident in its bold features: a north-west tower and spire, an apsidal west baptistry, and a striking blend of bright red brick and deep red terracotta accents that define its Decorated style.
Every detail, from mullions and tracery to pinnacles and finials, exudes artistry in crisply modeled terracotta. The structure encompasses nave aisles, a chancel, and short transepts, adorned by a clerestory above terracotta-faced arcades.
J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd built the church’s inaugural organ in 1898, adding a melodic dimension to its sacred ambiance. The instrument’s legacy is commemorated in the National Pipe Organ Register, speaking to the church’s rich musical heritage.
St Augustine’s Church in Edgbaston
The Church of St Augustine of Hippo, nestled in Lyttelton Road, Edgbaston, stands as a prominent parish church within the Church of England. It’s a cornerstone of the conservation area that bears its name, an honor for one of the rare Anglican churches dedicated to St. Augustine of Hippo, holding a Grade II* listing.
Adjacent stands the Edgbaston War Memorial, erected in 1921 to honor those lost in World War I, later commemorating World War II casualties.
The church’s history intertwines with Edgbaston’s burgeoning population in the mid-19th century. Responding to the area’s growth, it emerged following an open competition in 1864, envisioned by J. A. Chatwin. The foundation stone was laid in 1867, and the consecration took place in 1868, marking the initial phase of the church’s construction.
An expansion in 1876 added a towering 185-foot spire, crowning the church in a captivating Geometric Gothic style. Its interior showcases splendid stained glass by Hardman & Co., a chancel ceiling painted with the Book of Revelation’s narrative, and meticulously carved stone by John Roddis.
Throughout its evolution, additions like the Lady chapel, a George Pace-designed baptistry in 1964, and a spacious narthex in 1968 have enriched its offerings. The church boasts a distinguished choral tradition, harboring celebrated Masters of Music and hosting noteworthy compositions like the ‘St Augustine’s Service’ by Herbert Howells in 1967.
A highlight is the magnificent Hill organ, complemented by Rothwell and Nicholson, infusing the church with a musical charm. Its narrative, etched in architectural splendor and musical legacy, resonates through time within these revered walls.
St Bartholomew’s Church in Edgbaston
St Bartholomew’s Church, known as Edgbaston Old Church, has a rich history within the Church of England.
While its origins are medieval, much of the church underwent substantial rebuilding in the 19th century, notably with additions like the chancel, chapels, and the north arcade, masterminded by J. A. Chatwin in 1885. Interestingly, Chatwin rests in the churchyard, his grave monument, along with others, designated as Grade II listed.
The church boasts a memorial honoring Dr. William Withering, a pioneering physician and botanist renowned for his medical application of digitalis from the foxglove plant. The memorial, situated on the south wall of the Lady Chapel, features exquisite carvings of foxgloves and Witheringia solanaceae, a plant named in his honor.
Its tower holds a set of eight bells, with some dating back to 1685. These bells are rung by the Birmingham University Society of Change Ringers during term time, filling the air with their resonant melodies.
The church’s musical heritage is amplified by its remarkable organs. From Lord Calthorp’s donation in 1837 to the Hill organ placed in the gallery in 1857, the church has seen multiple organ installations and relocations.
The current organ, rebuilt by Norman and Beard in 1956, underwent extensive repairs after damage from rainwater caused by a theft of lead from the church roof. The organ’s relocation to its present north-east position in 2012 marked the culmination of its restoration, funded entirely by the church, ensuring its continued melodic presence within the church walls.
St George’s Church in Edgbaston
St. George’s Church in Edgbaston, Birmingham, originated in 1836-38 as a chapel-of-ease to St Bartholomew’s Church. Expansions in 1856 and renovations in 1884-5 under J. A. Chatwin transformed it, creating the present-day structure with a spacious nave, chancel, and south aisle, repurposing the old nave into the north aisle and the former chancel into the Lady Chapel.
This Grade II listed church boasts stunning interior fittings by Bridgeman of Lichfield, orchestrated by J. A. Chatwin or P. B. Chatwin. Elaborate woodwork including clergy and choir stalls, an organ case, a reredos, and a Lady Chapel screen adorn the interior, enhancing its grandeur.
