Past, Present and Future: Holy Trinity Smethwick is 175 Years Young!

The Past

Smethwick’s industry and population grew rapidly during the nineteenth century and Holy Trinity was built in 1838 to hold 400 people. It had to be rebuilt in 1888 to hold 800. It was designated a parish in 1842, separated from St Peter’s Harborne and called the Parish of North Harborne. It was Smethwick’s first parish church (Old Church did not become a parish church till much later). The first Vicar was Revd Thomas G. Simcox who, as well as his ministry to the parish and it’s people involved himself in work for the needy, for education and public health as did his immediate successors. Holy Trinity was always the civic church of Smethwick while Smethwick remained an independent County Borough.

Four later parishes – St Alban’s, St Paul’s, St Stephen’s and St Michael and All Angels eventually joined with Holy Trinity to form the Parish of The Resurrection in 1998.

Holy Trinity School, on the site of the current Post Office in Trinity Street was destroyed by a bomb in 1942, having already closed. The current Vicarage in South Road was built in 1947 in the corner of the garden of the original Vicarage  which had faced the church.

Janice Hobday 19th August 2013

The Present summer pics 005

Holy Trinity today represents, as it always has, a stronghold of Christian witness in what most residents would identify as the heart of Smethwick. Its parish, The Parish of The Resurrection, is an example of the changes – social, economic, financial and cultural – which have challenged the Anglican church over the last forty years.

Change can be difficult but thanks to foresight careful planning and sensitive handling the Holy Trinity of today is a fitting testament to all those who went through the experience and deserve appropriate credit.

The slightly weather beaten exterior of Holy Trinity emphasises its place at the edge of what was, but is now sadly less so, an industrial landscape. Step inside, and has been said so many times, by first time visitors, – “what a beautiful church”. The building refurbishments of the past almost forty years have transformed a Victorian building into one which is adaptable for modern usage – meetings, conferences and latterly, the Smethwick Foodbank.

Nothing has detracted however from the main body of the church – the High Altar, the Chancel and the beautiful windows, including that of The Annunciation, transferred from St Pauls.

Holy Trinity today offers a warm Christian welcome to those seeking, building on or renewing faith. 175 years ago it was sited near a Toll Road and it still provides an important staging post on the path to eternal life.

Cyril Holford Parish Warden 15th  September 2013

The Future

Looking forward with confidence is possible because of the love and prayer that has sustained this church, its building and congregation. This congregation can continue to grow because there are many who seek God and find in this place a welcome. It has been renewed in its place in the civic life of Smethwick and in cooperation with other churches it has re-established its place in the family of churches in Smethwick.

This church has a growing identity among the younger people of Smethwick through its ministry in local schools. Through publicity at Christmas and Easter across the parish its name is now more recognised.

The future beckons this church to continue to develop as a modestly confident, inclusive church that welcomes all, celebrates the diversity of the human family and speaks gently but insistently for the love of God made real in the person of Jesus Christ – for all.

The Revd David Gould. Vicar. 11th September 2013

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