Use our timeline to gain quick access to key dates in Holy Trinity’s history, starting with the first stone church in the thirteenth century and moving through to the present day.  Links will take you to more detail about some aspects of our history on our heritage pages.

(Please note: Loading 900 years of history may take a few seconds!)


1086 Domesday Book


Sutton Coldfield's entry shows that: "in the time of Edward the Confessor, the manor of Sutton was held by the Anglo-Saxon Earl Edwin of Mercia, and in 1086 by King William himself. For tax purposes it was a manor worth four times the value of Birmingham with land for 22 ploughteams against Birmingham's possible six."  William Dargue There is no mention of a church at this point.  Further information here.

1086-06-01 Read more

1250 First Rector


The Rectors' board in the church entrance names Simon de Daventry as the first Rector  in 1250.

1250-01-01 Read more

1250 Evidence of first stone church


Archaeological evidence points to a first building being constructed in the second half of the thirteenth century.  The footings of the East end wall are the only visible evidence of this stonework from the outside (Coleshill Street). Picture credit: Roger Lea

1250-11-09 Read more

1291 Church recorded in the Vatican


Records of the taxation of Pope Nicholas show that a church had been built dedicated to "Holy Trinitie".

1291-01-06 Read more

1400 Church interior


This artist's impression of Holy Trinity in mediaeval times was commissioned as part of the heritage project of 2017-19 from artist Bob Moulder.  The church at this point would have consisted of the chancel and nave only.  This is one of a set of four pictures in different centuries - 1400, 1765, 1850, 1950.

1400-01-01 Read more

1451 Bishop Vesey born


John Harman (later Vesey) was born around this date.  Other sources have 1462 or 1465. This image shows Canon Golden as the Bishop in the pageant of 1928.

1451-01-06 Read more

1452 John Arundel made a Bishop


John Arundel, incumbent of Holy Trinity from 1431 to 1433 was made Bishop of Chichester.  The picture shows the Bishops' window in the Vesey Chapel in which John Arundel is remembered.

1452-01-07 Read more

1471 Earl of Warwick dies - advowson passes to Crown


Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Patron of Sutton Coldfield was killed at the Battle of Barnet.  The advowson (patronage) of Holy Trinity passed into the possession of the Crown.

1471-06-01 Read more

1500 Tower built


By 1500, the tower was erected and a single bell hung there (known as a sanctus bell).

1500-01-01 Read more

1519 Bishop Vesey of Exeter


John Vesey now made Bishop of Exeter by his friend Henry VIII.

1519-01-06 Read more

1523 Harman family


Both Joan Harman (John Vesey's mother) and his uncle Hugo Harman died in this year.  The image shows the two original memorial tablets as pictured by Dugdale (1730).  These were subsequently replaced by a single tablet.

1523-06-01 Read more

1525 Canwell Priory dissolved


Like many others at this time, this was part of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.  Bells subsequently came to Holy Trinity.

1525-01-06 Read more

1527 Bishop Vesey Grammar School founded


As part of a range of endowments in his home town, the Bishop founded the Grammar School which continues to this day.

1527-01-01 Read more

1528 Royal Charter for Sutton Coldfield


Bishop Vesey was instrumental in securing a Royal Charter from Henry VIII for the Manor of Sutton Coldfield led by a Warden and Society of 24 men.

1528-01-06 Read more

1530 Chapels added to chancel


Bishop Vesey built chapels either side of the chancel (now the Vesey Chapel and Choir vestry) and gave an organ to the church.

1530-01-06 Read more

1533 North and south aisles


The first north aisle (now Vesey aisle) and south aisle were added to the nave. Stone archway of former south door moved to south porch. Bells from Canwell Priory installed.  All  by Bishop Vesey.

1533-01-06 Read more

1541 Bishop Vesey Grammar School - first stone building


This was built on land which is now included in the South-West part of the churchyard.

1541-01-06 Read more

1549 Royal Coat of Arms


Following order of Edward VI that all Roman Catholic decorations be removed from churches, Holy Trinity has a Tudor Royal Coat of Arms installed.  

1549-01-06 Read more

1555 Bishop Vesey buried


The Bishop was buried in the church in the North-East chapel, since re-named the Vesey Chapel.