The church’s stained glass windows by renowned artists like Burlison and Grylls, Heaton, Butler and Bayne, and Hardman & Co., featuring Charles Eamer Kempe’s Jesse tree in the Lady Chapel, add to its visual charm.
Architecturally, from its original design by J. J. Scoles to Edge’s chancel and Chatwin’s expansions, the structure showcases a harmonious blend of styles across different periods, maintaining its Lancet-style windows and historical integrity.
Retaining much original character, the interior exhibits various architectural elements spanning different eras, including a panelled ceiling, slender columns, and historic seating. Features like the Ten Commandments and the original oak royal coat of arms contribute to its historical significance.
St. George’s Church stands as a testament to architectural evolution and historical preservation, embodying the evolution of ecclesiastical design and artistic expression over centuries in Edgbaston.
St Barnabas’ Church in Erdington
St. Barnabas’ Church stands in Erdington, Birmingham, serving as a Church of England parish. Positioned in the heart of Erdington’s main shopping area on High Street, it’s a Grade II listed structure. Reverend Freda Evans assumed the role of vicar in 2008.
Constructed as a chapel of ease between 1822–23 following Thomas Rickman’s design, it’s renowned for its sixteen stained glass windows narrating tales from the scriptures, notably the Raising of Lazarus, The Resurrection, The Good Samaritan, and scenes of Jesus’s life.
Consecrated in July 1824, the church was built by Commissioners at a cost of £5,000, £1,000 of which came from public donations. In 1858, it gained a district chapelry.
A mission room, initially established by the parish in Stockland Green in 1908, later became St. Mark’s Church in 1920. In 2007, a devastating fire severely damaged St. Barnabas’, destroying much, including nearly all the stained glass windows.
Arson was suspected, prompting a rebuilding initiative starting in 2011, completed in 2012 by Linfords, who also handled the fire damage cleanup. The Bishop of Birmingham led the rededication in December 2012.
The churchyard holds significance as the resting place for 66 service personnel, 29 from World War I and 37 from World War II. A Screen Wall memorial commemorates those buried in unmarked graves in the old ground.
St Laurence’s Church in Northfield
St. Laurence’s Church, nestled in Northfield, Birmingham, stands as a prominent parish church within the Church of England. This Grade I listed edifice, dating back to the 12th century, boasts exquisite Early English craftsmanship, including a rare 14th-century timber porch at the south door, a testament to its historical significance.
George Frederick Bodley expanded the church in 1900, adding the north aisle, while the stonework of the church tower holds a gridiron associated with the martyrdom of St. Laurence. Keble College, Oxford, owns the Advowson to the Rectory, showcasing a lineage of Patrons and Rectors from the Domesday Book to the present on the Church website.
The church’s bells expanded to ten in 1999, accompanied by a new ground floor ringing chamber within the tower. Its splendid organ, gifted by Lord and Lady Austin in memory of 2nd Lieutenant Vernon James Austin, was crafted by the Compton Organ Company and unveiled in March 1937, featuring three manuals and pedals.
St. Laurence’s is adorned with breathtaking stained glass windows by Hardman & Co., mirroring 13th-century designs with remarkable precision. These masterpieces depict various religious scenes such as The Passion of Christ, The Resurrection, and The Annunciation, showcasing Hardman’s artistry in detail and depth of color.
The churchyard extension, a resting place for sixteen service personnel, commemorates the sacrifice of one from World War I and fifteen from World War II, honoring their memory amidst the church’s historical richness dating back to the Norman era.
All Saints’ Church in King’s Heath
All Saints’ Church in King’s Heath stands as a Grade II listed gem within the Anglican Diocese of Birmingham. Constructed in 1860 by Edward Holmes and Frederick Preedy, it was consecrated by Bishop Henry Pepys. The spire’s completion in 1866 marked a significant milestone in its architectural evolution.
J. A. Chatwin’s additions in 1883 included the north aisle, organ chamber, and vestries, while J. P. Sharp expanded the west end in 1899. The church’s organs underwent several transformations.
