A Brief Introduction to the Archdiocese of Birmingham

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has 224 parishes, some with...

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Abbey Hutton - Our Lady and St Benedict

A stripped Romanesque design of the early 1960s by E. Bower Norris, its square tower in particular giving it some local townscape presence. The interior has been altered but retains its unusual original ceiling treatment. 

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Abbots Bromley - Sacred Heart

An architecturally modest chapel of some historical interest, located at the heart of the medieval town and conservation area. The plaster vaulted interior has a simple charm.

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Acocks Green - Sacred Heart and Holy Souls

A fine and substantial interwar Gothic design by G. B. Cox, built in two stages, and intended from the outset as a war memorial. The exterior is notable for its terracotta decorative trim around the windows and doors. The timber vaulted interior is wide and aisleless, allowing for unimpeded views of the altar and pulpit. The church retains some furnishings of interest, but some of the most interesting have been lost. 

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Alcester - Our Lady and St Joseph

A modest Gothic church of the 1880s by Canon A. J. C. Scoles, built for the Benedictines on land said to have been part of the former grounds of the medieval Benedictine priory. It has lost some of its historic furnishings, but retains glass by Hardman and Wybo of Brussels. The church, attached contemporary presbytery and open setting make a positive contribution to a largely residential part of the Alcester Conservation Area. 

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Aldridge - St Mary of the Angels

A plain, brick church of the early 1960s, built on a traditional longitudinal plan. The prominent campanile forms a local landmark. The interior has some furnishings of note. 

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Alton - St John the Baptist

The church is a key part of a major scheme by Pugin for his greatest patron, the Sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, and dates from 1840. It forms an essential part of the Alton Hospital and Castle complex. Although many historic furnishings remain, the historic character of the interior has been somewhat compromised by post-Vatican II interventions. 

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Alvechurch - St Mary

A red-brick former school building dating from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, converted to church use in about 1970. The building is of homely domestic design and local historical interest.

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Arley - St Joseph

A small church of the 1990s, flexible in character and modest in architectural aspiration, its most notable feature being the Aidan McRae Thompson glass of 2005.

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Ashley - Our Blessed Lady and St John the Baptist

A delightful and highly individual piece of early nineteenth-century church-building, designed by the Rev. James Egan. It can be seen as a companion piece to his later and even more extraordinary church of Holy Trinity, Newcastle. The lean-to addition on the (liturgical) south side somewhat detracts from the appearance of the church.

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Ashtead and Vauxhall - St Vincent de Paul

A strong design from the time of the Second Vatican Council, with good furnishings by Hardman Studios. Had the intended campanile been built, the church would have formed more of a landmark from Nechells Parkway. 

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Aston - Sacred Heart and St Mary Margaret

A notable Italo-Byzantine design by G. B. Cox, influenced no doubt by Westminster Cathedral, and lavishly fitted out with mosaics by
J. Linthout and Ludwig Oppenheimer & Co. The campanile is a slightly later addition, and is a local landmark.  

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Aston-by-Stone - Holy Michael Archangel

A stone-built church of 1882, possibly incorporating material from Charles Hansom’s predecessor church of the 1840s. The site is of strong historical significance, associated with an ancient Catholic mission and with the Passionist priest Blessed Dominic Barberi. It was here that the relics of St Chad were discovered before their translation to what is now St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham. Aston Hall has twice been rebuilt, most recently by E. W. Pugin in 1856. The gatepiers and a mausoleum survive from the eighteenth century. 

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Atherstone - St Benedict

A neat, restrained 1859 essay in red brick Gothic style by C. A. Buckler, terminating internally with a well-constructed apse roof. Furnishings of note include two carved stone panels of the reredos from the Hansoms’ nearby priory, demolished in 1967. The church and attached later presbytery make a positive contribution to the local conservation area.

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Avon Dassett - St Joseph

A stone-built Gothic Revival church of 1855, built at the expense of a local benefactor, and notable for the quality and completeness of its fitting out, including a complete set of stained glass windows by the Hardman firm. With the attached contemporary presbytery, the church makes a strong contribution to the local conservation area.

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Baddesley Clinton - St Francis of Assisi

The moated manor house of Baddesley Clinton Hall was a major local Catholic recusant centre. In 1800 a chapel was built on the site of the present church, replaced by the present building in 1870. This was built to the designs of Benjamin Bucknall as part of an extensive rebuilding of the Convent of the Poor Clares, who came to Baddesley Clinton in 1850.  The church is a modest building, but well-designed. The interior has been simplified but a painted triptych at the east end and the Stations of the Cross painted by Rebecca Orpen are worthy of note.

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Balsall Common - Blessed Robert Grissold

A substantial modern suburban church. The materials and architectural forms are traditional and the play of different roof slopes provides architectural interest.

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Balsall Heath - St John and St Martin

A neo-Romanesque design of the 1890s, greatly altered in the 1960s. The chief architectural and historical significance of the building lies in the townscape contribution of its main frontage, although there are some internal furnishings of note. 

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Banbury - St John the Evangelist

An ambitious Gothic Revival design of the late 1830s, still somewhat pre-Ecclesiological in character, with additions by A. W. Pugin. The church and adjoining presbytery and school make a prominent contribution to the local townscape.  The interior is spacious and light, and recent redecoration has restored some of its richness. 

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Banbury - St Joseph the Worker

A hexagonal building of the mid-1960s, originally built as a multi-purpose church and hall. Although the building is not of particular architectural or historic interest, its striking roof form gives it a certain landmark quality in an area of low-rise post-war housing.

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