1555-01-06 Read more

1559 Advowson sold by Queen Elizabeth I


From 1471, the advowson had been in possession of the Crown. On 30th December 1559 the queen sold the advowson of Sutton Coldfield to Glascock and Blunt, who on the same day sold it to John Gibbons, LlD.  (In ecclesiastical law, the advowson is the right to recommend a member of the Anglican clergy for a vacant benefice, or to make such an appointment.  This is now termed patronage and usually held by the Bishop of the local diocese.)

1559-12-30 Read more

1560 Advowson sold on


The advowson (patronage) of the church was again sold on, this time  by John Gibbons to Thomas Gibbons of New Hall. See 1559

1560-06-01 Read more

1586 Advowson sold


After a longer gap, the advowson (patronage) of the church was  sold on, this time  by Thomas Gibbons of New Hall to John Shilton.

1586-06-01 Read more

1606 Death of Barbara Elyot


Brass memorials on the North side of the East end of the chancel record the death of Rector Roger Elyot's wife at the age of 24.  She is depicted with her two children, all wearing Elizabethan dress.

1606-06-01 Read more

1609 Silverware given to church


A silver communion cup, cover and paten were given to the church by the Rector, Roger Elyot, (served 1595-1617) in memory of his wife, Barbara, who had died in 1606 aged 24. The picture shows silverware on the current communion table  

1609-06-01 Read more

1621 Josias Bull buried


Josias Bull, Gentleman, was buried in a vault in the Chancel.  His brass memorial is on the wall of the Chancel (South side).

1621-06-01 Read more

1626 Silverware - chalice given to church


A silver chalice and cover were given to the church by Cornelius Burgess, DD, the husband of Abegail, the youngest daughter of the Rector Dr John Burges, following her death on 19th March 1626. These are in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for safe-keeping.  

1626-06-01 Read more

1642 James Fleetwood


James Fleetwood, DD, was presented to Sutton Rectory by the Crown (King Charles 1) but was not inducted as Sutton was a Puritan stronghold in the Civil War.  He became Bishop of Worcester from 1675 to 1683.  He is commemorated in the Vesey Chapel "Bishops" East window.

1642-06-01 Read more

1656 Antiquities of Warwickshire


Sir William Dugdale published his famous book which references the church extensively.  Dugdale notes at this point that the brasses on the gravestones on the floor of the Vesey Chapel are missing.

1656-06-01 Read more

1657 John Riland I born


The first Rector in the Riland Bedford 'dynasty' was born in 1657 and this picture of him in boyhood (1665) is from WK Riland Bedford's book about the 'family living'.

1657-06-01 Read more

1660 Coat of Arms and Commandment Board


The Royal Coat of Arms of Charles II and three boards displaying the Creed, Commandments and Lord's Prayer were placed above the archway at the East end of the nave.  They were removed in the re-decoration work of 1929.  A new board (pictured) was made in 1990.

1660-06-01 Read more

1671 Thomas Dawnay buried


Thomas Dawnay esq. was buried nine feet deep in the churchyard to the north of the sundial.

1671-06-01 Read more

1677 Henry Pudsey buried


Henry Pudsey was buried in the family vault he had created in the Vesey Chapel.  Learn more about the memorial and the family.

1677-06-01 Read more

1689 John Riland becomes Rector


John Riland, MA, the first Rector of the family whose members would continue in this role over a 300-year period (Rilands and Riland-Bedfords), was presented to the Rectory by John Shilton.  

1689-06-01 Read more

1694 Silverware given to church


A silver flagon and paten were given by Henry Walter for church use. These are now one of a pair in the keeping of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

1694-01-01 Read more

1697 Jane Wilson buried


Jane Wilson, wife of Sir William Wilson and widow of Henry Pudsey, was buried in the Pudsey family vault.

1697-06-01 Read more

1701 Rectory in Rectory Park


The Queen Anne Rectory was built for John Riland in what is now known as Rectory Park, opposite what is now Bedford Rd.

1701-01-01 Read more

1704 Oak door in South porch


The studded oak door was added to the South porch archway.  Thomas Abell and Thomas Martin were churchwardens at that time.

1704-06-01 Read more

1706 John Riland becomes Patron


This is the point at which John Riland acquired the advowson (patronage) of the church as well as being Rector.  This enabled him to appoint his successor and for the living to remain in the family for 300 years.   

1706-09-01 Read more

1708 Ffolliott gallery


Henry, Lord Ffolliott, who had built Four Oaks Hall (see image used by NG Evans), had a private gallery constructed across the North-West end of the nave for himself and his wife. His wife Elizabeth was the elder daughter of Henry and Jane Pudsey.

