27 Year Wait Ends as Wythall Finally Gets a New Parish Church

Handover day, featuring (L-R) Brian Lee, Rich Burley, Warren Bland, Richard Pill (Project Manager), Lisa Howfield,  Rich Mace

Handover day, featuring (L-R) Brian Lee, Rich Burley, Warren Bland, Richard Pill (Project Manager), Lisa Howfield, Rich Mace

St Mary’s Church in Wythall will be celebrating a resurrection of a different kind this Sunday as they open the doors of their brand new church for the first time.

The old St Mary’s, set back from the Alcester Road near Beckett’s Farm Shop, was closed back in 1986 due to structural problems with its stunning, but ultimately impractical, tower.  Closing the church brought no small amount of sorrow to the local community, and at the time made the national headlines with a special feature in, of all places, Private Eye Magazine!

Meanwhile the congregation, which comes under the Anglican Diocese of Birmingham, carried on faithfully, worshipping in local school halls.  Their search for a new church was never abandoned, but for decades they were dogged with problems finding a suitable site and gaining planning permission.

18 months ago all that changed, however, as they joined forces with The Coppice Primary School in Hollywood in a new and exciting project.

The ambitious build includes the church, a new hall and six new classrooms in a move which they believe will benefit school, church and the wider community.  The barrel ceiling and solid oak floor should make it the smartest public space for miles, and with state of the art audio visual, staging and theatrical lighting, it may well also become a local centre for performing arts.

Churches are built primarily for worship, however, and there’s no better day than Easter Sunday to cut the red tape.  All are welcome to join in their celebrations this weekend.  But their season of launch events, including an open day and charity concert, should mean there’s something for everyone over the next few weeks.   And, with a beautiful stained glass window due to be installed in a few weeks’ time, it’s sure to become a place of beauty, reflection and peace for many years to come.

Vicar Rev. Rich Burley, says

“The last few decades have told an eventful story of Wythall’s Parish Church, but the next chapter to be written is sure to be a joyful one.  Our prayer for the new church is that it becomes a focal point for worship, peace and community for everyone in Wythall and Hollywood, and we hope that all will feel welcome to share in the celebrations with us.”

Press Release submitted to local papers 18.4.14

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