Initially gifted around 1864 by Mr. Dawes, it was later replaced in 1892 by Flight and Robson’s organ from St. John’s Church, Blackheath, London. In 1926, Nicholson and Co installed an organ, eventually replaced by the Phoenix Digital Organ in 2008.
The church’s structure boasts brick walls with Bromsgrove stone cladding under clay tile roofs. Its architectural layout includes a chancel, nave, aisles, and a Lady Chapel, housing various elements like the vestries and the baptistery.
Externally, the eight-bay structure revolves around an off-centre tower, showcasing Gothic-arched entrances and intricate stone detail. Inside, pointed arches on octagonal piers adorn the nave, while lean-to aisles exhibit exposed timber roofing and wainscoting.
The interior features a blend of architectural elements—exposed arched-braced roofs, intricate pulpit designs, a finely detailed rood screen, and a richly ornamented reredos—all contributing to the church’s historical and artistic significance.
St Nicolas’ Church in Kings Norton
St. Nicolas’ Church in Kings Norton, nestled in the Diocese of Birmingham, has roots tracing back to the 11th century, with a small Norman chapel standing on this site.
The present structure, however, dates to the early 13th century, showcasing architectural evolution through the ages. The 14th-century saw significant changes, witnessing the demolition of the Norman building and the construction of a new nave, aisles, and chancel arch.
Ewan Christian’s restoration in 1863 and W. J. Hopkins’ work in 1871 enhanced the church’s grandeur, culminating in its Grade I listing.
The church’s historical significance is interwoven with various events; it birthed a mission in Cotteridge, eventually becoming St Agnes’ Church. Notably, it housed the Revd W. V. Awdry, the beloved author of ‘The Railway Series’ featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, during his tenure as a curate from 1940 to 1946.
Surrounded by the historic Saracen’s Head buildings, now Saint Nicolas Place, the church recently unveiled a plaque honoring its connection to Awdry and his beloved creation.
Its churchyard, extended both westward and northward, serves as a resting place for service personnel from both World War I and World War II, a testament to its historical ties. With ten bells, a rich organ history dating back to 1857, and a cherished ringing tradition, St. Nicolas’ Church resonates with both historical significance and community heritage.
St Anne’s Church in Moseley
St. Anne’s Church in Moseley, Birmingham, has stood since 1874, a creation by architect Frederick Preedy, gracing the area with its Grade II listed presence. Initially a separate parish, it now operates as part of a united benefice alongside St. Mary’s Church, marking a historical shift in its affiliations.
The church’s musical centerpiece, an organ crafted by Brindley & Foster in 1907, underwent a transformative overhaul in 1984 by Nicholson & Co (Worcester) Ltd. This instrument holds a unique distinction, serving as the sampled source for the Hauptwerk Virtual Organ, testament to its revered musical quality.
Constructed predominantly in red sandstone with accents of cream stone, St. Anne’s exterior boasts an architectural blend of colors and textures. Its layout, oriented northwest to southeast, comprises a tower, nave, aisles, chancel, vestries, and a baptistery.
The tower, a prominent feature, showcases a broad spire with intricately designed gabled and traceried louvres, offering a glimpse into the church’s rich architectural heritage.
Inside, the nave’s stone arches, supported by circular and octagonal piers, captivate with their alternating cream and red sandstone bands. Whitewashed walls complement the stone window dressings, accentuating the interior’s spaciousness.
The roof, adorned with arch-braced trusses and clerestory windows exuding Early English style, adds to the church’s majestic interior.
Stained glass windows, some dating back to 1947, depict various biblical scenes, from Christ as The Good Shepherd to symbolic representations of the seasons and Birmingham’s metalworking industries, offering a visual narrative of historical and spiritual significance within St. Anne’s Church.
St Mary’s Church in Moseley
St. Mary’s Church in Moseley holds a storied history spanning over 600 years. Rooted in a Papal Mandate dating back to 1405, the church was established for public worship, addressing the challenge of distant parish churches.
Although initial references regarding Elizabeth of York’s land donation in 1494 proved inaccurate, historical documents affirm the church’s significance in Moseley’s spiritual landscape.