1708-06-01 Read more

1709 Sacheverell vault


George Sacheverell Esq. of New Hall obtained a faculty to construct a vault in the South West corner of the churchSee also parishioners.

1709-06-01 Read more

1710 William Wilson buried


Sir William Wilson, the stonemason who married Jane, widow of Henry Pudsey, was buried in the churchyard adjoining the Pudsey vault. This subsequently came inside the church (1879) and the memorial is now in the clergy vestry.

1710-06-01 Read more

1715 George Sacheverell buried


George Sacheverell Esq. was buried in the vault he had had constructed (1706), at the West end of the South aisle. The image shows the vault entrance exposed during re-ordering of the church in 2016.  It is now again beneath the church floor.

1715-06-01 Read more

1716 Henry Ffolliott, 3rd Baron Ffolliott died


Lord Ffolliott is not mentioned as having been buried in the church or churchyard.  While he was married to the older daughter of Henry and Jane Pudsey, Elizabeth, who is buried in the Pudsey vault, it is not clear if Ffolliott was buried here or back in his native Ireland.  His daughter pre-deceased him and he died without a son, so the Barony of Ballyshannon became extinct on his death and his estate passed to a relative.

1716-10-07 Read more

1719 William Jesson buried


Sir William Jesson of Langley Hall was buried in a vault in the Vesey Chapel.  The Jesson and Pudsey families were joined by marriage.

1719-06-01 Read more

1720 Riland succession


Rector John Riland (I) died and was buried in a vault in the Chancel. His son, Revd Richard Riland MA, became the incumbent, serving until 1757.

1720-06-01 Read more

1727 Bishop Vesey Grammar School - current building


The current building on Lichfield Road which forms the main entrance to the school was built at this time.

1727-06-01 Read more

1730 Antiquities of Warwickshire (new edition)


Sir William Dugdale's famous book which references Holy Trinity, was re-published in 1730 with corrections and additional prints, by Revd William Thomas, a Rector of Exhall near Alcester. Read more of Dugdale and other  historians here. (Picture: Worcester College library.)

1730-06-01 Read more

1742 Lady Ffolliott buried


Elizabeth Ffolliott (née Pudsey), wife of Henry, the third baron Ffolliott, was buried in the Pudsey vault in the Vesey Chapel.

1742-06-01 Read more

1746 Simon Luttrell buys Four Oaks Hall


Another well known parishioner, Simon Luttrell, bought the mansion from Henry, Lord Ffolliott, following the death of his widow Elizabeth in 1742.

1745-06-01 Read more

1745 Roof repairs


The roof was in need of extensive repairs. This was paid for by the Warden and Society of Sutton Coldfield with money obtained from the sale of oak trees in Sutton Park.

1745-06-01 Read more

1748 Bishop Vesey effigy restored


The effigy on the tomb was restored, raised and placed in a niche in the adjoining North wall, with railings round to protect it.  See our page on Bishop Vesey

1748-06-01 Read more

1754 South gallery and Thomas Bonell


Thomas Bonell, Gentleman, a solicitor and author of a history of Sutton Coldfield, applied for a faculty to build a gallery for himself and his family over the South aisle.

1754-06-01 Read more

1758 Pews


The Corporation allocated £100 for new pewing in the church.

1758-06-01 Read more

1759 New window


A faculty was granted for a new window in the North wall (opposite the South porch).  However this was in the wall before the addition of the North aisle, so is no longer in place. The image is by NG Evans and shows the Vesey north wall before the addition of the aisle in 1879.

1759-06-01 Read more

1760 Simon Luttrell builds a gallery


Simon Luttrell, now Baron Irnham, has a large and magnificent gallery built into the West end arch (front of the tower) for his family.

1760-06-01 Read more

1762 Complaints about pews


Complaints were made by some parishioners in the Spiritual Court in Lichfield about the occupation and position of some of the new box-pews.

1762-06-01 Read more

1762 History 'by an impartial hand'


“The History of Sutton Coldfield by an Impartial Hand”, is in three parts. The first, originally printed as a magazine article, is a description of the town and its history, the second, “Continuation”, is in the form of a letter to the magazine editor,  while the third, “Addendum” by “Agricola” gives a less rosy account of the town." (R Lea).The writing has been attributed to Thomas Bonell.

