Damage averted by roof funds

By Caroline Bletso

An historic Birmingham church is celebrating after being given a much needed cash boost to save its roof.

St Patrick’s on Dudley Road, a Grade II listed building, has benefitted from grants worth over £247,800 to meet the £264,532 costs of urgent repairs to its roof and rainwater disposal systems. It now needs just £10,000 to complete the works.

The Gothic style red brick construction near City Hospital was designed by Dempster & Heaton of Birmingham and built by respected local firm John Bowen & Sons who later went on to build the Victorian Law Courts and the Birmingham Meat Market.

Its interiors, including an elaborate high altar of stone, alabaster and coloured marbles were at risk of damage caused by serious roof leaks.

When the extent of the damage was revealed, grant funders stepped in to support the church’s restoration. The church received funding from the Archdiocese of Birmingham Poor Mission Fund, National Churches Trust, All Churches Trust and from The Department of Culture Media and Sport Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and VAT reclaim schemes.

The parish itself has undertaken extensive fundraising and continues to do so, aiming to raise a further £10,000.

As a result of such efforts a Mass of Thanksgiving will be led by Bishop Robert Byrne, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham on Sunday 18 March at 10am to mark the occasion, followed by refreshments and entertainment in St Patrick’s School Hall.

Fr John Baalaboore, Parish Administrator said: “We invite all former parishioners or anybody who was baptised, confirmed, or married in this church in the past, to be part of this wonderful occasion.

“It will be a special day to give thanks to God and to all donors for the successful completion of our church roof.”

St Patrick’s is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, which secured the funding to preserve the building.