Keen eyed bell ringers at Edgbaston Old Church have saved the day at the historic religious building in Church Road.
Looking skyward as they pulled their bell ropes they noticed dry rot had taken hold in part of the original timber roofing.
Realising it could quickly spread throughout the entire 250sq metre roof, parishioners have had to mount a £100,000 fund raising campaign to pay for repairs.
This week church members and building specialists WK Cox celebrated early completion of the three-month project which was undertaken with the minimum disruption to the life of church.
“Although the church was full of scaffold – both inside and out – we managed to carry on completely as normal with weddings, christenings, funerals, our regular services – and even a concert.” said the Vicar, Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce.
“The congregation were marvellous. We had no complaints and would really like to thank the contractors for all they did to help us in such difficult circumstances.”
David Neale, Birmingham Cathedral Surveyor who acted as Project Manager, said: “Whilst we were working on the roof we took the opportunity of also renovating decaying stonework including a large decorative centre gable finial which had almost come away from the wall. It was amazing what we found up there.”
Edward Robertston, Director of Smethwick-based WK Cox, one of the Midlands leading specialists in restoration and heritage work said they were delighted to have been able to use their expertise on such an historically important building.
Edgbaston Old Church has been a place of Christian worship for almost 800 years. During the Civil War, the church was plundered by the Roundheads under the command of Colonel ‘Tinker’ Fox and lead from the roof was melted down to make bullets.