1762-06-01 Read more

1765 View of Church Hill


This artist's impression of the Hill in 1765 was commissioned as part of the heritage project of 2017-19 from artist Bob Moulder.  The image is based on Snape's map of 1765.  This is one of a set of four pictures in different centuries - 1400, 1765, 1850, 1950.

1765-06-01 Read more

1769 Repairs and major alterations to church building


Following an attempt to install new pews in 1759, the foundations of the nave were found to be faulty.  The following year major work was carried out by William Hiorn of Warwick.  This included the present pulpit (see image), new box pews and a clock in the tower.

1769-06-01 Read more

1779 Gallery - West end


Robert Lawley of Canwell Hall erected a small gallery at the North side of the enlarged West end Four Oaks Hall (Ffolliott) gallery. The image shows the current North gallery looking West.

1779-06-01 Read more

1784 New bells


A new ring of 5 bells was hung at a cost of £100.

1784-06-01 Read more

1790 Richard Bisse Riland died


The Revd Richard Bisse Riland had been Rector for 32 years.  He was succeeded by his brother Revd John Riland, MA.

1790-06-01 Read more

1794 Replacement bells


Six new bells were hung, replacing the 5 which had been added in 1784.

1794-06-01 Read more

1802 Sarah Holbeche born


Sarah's 150-page diary tells the story of her large family and their life in Sutton, living close to the church and being an important part of it.  Learn more about the Holbeche family here and the window she gave to the church here.

1802-09-01 Read more

1806 South porch doors


The two outer (wooden) doors were hung in the South porch, still in place today.

1806-06-01 Read more

1810 John Hacket died


John Hacket Esq. of Moor Hall was the great-great-grandson of John Hacket the former Bishop of Lichfield, who is commemorated in our "Bishops" window in the East end of the Vesey Chapel.

1810-06-01 Read more

1810 William Jesson Pearson died


William Jesson Pearson was the last in the male line of the Pudsey / Jesson families.

1810-06-01 Read more

1817 Mary Ashford


Mary Ashford died in suspicious circumstances at Penns on 27th May 1817.  She was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard near the South porch.  Further information about the subsequent trial leading to two changes in law can be found on Wikipedia

1817-05-27 Read more

1817 Burial ground


The Archdeacon of Lichfield reported on the condition and  inadequacy of the burial ground at Holy Trinity.  The image is a map from 1765 by John Snape, as used by NG Evans.

1817-06-01 Read more

1822 Revd John Riland dies


John Riland (II) was buried in a vault in the Chancel, aged 85.  He had been Rector for just 3 years and was succeeded by the Revd William Bedford MA, who was the grandson of the Revd Richard Bisse Riland (died 1790).

1822-06-01 Read more

1825 Town School opens


Town School opened at the foot of what is now Trinity Hill (the buildings are now Sutton Baptist Church).

1825-06-01 Read more

1826 William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford born


The penultimate Rector of Holy Trinity from this family, and possibly the most influential, partly because of his length of service (42 years), the Revd William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford also had two books published, one about the family living and the other a history of the town.

1826-06-01 Read more

1828 Yew tree


The yew tree in the churchyard near the South east entrance was planted in April by the Rector, the Revd William Riland Bedford. This appears to have been cut down in the early twentieth century, certainly by the time the gravestones round the church were removed to the church perimeter fence in 1950/51. It is visible in this photograph (first known use on the magazine cover of July 1926) as are the gravestones.

1828-04-01 Read more

1828 Tower vestry


A vestry was put in the base of the tower for choir  use, and the West door was replaced by a tracery window until 1874.

1828-05-01 Read more

1828 Galleries for children


Following the establishment of Town School in 1825, galleries were built on the north and south walls to separate the children from the adults when they came to service.

1828-06-01 Read more

1829 Pulpit tester removed


One of many changes to the pulpit over the years.  This is a recent image of the tester.

1829-06-01 Read more

1829 Charles Chadwick buried


Charles Chadwick Esq., of New Hall was buried in the Sacheverell vault.  His sister Mary had been buried there in 1770 and his wife, Frances in 1804.

1829-06-01 Read more

1832 Burial ground enlarged


The churchyard area was enlarged taking in some of the land which was previously part of the grammar school (now on Lichfield Rd)

1832-06-01 Read more

1835 Diocese changed


The Archdeaconry of Coventry (which included Sutton Coldfield) was taken from the diocese of Lichfield and added to the Diocese of Worcester.

