The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Our Lady Help of Christians, East Meadway
The Black Horse pub at Northfield

North West

Birmingham churches visit

In June the C20 West Midlands group caught a ride with the C20 North West gang, for a joint visit to the Birmingham suburbs.

We had a splendid day discovering little-known 1960s churches in South Birmingham’s suburbs, some of which would have not looked out of place in Brasilia.

The tour included St Peter’s, Hall Green (Norman T. Rider, 1964, not listed); Our Lady Help of Christians, East Meadway (Richard Gilbert Scott, 1966, Grade II listed); and St Thomas More, Sheldon (Richard Gilbert Scott, 1968, Grade II listed).

In each case, the architecture just got more and more outlandish, and the glass of all three churches took your breath away: the colours were a knock-out, the technical complexity unimaginable, and the pictorial and thematic forms innovative. (Who’s seen stained-glass windows in the form of Persian carpets in a church before?)

By total contrast, lunch was taken at the barmy, mock-Tudor pile the Black Horse, Northfield (1929, Grade II listed) – Birmingham’s best example of a ‘reformed’ pub.

Thank-you Matthew Schofield and Aidan Turner-Bishop for opening our Brummy eyes. Do come again!

Anna Douglas