St. Andrew WB

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History

St. Andrews Church
The history of St. Andrew's starts in 1869 with the creation of a Day School in Old Meeting Street, West Bromwich (opposite the Akrill Cottage Homes which still exist. Soon the school buildings were used for Sunday worship. In 1879 Lichfield Diocese created the Parish of St. Andrew, West Bromwich. Worship continued on the site in Old Meeting Street until the 1920s.

In 1915 work started on a new church building at Carter's Green. The First World War prevented much work being done and the official foundation stone was not laid until 1922. The first part of the building was completed in 1924 and consecrated for worship the following year. Just before the Second World War two bays and a baptistry were completed and consecrated on Sunday 21st January 1940.

In 1979 plans were made to create a social area at the rear of the church, an extension being added to accommodate a kitchen and toilets. This work was completed in 1982 and then in 1998 part of the south aisle was divided off using sliding doors to create a coffee lounge alongside the kitchen.


Vicars of St. Andrew's Church

    1879 James Benjamin Crump
    1895 William Charles Weston
    1908 John Wannop Cornwell
    1924 Harold Marley
    1930 Charles Bloomfield Roach
    1938 Kenneth George Symcox
    1946 Desmond Stuart-Fox
    1949 Harry Patrick Saunders
    1952 Alan Gilbert Foster Barker
    1960 Albert Francis Sargent
    1979 Peter Hammersley
    1988 Andrew J G Cooper
    1992 Kenneth Wilkin
    1998 Derek Arthur Smith
    2003 Michael John Claridge


Swan Village Methodists and St. Andrew's
Swan Village Methodist Church and St. Andrew's extended friendship to each other and sometimes shared in joint services for many years. When the Swan Village Methodist Church building became difficult to maintain the congregation, together with that at St. Andrew's, made the courageous decision to join together in the St. Andrew's building. The arrangement was further established in 1988 with a formal Sharing Agreement. By growing together funds from both churches were able to be used to build the extension including an upstairs room for meetings - the Cygnet Room.


Christ Church and St. Andrew's
The formal title of the parish is "The Parish of St. Andrew's-with-Christ Church, West Bromwich". Christ Church, West Bromwich was a large imposing building on High Street. It's tower held a ring of twelve bells and, when the church was closed, these became to only ring of twelve bells in the country to fall out of use since ther 2nd World War. Before the church building was demolished the bells were removed and the metal used to cast specific bells for other churches in the Lichfield Diocese. In 1988 the parish of Christ Church was divided between the Anglican parishes of The Good Shepherd with St. John, St. Philip's and St. Andrew's. The site where Christ Church stood is within St. Andrew's parish boundary and hence the official name "The Parish of St. Andrew's-with-Christ Church".


The Parish of St. Andrew-with-Christ Church
The Parish of St. Andrew‘s-with-Christ Church covers an area with a population of some 9000 people. As well as residential areas there areas of industry and commerce. The High Street and main shopping areas of West Bromwich are within the parish.


Growing together
In the last couple of years the joint Anglican and Methodist congregation at St. Andrew‘s has been considering the next stage of it's life together. In 2002 our joint congregation signed a Declaration of Intent for Ecumenical Partnership. We are now fully a Partnership Congregation, a situation we have moved towards since the sharing agreement was made in 1988 This year (2003) is the three hundredth anniversary of John Wesley's birth. Both John and his brother Charles were Anglican priests whose preaching and teaching led to the creation of the Methodist Church. After over two hundred years of separation the two churches, at St. Andrew‘s and elsewhere, are growing together again so that they can unite in witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.


Parish Records
Historic records of St Andrew, West Bromwich and of the former parish of Christ Church, West Bromwich have been deposited at Staffordshire Record Office, where they are available for consultation by the public. These include the following parish registers :
St Andrew - baptisms 1879-1910, and marriages 1879-1919.
Christ Church - baptisms 1829-1986, marriages 1837-1980, and burials 1830-1970.

A catalogue of these records is available in "Gateway to the Past" - the online catalogue of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service. The Archive Service's website provides further information on planning a visit to the office to consult records, should you wish to do so.



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