1835-06-01 Read more

1835 St James Hill


A chapel was built at Hill (Mere Green) to cater for the increasing population.  This was a 'daughter' church to begin with, not a separate parish.  This building was not the current church (pictured).

1835-06-01 Read more

1836 Trinity Hill


Blind Lane was re-named Trinity Hill and widened and straightened with adjustments to the church boundary.     

1836-06-01 Read more

1843 William Riland Bedford and Dr Williamson


The Revd William Riland Bedford (who had been Rector for 21 years) died, and his cousin the Revd Dr Richard Williamson DD became the incumbent.  Dr Williamson is commemorated in the Holbeche window.

1843-06-01 Read more

1844 Rectory in Coleshill Street built


This building, on the other side of Trinity Hill, was used as the rectory until 1998.

1844-06-01 Read more

1845 St John's Church, Walmley


The first of the neighbouring areas of the expanding town of Sutton Coldfield to have a church erected as part of a separate parish was Walmley.

1845-04-01 Read more

1848 Thomas Holbeche dies


Thomas Holbeche was a solicitor and county magistrate who lived at 1-3 Coleshill Street and whose sister, Sarah, and grandson, Richard, both wrote diaries about life in Sutton. The image shows the lectern given in 1906 in his memory which remained in use until 2016.

1848-06-01 Read more

1850 Church interior


This artist's impression of Holy Trinity in the mid-nineteenth century was commissioned as part of the heritage project of 2017-19 from artist Bob Moulder.  The church at this point did not have the stained glass in the East end windows and still had 18th century woodwork.  This is one of a set of four pictures in different centuries - 1400, 1765, 1850, 1950.

1850-06-01 Read more

1850 Gas lighting installed


Gas lighting - by fish-tail jets - was installed in the church.  

1850-06-01 Read more

1850 William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford becomes Rector


After 7 years, Dr Williamson, who was also headmaster of Westminster School, took the living at Pershore in Worcestershire.  The Revd William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford MA became Rector (son of Revd William Riland Bedford).

1850-06-01 Read more

1852 Photography


The earliest photographs of the church were taken by William M. Grundy. The drawing (pictured) by Norman Evans is from a photograph by Grundy of 1852.

1852-06-01 Read more

1856 Font installed


The present font was given by Mr Richard Sadler (a churchwarden) whose father had retrieved it from the grounds of St Leonard's, Over Whitacre. It was in use as a horse-mounting block for the neighbouring inn.

1856-06-01 Read more

1856 Joseph Mendham


The Revd Joseph Mendham, curate for 32 years and a distinguished scholar, died aged 87.  The curates generally did the day to day work of a parish priest while the Rector might often be elsewhere, sometimes not always resident in a parish. His memorial (pictured) is on the north-west wall of the tower.

1856-06-01 Read more

1857 St Michael's Church, Boldmere


St Michael's was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Worcester on the 29th September.  Prior to that Sunday worship had been taking place in the new girls' school set up in 1848.

1857-09-29 Read more

1859 Masonic Lodge


The Revd William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford became the first Master of the Warden Lodge, the first masonic hall in Sutton Coldfield.  The current Hall is on Mill Street at the foot of Church Hill (see image).

1859-06-01 Read more

1863 East window installed


The current stained glass at the East end of the nave was installed in memory of William Riland Bedford (Rector, died 1843).

1863-04-01 Read more

1863 Organ by Gray and Davison


A new organ was installed in the South-East part of the church.

1863-09-01 Read more

1863 Reredos removed from church


The Queen Anne reredos (altarpiece marked 'd' on image) was removed to the new Town Hall in Mill Street (now the Masonic Hall).  It is not known at the time of writing if it is still in place there.

1863-10-01 Read more

1863 Whitewash removed


Whitewash was removed from the interior walls of the church (to reveal the sandstone brickwork). The only area currently whitewashed is the south side of the church.    

1863-12-01 Read more

1864 Raising the roof


The church roof was declared unsafe in 1863, and so the building was closed while a new roof was built - the level of the ridge of the roof was raised by ten feet. The new ceiling of the nave was left plain.

1864-04-02 Read more

1864 William Hartopp dies


Sir William E Cradock Hartopp died and his widow erected the brass memorial now in the Vesey Chapel  (pictured - in SW corner of chapel below Hacket memorial)

1864-06-01 Read more

1865 Transatlantic cable


The first transatlantic cable was produced by a firm in Penns, Sutton.  Revd WK Riland Bedford noted: Messrs Webster were not only spinning the wire that was to bridge the Atlantic, in an electric cable, but entertaining their friends, the Darwins, Merivales, Robert Lowe and George Dawson."  300 years of a family living, p 158.

