History of Sutton Coldfield's oldest surviving church brought to life

The history of Sutton Coldfield's oldest surviving church has been brought to life in a book.

Church Hill looking to Holy Trinity Church - Picture Sutton Coldfield Library
Church Hill looking to Holy Trinity Church - Picture Sutton Coldfield Library

The new book, published by The History Press, covers the history of Holy Trinity Parish Church – prominent on the hill at the top of the town where Rectory Road, High Street and Mill Street converge.

Stella Thebridge, who edited the book, said: "It not only looks at the way the building has changed over the centuries since its origins around 1250, but pulls together for the first time the stories of a number of people associated with the church and town.

"These include Bishop Vesey himself, the long line of Rectors from the Riland Bedford families, and worshippers and major civic representatives of the Town.

"We hear interesting gossip from diarists in the Holbeche family, and even uncover the stories of preachers of inflammatory sermons in the church!"

The new book

The combined story of church and town in previous times of trouble such as the Black Death and the Civil War is also chronicled along with the huge changes brought about by Henry VIII in conferring royal status to the Town through the work of John Vesey as well as initiating conflict with his severance from the church in Rome through his desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon.

Content was also provided by Sue Ingley, from the church congregation, Elizabeth Allison, of the Sutton Coldfield Civic Society, Reverend Carol Hoare and Marian Baxter, known to many as a well-published authority on the history of the Town. Another major source of information and inspiration was local historian Roger Lea, who wrote the foreword to the book, though he sadly died in August 2020 just a few days before the first copies arrived from the publishers.

Roger wrote: "This new history should find its way into every Sutton household."

The book is available from all good bookshops as well as from the church itself.

Full information at www.htsc.org.uk/our-heritage/history-book/

The church website also has a large section on the church history and its many fine and rare historical features.

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