We visit the historic Jewellery Quarter landmark at risk of being lost forever & discover it's amazing past

One of Birmingham's most important landmarks in the Jewellery Quarter is facing permanent damage unless urgent action is taken
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

It's one of Birmingham's most famous buildings. Unfortunately though the roof here at St Paul's Church is suffering catastrophic damage. They are currently appealing to the public to help save this important icon of Birmingham's history that is in desperate need of help.

It is estimated that repairs needed to the roof of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter could cost around £660,000. Prompt action is crucial to prevent further damage and preserve the church's structural integrity.

David Tomlinson, Vicar for St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter, speaks about the Raise the Roof campaignDavid Tomlinson, Vicar for St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter, speaks about the Raise the Roof campaign
David Tomlinson, Vicar for St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter, speaks about the Raise the Roof campaign
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

David Tomlinson, Vicar of St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter says: “We're now at a crisis point because we know the roof needs replacing. There's already some water damage in the corners and the back of the church. There's an urgency around this task because we don't get it done soon. We're going to have catastrophic water damage to the building with water cascading in through the roof. So there's an urgency about the project.”

Damage causes by the leaking roof at St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery QuarterDamage causes by the leaking roof at St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter
Damage causes by the leaking roof at St. Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter

This church today serves as a hub for the community, offering services benefiting people beyond denominational boundaries. Tomlinson says: “In terms of its current use, it's obviously a sacred space used for worship and prayer. It's open during the week to visitors. People come in just to sit and reflect. It's a calm space. It's also a place of celebration so people get married here. It's very much viewed as a community asset so people can come and use the building.”

Inventor James Watt worshipped at St Paul's Church in the 1700sInventor James Watt worshipped at St Paul's Church in the 1700s
Inventor James Watt worshipped at St Paul's Church in the 1700s

St. Paul's Church  is a living chronicle entrenched in service to its community, with a heritage stretching back to its inception in 1779. It is the centre of Birmingham's last remaining Georgian Square. It is one of the few churches that still has box pews affording families privacy.

It acted as a spiritual haven to many of the city's pioneers such as Matthew Boulton and James Watt worshipped here. It boasts extraordinary acoustics - with the Birmingham Jazz Festival previously having chosen it as their host. It has one of the largest rings of bells in the world and is also a historic burial ground. In this moment of need, an opportunity arises for people of all backgrounds to unite and contribute to preserving a sanctuary of history, culture and community.

Inside St Paul's Church in the Jewellery QuarterInside St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter
Inside St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tomlinson says: “We've all got a vested interest across the Jewellery Quarter, across Birmingham, in making sure this building's in a good state and doesn't become dilapidated. That's the spectre that haunts me, that we're going to not replace the roof.

"Water will come in and this building, which has got a rich history, a rich heritage, is valuable to all of us who will be wrecked. So that's the campaign. So far we've got about 70,000, which is a good start. We've got lots of coverage in the media, lots of attraction in social media and lots of local support.

"So we're looking for donations of a thousand pounds from businesses, but also very welcome to have donations from individuals and other organisations too. And we've had some good contributions, both from business and from individuals. So we're grateful for those, but there's a long way to go still.” For more information about the campaign to save St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter go to: Raise the Roof

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.