1865-06-01 Read more

1868 Galleries for schoolchildren removed


The galleries erected in 1828 were removed.  The doorways from the East end of church, either side of the Chancel were bricked up but are still visible from the outside (see picture).  The girl's doorway is visible inside behind the Jesson memorial in the Vesey Chapel.    

1868-06-01 Read more

1869 James Packwood


Revd James Packwood, curate at Holy Trinity for 40 years, died.  He is commemorated in the Vesey Chapel East window. In this year the windows in the South porch (see picture), which had been bricked up, were restored.

1869-06-01 Read more

1869 West window in tower


A window depicting Faith, Hope and Charity was installed to the memory of the Misses Blews of Maney

1869-09-01 Read more

1870 East window in Vesey Chapel


The stained glass was added, commemorating prominent Bishops.  The benches for schoolgirls at the East end of the Chapel were replaced by pews facing the Chancel.

1870-06-01 Read more

1870 Thomas Colmore dies


Thomas Colmore Esq. of Ashfurlong Hall had been a magistrate, Chairman of the Aston Board of Guardians and Warden of Sutton from 1864 to 1866.  He is not to be confused with Quintus Charles Colmore to whom the Colmore window in the Choir vestry (former South Chapel)  is dedicated. The image is of unknown origin (possibly from Savill's sales brochure 2009) and used by William Dargue.

1870-09-01 Read more

1874 Tower vestry


The west door was replaced by a cast-iron tracery window so that the tower could be used as a vestry.

1874-06-01 Read more

1875 Tomb and Chancel changes


Bishop Vesey's monument was opened, recorded and the tomb restored.  The chancel floor was raised to its present level.  Choir stalls and screens  in the Chancel were made from oak from Worcester Cathedral.   The pulpit was moved to the North side of the chancel.

1875-06-01 Read more

1876 New cemetery


The Burial Board for Holy Trinity (with the approval of the Secretary of State) considered locations for a new burial ground.  The Board bought 6 acres of Barn Field for £1,500 and paid half the cost of building the Rectory Road site.  The new cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester on 4th May 1880 and the first burial was on Mon 1st November.

1876-06-01 Read more

1878 Iron Church at Maney


A corrugated iron building for use as a church at Maney was consecrated in 1878.  It was in Church Road just above the smithy. The Rector William K Riland Bedford put up the £650 for construction from his own money. The picture is from St Peter's centenary booklet (2005).

1878-06-01 Read more

1878 Railway bridge


Bishop Vesey's tithe barn was amongst the houses demolished in Sutton High Street to make way for the Midland Railway bridge.

1878-06-03 Read more

1879 North aisle and gallery built


The current north aisle and north gallery were built, the ceiling of the old Vesey aisle being removed. New pews were installed replacing the Georgian box pews.This large-scale work was the last major extension of the church.

1879-06-01 Read more

1884 Bells added


Two more bells were hung in the tower.  The clock was removed.

1884-06-01 Read more

1889 Three hundred years of a family living


The Revd William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford published the history of his family's living, subtitled: '...being a history of the Rilands of Sutton Coldfield'.  This family held the advowson or patronage of Holy Trinity, passing down the  position of Rector for 300 years.

1889-06-01 Read more

1890 Communion table gifted


The present table (altar) was given by the Rector, the Revd William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford in memory of his wife, (Maria) Amy. The altar is now on wheels which allows it to be moved to a chosen position within the chancel.

1890-06-01 Read more

1891 A new extension?


The image is one part of plans by HR Yeoville Thomason in Birmingham Archives (ref: MS 1460/86) to extend the chancel Eastwards and build a new choir vestry, re-shaping the whole of the East end. The plans were never executed!

1891-06-01 Read more

1891 'History of Sutton Coldfield' published


This book was written by the Revd WK Riland Bedford.  The Corporation of Sutton Coldfield saw fit to re-publish it in 1968, and it is still a useful source of information about our Town. The image is the Corporation seal of 1619 in the frontispiece.

1891-06-01 Read more

1891 George Preston dies


George Bamford Preston, head of Sutton Town Boys' School for 33 years was buried in the churchyard.