During King Henry VIII’s reign in the early 16th century, the church saw the construction of a tower and the acquisition of bells. Despite challenges, including periods of dissent and structural concerns, the church evolved, facilitated by notable figures like Thomas Rickman and Miss Sarah Taylor, enhancing its music with new organs and accommodating its growing congregation.
Through subsequent centuries, expansions, and transformations, St. Mary’s evolved structurally and liturgically. Extensions in 1872, 1885, 1891, and 1909, orchestrated by architects like J.A. Chatwin and P.B. Chatwin, enlarged the church, introduced additional seating, and refined its interior elements, notably its organs, chapels, and galleries.
The church’s expansions mirrored Moseley’s growing population, necessitating multiple worship centers, culminating in the establishment of St. Agnes Church. Moreover, developments in the churchyard, including the installation of gates by the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, further enriched the church’s surroundings.
St Agnes’ Church in Moseley
St. Agnes Church, an esteemed Grade II listed parish within the Church of England, stands as a testament to the Victorian era’s architectural splendor.
Designed by architect William Davis in the Decorated Gothic style, its construction commenced in 1883 and culminated in its opening a year later. Notably, the west tower was finished in 1932 under Charles Bateman’s guidance, adding a defining element to the church’s silhouette.
The church embodies the conservative evangelical tradition within the Church of England, having passed resolutions rejecting the ordination or leadership of women. Its staunch adherence to these traditions shapes its spiritual identity and theological stance.
Crafted from rusticated Hampstead red sandstone with Bath stone dressings, the church’s striking exterior includes a central tower flanked by aisles adorned with pointed stone arch openings, clerestory windows, and ornate tracery.
The interior boasts exposed Bath stone, punctuated by a six-bay arcade supporting pointed arches and a distinct arch-braced scissor and collar rafter roof.
Embellished with contemporary fittings and fixtures, such as the stone font and East window celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the church’s interiors exude craftsmanship and elegance. The mid-20th-century oak joinery, stained glass works by various studios, and the re-ordered chancel highlight the church’s ornate and symbolic elements.
Additionally, the church houses a remarkable three-manual pipe organ by William Hill & Sons, relocated from St. Mark’s Church in Leicester, enhancing its musical legacy and echoing the grandeur of its architectural finesse.
St Alban the Martyr Church
St. Alban the Martyr, a distinguished Grade II* listed parish church within the Anglican Diocese of Birmingham, pays homage to Saint Alban, recognized as the first British Christian martyr. However, in 2018, the church faced considerable risk to its heritage status due to structural concerns, notably regarding its roof.
The church’s roots trace back to a temporary mission established by Holy Trinity Church, Bordesley, in 1865, eventually inaugurating on September 13, 1866.
Its permanent iteration, a creation by John Loughborough Pearson and constructed by Shillitoe of Doncaster, began in 1880 and officially opened its doors in 1881, later being consecrated in December 1899. Its construction, valued around £20,000 then, translates to an estimated £2,323,748 in 2021.
Keble College, Oxford, holds patronage over St. Alban’s Church, inheriting the parish of St. Patrick’s Church, Bordesley, following the latter’s demolition in the early 1970s.
Architecturally, the cruciform structure, primarily in red brick and ashlar dressings, expanded in 1938 with a tower and spire by Edwin Francis Reynolds. The interior houses significant features like the Henry Payne stained glass east window and an Arts and Crafts triptych in the south chapel, contributed by local artists Kate and Myra Bunce in 1919, commemorating their family.
A testament to their contribution, a Birmingham Civic Society blue plaque commemorating the Bunce sisters was unveiled at St. Alban’s in September 2015 by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Additionally, the church boasts an organ with a rich history, installed in 1870 and subsequently refurbished and expanded in 1940, attesting to its musical legacy and craftsmanship.
Holy Trinity Church in Sutton Coldfield
Holy Trinity Parish Church, nestled in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, England, not only serves as the parish church but also lends its name to the Sutton Trinity ward where it proudly stands. This Grade I listed structure carries a rich history that dates back centuries.
Tracing its origins to the 13th century, the church’s earliest iteration likely emerged alongside the Sutton Coldfield manor. Elements of the present building, notably the west tower, hail from the late 15th century.
