We were alerted back in early June by local resident Dr Sheila Bonas that the ruins of St Thomas’ Church in the Birmingham Peace Gardens had been fenced off. Sheila wondered what was going on, a concern shared by others as the remains are a well known local landmark at the corner of Holloway Head and Granville St. She pointed out that no work seemed to be under-way. Unfortunately this still seems to be the case today – three months later.
We asked contacts in the council what was happening, and a few days later had a response. It seems that when the council did it’s annual inspection of the site they thought it’s condition had deteriorated, and that it appeared some bits of the church could possibly even fall off. They commissioned a structural survey which confirmed that the site should be fenced off from the public pending repairs. Back in June the council was awaiting the full report from the structural survey so that they could discuss with English Heritage how to proceed. It was emphasised to us that there is both the will and intention to do what is necessary to be able to reopen it properly.
We think, nevertheless, it is something to keep an eye on to make sure it isn’t left too long (deteriorating further), perhaps because of the economic climate. In addition we now understand that people appear to be accessing the ruined church, moving or bending the fencing and possibly sleeping inside. With the building in this condition, we are concerned that someone might get hurt. We are letting the council know about the fencing and possible risk, and also asking for an update.
When we hear more we will let you know – or if you have any news or comments please let us know below! Thank you!