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'A small country Church in the Town'
Local landowner, Squire John Taylor, laid the first stone of Christ Church on April 14th 1848. He and his sister Sarah, who lived in Moseley, were generous benefactors, enabling the building of the church at a cost of £1550.
Stones used in the construction came from an old manor house in Bromsgrove, and were transported by local farmers by horse and cart. The Church was built in a traditional English style, in the shape of a cross.
The new parish church was dedicated to 'Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ' and was consecrated on 28th March 1849 by the Lord Bishop of Worcester, the Rt. Revd. Henry Philpot. The first vicar of the parish was Alfred Clifton, and the lychgate and pulpit were erected to his memory in 1880.
A very old Church Magazine article states that the church was 'without colour or ornament' at the time of the consecration, and stained glass windows, heating, lighting, vestments and vessels were all offered as gifts.
The church clock and bell were completed in 1896. The brass lectern was given in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. There was no chancel in the original building and the sanctuary was enlarged in 1910, to look much as it does today. In 1923, a further nine acres of land was purchased to provide more space for burials.
The picture above shows the interior of the church sometime between 1896 and 1910.
Originally, Christ Church served a mainly rural community. The stables and paddock adjacent to the Vicarage provided churchgoers with somewhere to tether their horses. The development of industry, railways and canals, brought significant change, with houses being built in the area. The City of Birmingham was expanding at a rapid pace.
The old Vicarage was demolished in around 1970, and a new Church Centre and Vicarage were built on the site. The old Church Hall in Ravenshill Road, which had opened in 1938, was demolished and the land sold for housing.
As part of the 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 1999, the Church Clock, which hadn't worked for many years, was refurbished. With the new clock keeping perfect time and the bell ringing the hours, Christ Church worshipped God and welcomed the new Millennium.
In 2005 work was undertaken to reconstruct the chancel step and to level the floor in the Lady Chapel, the Baptistery and at the front of the nave. This was made possible by a bequest from the Tamagni family.
In 2015 work was undertaken to renew the church lighting. This was made possible by bequests from the estates of Mary Mortiboys and John Picton.
Christ Church gives a focal point to the community, with many local families recognising it as a place where significant occasions such as baptisms, weddings and funerals take place. The congregation is strong, and the welcome is warm, and the building and its environs still provide the look of a small country church in the town.
|Alfred Clifton||1849 - 1878|
|John A Williams||1878 - 1882|
|Charles E. Beeby||1882 - 1904|
|Edward P. Bennett||1904 - 1913|
|Isa Rees-Jones||1913 - 1951|
|David M. Paton||1952 - 1956|
|Stephen A. Shorthouse||1957 - 1975|
|Richard H. Postill||1976 - 1986|
|Michael C. Freeman||1986 - 1990|
|David W. James||1990 - 1995|
|John G. Richards||1996 - 2013|
|Lydia M. Gaston||2014 -|