Bishop John Vesey left his mark in the 1530s, expanding the church by incorporating two side aisles and introducing an organ. Over time, the church underwent enhancements, welcoming galleries, pews, and bells during the 18th century.
Within its walls, the church houses the tomb of Bishop Vesey and a font obtained in the 19th century from the Church of St Lawrence in Nottinghamshire. Ornate screens and panelling from the early 17th century, relocated from Worcester Cathedral in 1864, further embellish its interior.
Previously under the medieval Diocese of Lichfield, the church now operates within the Diocese of Birmingham.
To support its upkeep and initiatives, the “Friends of Holy Trinity Parish Church” was founded in 2013, aiming to raise funds. Notably, their inaugural event, the Royal Town Gala Concert hosted by Don Maclean, marked the beginning of their fundraising endeavors.
St John’s Church in Sparkhill
St. John’s Church, an Anglican haven in Sparkhill, Birmingham, boasts a vibrant, multi-ethnic community within the Balti Belt, embodying diversity in England’s parishes. The church hosts a principal Sunday service at 10.30 am, with the first Sunday marked by an All Age Service, followed by a communal meal for interested attendees.
An integral member of the South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance and the New Wine Network of churches, St. John’s provides a home for the Armenian Church in Birmingham and a congregation speaking Persian.
Narthex Sparkhill, a charity, operates from the church premises and received the esteemed Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2016. Constructed in 1888, the church stands proudly atop Sparkhill, a year senior to Birmingham itself, its Grade II listing attesting to its historical significance.
Renowned as a striking Victorian marvel, St. John’s bears the architectural mark of Martin & Chamberlain, Birmingham architects esteemed for their work on educational institutions like the Birmingham School of Art. This Victorian-style structure, while externally reflecting Early English Gothic characteristics, boasts a distinctly modern interior, a testament to c19 engineering progress.
Incorporating part of the Emmanuel Church, Sparkbrook in 1990, St. John’s exemplifies a cruciform plan sans aisles, constructed predominantly using red brick complemented by terracotta and stone accents.
The church’s slender west tower and spire, a picturesque feature, exude elegance, while its interior showcases iron arches, encaustic tiles, and stained glass artistry, painting a vibrant narrative of faith and history.
St Gregory the Great’s Church in Small Heath
St. Gregory the Great’s Church in Small Heath, Birmingham, originally an Anglican parish, stands as a Grade II listed structure. Its roots trace back to an iron mission church named the Good Shepherd, stemming from All Saints’ Church, Small Heath (I), established in 1900.
Architect J.L. Ball’s design, executed by John Barnsley and Son, saw its foundation stone laid in 1902 by Lord Leigh, Provincial Grand Master.
The church expanded over time, witnessing significant additions between 1911 and 1912, with the apse and three nave bays crafted during this phase. By 1916, under the auspices of the Bishop of Birmingham, it became officially known as St. Gregory the Great.
The parish, allocated from All Saints’ Church, Small Heath (I) and St. Oswald’s Church, Small Heath, saw further development culminating in the completion of the west end between 1926 and 1928, overseen by Holland W. Hobbiss.
Subsequently, the Church of England declared it redundant, leading to its repurposing by the Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic.
The site previously housed an organ dating back to 1846 by William Hill, relocated from St. Peter’s Church, Handsworth, until its removal upon the Anglican Church’s closure, destined for St. Mary the Virgin’s Church, Little Houghton, Northamptonshire.
St Mary’s Church in Selly Oak
St. Mary’s Church, Selly Oak, a Church of England parish in Birmingham, was established in 1862, part of the St. Laurence, Northfield parish.
The church, set back from Bristol Road (A38) and accessible via a southern drive or Lodge Hill Road, began with its foundation stone laid in 1860 by Joseph Frederick Ledsam. Consecrated in 1861 by the Bishop of Worcester, Henry Philpott, it was funded by George Richards Elkington and Joseph Frederick Ledsam.
Architect Edward Holmes crafted this Gothic Revival interpretation with sandstone and Bromsgrove stone. Bath stone adorns traceries, creating a striking interior and exterior design.
The cruciform layout features clerestory windows and a notable nave with arcades. The chancel’s decorative roof and painted walls add vibrancy, complemented by stained glass windows, including the Ascension and the Transfiguration.
