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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Birmingham

by Peter Kessler, 27 November 2019

Birmingham City Part 1: Churches of Handsworth to Maypole

St Mary's Parish Church, Handsworth, Birmingham

St Mary's Parish Church (otherwise known as Handsworth Old Church) is on the western side of Hamstead Road in the city of Birmingham, looking down Church Hill Road opposite. A small, austere Norman structure was erected here around 1160. This was rebuilt in the Decorated style of Edward III. Major rebuilding and massive expansion started in 1820 and 1826. Further alterations and additions followed in 1876-1880, partially rebuilding the earlier work.

Holy Trinity Birchfield Parish Church, Birmingham

Holy Trinity Birchfield Parish Church is at the north-east corner of Trinity Road and Birchfield Road in Birmingham. It was designed by J A Chatwin in the Early English style, consecrated in 1864. Built in red stone with limestone dressings, it consists of chancel, nave, aisles, and tower with spire. A parish was assigned out of St Mary's Handsworth (above) in 1865. It was responsible for Wilson Road Mission Room (1887-94) and the Finch Road School Mission (1904-26).

Salvation Army Nursery Road, Birmingham Lozells

Salvation Army Nursery Road (Birmingham Lozells) opened in 1892. Many former houses in this street that are shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 were later cleared entirely to leave the open green alongside North Road. The slight slope in the photo, though, would seem to place the hall on the eastern side of the street, around eighty metres north of the Harborne Road junction in the Chad Valley area of Birmingham. Post-war housing has replaced the hall.

St Wulstan's Church, Bournbrook, Birmingham

St Wulstan's Church, Bournbrook, stands on the southern side of Exeter Road, between the Hubert Road and Tiverton Road junctions. It was founded as a mission to St Mary Selly Oak in 1893, while the building was erected in 1906. Declared surplus to requirements on 1983, the Selly Oak Elim Church membership took it over, theoretically as Exeter Road Elim Church but in fact the Selly Oak name was retained. In 2018 the Elim Church was renamed Encounter Church.

St Edward's Roman Catholic Church, Selly Oak, Birmingham

St Edward's Roman Catholic Church, Selly Oak, is at the south-west corner of Raddlebarn Road and Bournbrook Road. It was designed in decorated Gothic style by Henry Thomas Sandy, being brought into use when the nave opened on 13 October 1902, built by William Bishop of King's Heath. The sanctuary and side chapels were built in 1925-1926 to a design by George Bernard Cox of Harrison & Cox. The western end of the church was completed in 1936.

Sladepool Farm Road Methodist Chapel and Maypole Methodist Church, Maypole, Birmingham

Sladepool Farm Road Methodist Chapel began in 1939 as a wooden school hall that had been established by Moseley Road Circuit to serve the 10,000 people of the growing Maypole Estate. In 1940 it provided sittings for 150. The hall was also used by the Birmingham Education Committee as a day school. A separate, temporary chapel was opened in 1949 to serve a congregation of about forty. Today it is known as Maypole Methodist Church.

Five photos on this page kindly contributed by Elliott Brown and Jo Lewis via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, and one by Rob Kinnon-Brettle and the Salvation Army Historical and Philatelic Association.

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