Urgent appeal to save Birmingham Jewellery Quarter landmark St Paul’s Church facing permanent threat

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An urgent appeal has been launched to save St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham where James Watt and Matthew Boulton worshipped

It has cast a shadow over the centre of Birmingham for centuries. It is among our best known and most loved landmarks. 

Yet St Paul’s Church in the city's Jewellery Quarter faces a threat as devastating and destructive as the Birmingham blitz. The historic building survived Hitler’s bombs. BirminghamWorld now calls on readers to help it overcome a new crisis, a crisis that may, unchecked, cause untold damage to the building. 

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And the clock is ticking. Within two years, it may be too late. Around £660,000 is needed for urgent roof repairs to St Paul’s, consecrated in 1779 and nestling in Birmingham’s last Georgian square

That roof is no longer water-tight, placing the building at catastrophic risk of flooding.  The call for public help has this week been issued by Hamraj Kang, senior partner at Kangs Solicitors whose offices overlook the Grade I listed church. 

He said: “St. Paul’s Church does not have a slick PR machine to work on this fundraising campaign.I am proud to be an appointed ambassador as well as a donor. We now need more than the odd local fundraising event which we have been regularly organising in recent years. The money we raise at the annual fete is not going to be enough to save the church!

St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery QuarterSt Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter
St Paul’s Church in the Jewellery Quarter

“I am a Sikh not a Christian – it matters not. This is our church in our city for all our people. The doors of the church are open to all regardless of colour, nationality, faith, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. It serves the whole community and not just those that attend services. 

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“I am an extremely proud Brummie. I may be exiled in London for a lot of the time but my love and passion for my city runs deep. I know many others have the same sense of enormous civic pride and I would ask the great and the good of our city to unite behind this cause. I know some of my fellow Brummies well, but there are many more I do not and I would ask you to come forward if you feel you can lend support in any way.” 

In October, David Tomlinson, vicar at St Paul’s, told ITV time is against St Paul’s. He said: "The building is iconic, historical, and beautiful. We've got a two year window, because our architect has told us the roof could give way by then and there will be a deluge of water coming into the building, which would be catastrophic." 

Make no mistake, a rich slice of Birmingham history is in peril

James Watt and Matthew Boulton were regular worshippers and had their own pews, it has been sketched by Joseph Mallord William Turner and Mendelssohn conducted there. 

Mamraj added: “The Jewellery Quarter district is home to over 200 listed buildings - my firm is fortunate enough to occupy one of them, but St Paul’s Church is surely the most important listed building of them all. Its image is synonymous with the Jewellery Quarter. St. Paul’s Church IS the Jewellery Quarter. We need to keep it safe and well preserved for future generations.” 

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