Throughout its history, the parish expanded to form others, such as St. Stephen, Selly Park, and St. Wulstan’s Church. Notably, the church underwent significant renovation in 1961 under architect Stephen Dykes Bower.
The church boasts a set of nine stained-glass windows by Hardman & Co. and an intriguing collection of bells, which, after periods of silence and restoration, now form an impressive chime. The historic tower clock, installed in 1887, reflects the church’s association with significant local events.
St. Mary’s rich acoustics have made it a concert and recording venue and a familiar backdrop in the BBC soap opera “Doctors.” Additionally, the church has fostered community connections, hosting a child-minding nursery known as the “Kids Club.”
St Oswald’s Church in Small Heath
St. Oswald’s Church, Small Heath, a Grade II* listed former Church of England parish in Birmingham, was envisioned by architect William Bidlake and constructed from 1892 to 1893, consecrated in September 1893.
Originally a mission from St. Andrew’s Church, Bordesley, it expanded in 1899-1900 and boasts notable features like Sidney Meteyard’s 1916 altarpiece and a crafted statue of St. Oswald by George Latham.
Bidlake’s vision extended to an Arts and Crafts-style vicarage in Dora Road. The parish underwent changes in 1924, giving rise to a new parish for St. Gregory the Great’s Church.
Following closure, the church transformed into a preparatory school while merging its parish into St. Aidan’s Church, Small Heath, and later being renamed All Saints.
The church inherited a two-manual pipe organ by William Hill from St. Peter’s Church, Handsworth, showcasing Bidlake’s attention to musical detail.
Characterized by red brick and stone dressing, the church’s west front stands out with a prominent Decorated style window and intricately designed gables and pinnacles. Its wooden altarpiece, featuring Meteyard’s Crucifixion painting, remains an elaborate and significant interior element.
St Agatha’s Church in Sparkbrook
St. Agatha’s Church, part of the Church of England in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, is an illustrious Grade I listed building crafted by W.H. Bidlake. Its construction, beginning in 1899, showcases a blend of red brick and stone, financed through the sale of Christ Church’s site.
Consecrated in 1901 by Bishop Charles Gore, the church formed a parish in 1902, inheriting relics such as the font and bell from Christ Church, Sparkbrook. Through tribulations, including wartime bombings and fires, parts of the church were temporarily sealed off, altering the interior’s original luminous aspect.
Although slightly damaged by the Birmingham Tornado in 2005, major restoration, aided by the National Heritage Lottery Board, revived the church, culminating in an official reopening by Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex in 2005.
St. Agatha’s, deeply rooted in the Anglo-Catholic movement, continues under the Episcopal visitor, Bishop of Oswestry, and aligns with Forward in Faith. Despite its location in a predominantly Muslim ward, it remains active, sharing a priest with St. Barnabas’ Church, Balsall Heath.
Renowned for its music, the church’s restored Nicholson organ, diverse congregation, and special services draw recognition beyond its parish and city. The church hall also serves the Birmingham City Amateur Boxing Club, affirming its multi-faceted role within the community.
All Saints’ Church in Small Heath
All Saints’ Church in Small Heath, once known as St Aidan’s Church, Birmingham, stands as a Grade II* listed parish church within the Church of England. Designed by architect Thomas Frederick Proud, it embarked on its journey in 1893.
Lady Mary Wood laid the foundation stone in 1893, leading to the church’s initial opening in September 1894. Consecrated as St Aidan’s in 1896 by the Bishop of Worcester, it gained significance through the transfer of relics, such as the font, from St Stephen’s Church, Bristol.
The 1990s witnessed a transformative reorganization where, out of four Small Heath churches, only St Aidan’s building persisted, renamed All Saints in 1998, adopting the dedication from a prior All Saints’ Church in the area.
Notable for its architecture, the church’s materials include red brick with terracotta dressings and tile roofs. Renovations reoriented the church, placing the ritual east end at the building’s western side.
Its exterior boasts a lofty nave with mullioned windows, an apsidal western end now serving as the sanctuary, and distinct gabled porches.
