A brief history of Methodism in Quinton - part 2

by Dr Michael Hall

The interior of the 1888 College Road church building
The interior of the College Road Church.

Shortly after the 1882 arrival in Quinton of Bourne College (a school for Primitive Methodism’s sons) and no doubt inspired by its presence, Quinton’s Primitive Methodist trustees decided to plan a new chapel. 1888 saw the opening of College Road Chapel. Six years later extra land was purchased for outbuildings and in 1897 the architect returned to plan an archway behind the pulpit to house a pipe organ.

Three years after Methodist Union (which marked the joining of Wesleyans and Primitives) in 1932, Hagley Road ex-Wesleyan Society agreed to a merger, in College Road’s premises, with the ex-Primitives. Hagley Road Chapel then served as the Sunday School until it was sold to the GPO for use as a sorting office in 1936. The combined membership of 78 in the new Society expanded rapidly and its needs were met in 1952 by the purchase of land on which a new hall was opened six years later. £15,000 had provided a hall and five ancillary rooms. No one who took part in the extensive fundraising could have anticipated that this new building would have a life of just ten years.

When notice was received that the M5 would be cut through Quinton, placing a Compulsory Purchase Order on College Road Church, the trustees happily seized the opportunity offered. Built by William Jackson of Langley Green to a design by Selby Clewer of Bournville Village Trust, on land almost opposite the existing chapel, the new Quinton Methodist Church opened on February 3rd 1968.

The opening ceremony was performed by Miss Mary Partridge, a church member who had been present at the opening of College Road Chapel eighty years earlier, before a congregation of 700, filling every available chair throughout the premises. A fault in the public address system meant that people seated in ancillary rooms heard a relay of the Mark Roman Pop Show that was being aired on the BBC’s fledgling Radio One rather than the service at which circuit ministers and the chairmen of Birmingham and Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury Methodists Districts officiated.

Increasing numbers in Junior Church led to an extension of the premises in 1981, when two new classrooms were opened by Mrs Ethel Perry, wife of the first minister of the new church.

So although in 2018 Quinton Methodism celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its present building, Methodism in Quinton has existed for more than 235 years and has been served by five chapels as well as the variety of kitchens, barns and grottoes where people have met to sing their praises.