Crumbling roof at Birmingham's iconic St Paul's Church 'could be saved' by local artists

  • Thousands of pounds needs to be raised for vital repair works

An iconic church in Birmingham is under threat of closure if £660,000 pounds cannot be raised for roof repairs.

Architects say the roof of St Paul's Church in the Jewellery Quarter is no longer watertight, which means the building is at risk of catastrophic damage caused by flooding.

The 18th-century Grade I listed church is nearly 250 years old and sits in the heart of St Paul's Square.

There are visible signs of crumbling plaster and damp throughout the church in corners of the walls and roof - which hasn't had any repair work since the 1950s after the war.

David Tomlinson, Vicar at St Paul's Church 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."

The church has welcomed famous names throughout the years, including James Watt and Matthew Bouton, and it is the subject of sketches by Joseph Mallord William Turner.

The artistic heritage of the church is the reason behind a new 'Create to Donate' campaign which aims to bring together artists and creatives to submit a piece of work to do with the church, to go on exhibition next year.

The church is calling on local artists and businesses to help.

David Bloxham from local art gallery BHP Collectibles is working with the church on the campaign and said along with selling the art at an exhibition they might also be able to turn some pieces into prints, cards and other merchandise.

He said: "We wanted to celebrate the creative community in which it sits and the artists that have been inspired to photograph, sculpt, paint and wax lyrical about it over the 2t50 years since it was built.

"Through the Create to Donate campaign - part of the Raise the Roof fundraiser - we are asking creative people from 4-104 years old to submit a piece of work that can be printed out or easily exhibited which will then be sold at a special exhibition.

"The only catch is that the piece of artwork must reference the church in some way."

The roof of St Paul's Church in Birmingham needs urgent repairs to protect the rest of the church from water damage. Credit: ITV Central

Surrounding businesses are also being encouraged to help out with donations.

Philip Jackson, who is a director of local estate agency firm, Maguire Jackson, said all businesses that benefit from having the cultural landmark near them should show their support.

He said: "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for everyone to get involved, both from Colemore Row and those around Birmingham who know the church, to get it restored once and for all."

It is hoped local creativity and a bit of people power will keep the roof of St Paul’s intact for generations to come.

Entries for the art competition close on 31st January 2024.

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