The interior showcases a reconfigured chancel, adorned with decorative screens and rood beams crafted by artists like Frederick Bligh Bond. The Lady Chapel features elaborate screens and a striking reredos, while a 15th-century font from St Stephen’s Church, Bristol, graces the worship space.
St Giles’ Church in Sheldon
St Giles’ Church, nestled in Sheldon, Birmingham, stands as a Grade II* listed parish church within the Church of England, steeped in a rich history dating back to 1291. Though the present structure mostly dates from the 14th century, its restoration in 1867 by Slater and Carpenter infused new life into this ancient site.
One of its notable rectors was Thomas Bray, who took charge in 1690 and later played a pivotal role in establishing the Church of England in Maryland, leaving a lasting legacy beyond the church’s walls.
A significant feature of the church is its two-manual, 14-stop pipe organ, meticulously installed by Thomas Hewins, enhancing the musical aspect of worship.
The architecture narrates tales of different epochs—the early 14th-century nave with a striking timber roof and a mid-14th-century arcade that adorns the north aisle, alongside the west tower extension from 1461. The church’s narrative extends into the early 16th century with its timber-framed south porch, exquisitely embellished with quatrefoil designs.
The chancel, renewed in 1867, adds a modern touch while preserving historical artifacts, such as the 15th-century reredos featuring niches once adorned with figures, now regrettably altered. St Giles’ Church is not just a physical edifice but a living testament to centuries of history, worship, and community.
St Saviour’s Church in Saltley
St Saviour’s Church, a Grade II listed parish church in Birmingham’s Church of England, holds a history rooted in the 19th century. Its foundational stone, commemorating the momentous event, was laid on October 24, 1848, under the auspices of the Right Hon Lord Littleton.
Constructed as a Commissioners’ church, it received substantial financial support from various quarters, including a generous donation of £500 by Joseph Wright, culminating in its consecration on July 28, 1850, by Bishop James Prince Lee of Manchester.
Originally built at a cost of £6,000, the church’s architectural features evolved over time. In 1871, a tower was added, elevating the structure and enhancing its visual appeal within the Saltley landscape.
Among its treasures, the church housed an organ by Halmshaw, adding musical depth to its spiritual gatherings.
The building itself stands as a testament to the Perpendicular style, constructed primarily with red sandstone accented by striking yellow sandstone dressings. Its design incorporates an aisled and clerestoreyed nave, a chancel, transepts featuring distinctive five-light windows, and a commanding west window comprising six lights.
The north porch and the south tower, complete with a prominent stair turret, add to the architectural grandeur. At its eastern end, the church boasts a captivating five-light window flanked by two intricate blind windows, further enriching its aesthetic allure.
St Thomas’ Church in Bath Row
St. Thomas’ Church, once a prominent Church of England parish in Bath Row, Birmingham, has a rich history traced back to its inception as a Commissioners’ church.
Conceived under the guidance of architect Thomas Rickman, the church’s foundation stone was ceremoniously laid by Folliott Cornewall, the Bishop of Worcester, on October 22, 1826.
At a substantial cost of £14,220, equivalent to over a million pounds today, the church took shape and was consecrated by Cornewall himself on October 29, 1829, boasting a remarkable capacity of 2,600 seats, making it one of Birmingham’s largest churches at the time.
During the tumultuous Chartist riots of 1839, the churchyard railings were commandeered by crowds as makeshift pikes, a testament to the historical upheavals that touched the church’s surroundings.
Over time, St. Thomas’ underwent various alterations and separations. In 1868, a section of its parish was carved out to form the parish of St. Asaph’s, creating a separate ecclesiastical entity. The church saw renovations in 1893, overseen by architect Frank Barlow Osborn, resulting in the removal of old high-back pews, refurbishment, and restoration of the organ by Walter James Bird of Birmingham, amounting to an expense of £1,200.
The ravages of World War II did not spare St. Thomas’ Church. On the fateful night of December 11, 1940, German bombs decimated everything but the tower and the grand classical west portico. Consequently, the parish amalgamated with the shuttered Immanuel Church, with the latter reopening its doors.
Today, what remains of the church—a testimony to its enduring legacy—rests in the preservation of the portico and tower, now part of the serene St. Thomas’ Peace Garden, a solemn ode to its past significance and resilience in the face of adversity.
