Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Birmingham landmark could close its doors for good if businesses don’t step in to save it

(l-r) Andy Crotty, OTD; Leah Felton, BHP Collectibles; Rev. David Tomlinson; Jilly Cosgrove, Barques; Philip Jackson, Maguire Jackson; Chris Cummins, OTD.

Businesses are being urged to step in to save one of Birmingham’s most loved historical buildings which is at risk from catastrophic damage caused by flooding.

The iconic, Grade I listed St. Paul’s Church has received the potentially devastating news that its roof is no longer water tight and needs to be replaced at a cost of £660,000.
The building’s integrity, interiors and content are at risk of being irreparably damaged by water in the coming months. As a result, local businesses are being asked to help fundraising efforts over the next 250 days to ensure that this important piece of local architecture remains open and accessible to all.

Birmingham-based global training company, OTD, has become the first local business to support the appeal through a £2,500 donation. Its joint managing director, Andy Crotty, said that the building was a vital part of the city’s social and architectural fabric.
He said: “Having lived and worked in the Jewellery Quarter for many years, I know just how important St. Paul’s Church is to Birmingham. It not only provides a place of worship, shelter, and hope for local people, but offers an outlet for art, heritage, and cultural events too.”
Chris Cummins, joint managing director at OTD added: “As a business, we are committed to supporting local communities and feel compelled to do something to help secure the Church’s future. We would strongly encourage other local businesses to support the fundraising appeal.”

Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, David Tomlinson said: “The last thing that we want to do is to close the doors on this magnificent building for good. It has stood proud since 1779 – through wars and societal changes – but potentially its biggest challenge to date are the elements. Water is getting in, and we need to make urgent repairs to ensure that this legacy stands strong.

“We have given ourselves 250 days to raise the money and are asking the business community of Birmingham and individuals that can come together and each donate £1,000 or more if able. People in and around the Jewellery Quarter could also consider holding fundraising events, coffee mornings and dress down days to highlight the plight of St. Paul’s Church.

“We are hugely grateful to the team at OTD that have kickstarted the campaign with the first donation. It’s a great start but we have a long way to go to ensure that our doors stay firmly open, and the future of this important community building is secure.”

St. Paul’s Church is at the heart of the city’s Jewellery Quarter and stands in the centre of Birmingham’s last remaining Georgian Square. Designed by Roger Eykyn of Wolverhampton, it was originally built in the late 1700s, with the upper part of the tower and spire added around 1822.

Over the years, it has welcomed entrepreneurs such as Matthew Boulton and James Watt through its doors and its acoustics were allegedly sought by classical composer Felix Mendelssohn.

To make a donation and to find out more, visit www.stpaulsjq.church/raise-the-roof or follow the progress of the appeal on social media via #RaisetheRoofStPauls.

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