St Stephen’s Church in Selly Park
St. Stephen’s Church in Birmingham, a Grade II listed parish, was built between 1870 and 1871 in the English Decorated Gothic style by architects Martin & Chamberlain. Consecrated on August 18, 1871, it emerged as a significant spiritual entity, initially linked to St Mary’s Church, Selly Oak.
In 1892, St. Stephen’s gained independence when designated as a separate parish from St Mary’s Selly Oak. Later, it amalgamated with St Wulstan’s Church, Bournbrook, forming a unified parish. The transformation of the Church Centre into Christ Church, Selly Park, in 2004 expanded the church’s community outreach.
Aligned with the Conservative Evangelical tradition of the Church of England, St. Stephen’s firmly upholds its doctrinal beliefs through resolutions, notably opposing the ordination of women.
The church’s musical legacy resides in its organ, crafted by Henry Jones in 1875, and a distinctive 5cwt chiming bell cast by Barwell in 1870, lending an acoustic charm to its ambiance.
Situated on Serpentine Road, this sandstone-clad church showcases a towering nave with a decorative tile roof, featuring an apsidal chancel. The interior, designed in a low church style with preserved Gothic cast iron altar rails, reflects historical intricacies on its prominent hillside site.
St John’s Church in Ladywood
The Church of St. John the Evangelist and St. Peter in Ladywood, Birmingham, boasts a fascinating heritage. Conceived between 1852 and 1854 by architect Samuel Sanders Teulon, it originated as a mission of St Martin in the Bull Ring. Consecrated in March 1854 on what was once Ladywood Green, it cost £6,000, backed by the Church Building Society.
In 1892, St. John’s gave rise to St Margaret’s Church, Ladywood. Additions, notably a new chancel, were later introduced by architect J. A. Chatwin in 1881.
Between 1994 and 2005, extensive internal redevelopment transformed the church into a flexible and luminous worship space with excellent acoustics. This refurbishment allowed for diverse community events and concerts, making it a vibrant center. After St Peter’s Church closed in 2001, the parish transitioned to St John and St Peter’s, Ladywood.
Musically, the church houses an original Bevington organ from 1858, replaced by a Hammond organ in 1939, later upgraded to a two-manual, 33-stop Renaissance Quantum digital organ by Allen in 2008.
Constructed with red sandstone, the church’s exterior features an alluring asymmetrical structure with a tower, pointed arches, and intricate window traceries. Inside, architectural wonders like octagonal stone piers, elaborate capitals, and a richly adorned chancel preserve its historical and spiritual significance.
St Silas’ Church in Lozells
St Silas’ Church in Lozells, Birmingham, holds a significant historical legacy. Its foundation stone, laid in June 1852 by Right Hon. Lord Calthorpe, contained a vase with coins and a brass plate detailing its creation. Consecrated in January 1854 by Bishop Henry Pepys, the church was designed to accommodate 1000 sittings, 340 of which were free.
Featuring galleries across the transepts and the nave’s west end, the church was well-appointed. The font, a gift from Peter Hollins, and the gas-fittings by Ratcliffe of St Paul’s Square added to its splendor. In 1867, the east window was stained in memory of Rev. D. N. Walton, the inaugural incumbent.
An 1881 renovation led by J. A. Chatwin saw significant changes. The organ was relocated near the chancel and expanded by Stringer and Co or Hanley. South side galleries were removed, larger stained glass windows by Camm Brothers were installed, enhancing the church’s aesthetic.
Composer Albert Ketèlbey’s early years included serving as head chorister at St Silas’ Church. In 1967, the parish merged with St Saviour’s Church, Hockley, before being sold by the Church of England in 1985 to the Triumphant Church of God. This marked the transition as the congregation amalgamated with St Paul’s Church, Lozells, commissioning a new building for the joint parish.
The church’s architecture, marked by its brick construction, slate roof, and cruciform plan with lancets in the east end and transepts, stands as a centerpiece of the area. Its nave windows, trussed roof adorned with quartrefoils, and notable features like the font and pulpit represent the historical significance of St Silas’ Church.