1891-06-01 Read more

1892 William Campbell Riland Bedford becomes Rector


William Campbell Riland Bedford succeeded his father William Kirkpatrick following the latter's retirement.  William Campbell was the last in the line of this family to serve as Rector.  For information on his only son, William James Riland Bedford, see rectors.

1892-06-01 Read more

1892 Misericord gifted


A misericord (a shallow seat set into a wall) dating from around 1490 was given to the church by Henry Charles Hill.  A brass memorial to him is in the South aisle although the misericord is no longer in the church. 

1892-09-01 Read more

1893 Richard Holbeche's diary


Following the example of his aunt, Sarah, Richard Holbeche decided to write an account of life and people in the town in the 1850s.  His references to the church are most illuminating!  

1893-06-01 Read more

1898 Lych gate


The lych gate in Coleshill Street was constructed in William K Riland Bedford's lifetime in recognition of his service to the town and the church.  It is sited next to the family vault.  See Rectors and churchyard.

1898-06-01 Read more

1899 fund-raising bazaar


A bazaar was held in the Town Hall to raise funds for a new choir vestry and new organ.

1899-02-08 Read more

1900 Iron church in Whitehouse Common Road


This building replaced a barn in Silvester Road (now Lindridge Rd) and was the forerunner of St Chad's Church (pictured).

1900-06-01 Read more

1901 Choir vestry in NW corner


A new choir vestry was built with 2 doors, one from a corridor to the tower and the other down steps to the recently added north aisle extension.  It was designed by Bidlake and in use until the refurbishment of 2016.

1901-05-06 Read more

1901 Organ added (Hope Jones)


This new pipe organ by Hope-Jones was installed.  This image of the console was taken by HWS Osborne c 1910. The console appears to be in what is now the Vesey Chapel.

1901-06-01 Read more

1904 Charles Colmore dies


Quintus Charles Colmore (born 1851) is the dedicatee of the Colmore window in the choir vestry (former South Chapel)

1904-06-01 Read more

1905 William Kirkpatrick Riland Bedford dies


The most famous of the Riland Bedford family of Rectors died in London, aged 79, and his ashes were interred in the family vault.

1905-01-23 Read more

1905 Diocese of Birmingham created


Churches in Birmingham and surrounding areas including Sutton Coldfield were moved from Worcester Diocese to the new Diocese of Birmingham.

1905-06-01 Read more

1905 St. Peter's Maney consecrated


St. Peter's was consecrated as a separate parish by the Rt Revd Charles Gore, Bishop of Birmingham on 28th June.

1905-06-28 Read more

1905 Electric lighting installed


Holy Trinity was wired for electric lighting.  The new organ (by Hope Jones) - pictured - was powered by electricity.

1905-09-09 Read more

1908 All Saints, Four Oaks consecrated


Another parish was created to meet the demands of an expanding population, taking its land from the parish of St James, Hill.  All Saints church is on the corner of Belwell Lane and Four Oaks Road.  

1908-10-30 Read more

1909 Advowson passes to Bishop of Birmingham


With the retirement of William Campbell Riland Bedford the patronage is passed to the new Diocese of Birmingham, and the Bishop appoints Charles W Barnard as Rector.

1909-06-01 Read more

1914 Chancel ceiling painted


Completion of the first painted ceiling by Charles E Bateman.

1914-06-01 Read more

1922 William Campbell Riland Bedford dies


The death of the last incumbent of the Riland Bedford family.  William Campbell was buried in the family vault near the lych gate.  He was Rector from 1892 to 1909.

1922-06-01 Read more

1926 William J Lyon becomes Rector


Following the retirement of Charles William Barnard, a new Rector is appointed. The image is from a magazine of 1926 soon after WJ Lyon's appointment.  He subsequently became Archdeacon of Loughborough.

1926-01-01 Read more

1926 Parish magazine


In July 1926 the new Rector, WJ Lyon, re-started the parish magazine which had stopped publication with the First World War.  900 copies of this first issue were bought.  The magazine continues today, called "Trinity" and now published every other month (since 2001).  Despite new technology the magazine is still valued as the record of services and events in the church, though circulation is around 200 copies now!

1926-07-01 Read more

1927 St Chad's Hollyfield Road is consecrated


The present church was consecrated on 28th March 1927.  It remained a daughter church of Holy Trinity until becoming a parish in its own right in 1959.

1927-03-27 Read more

1928 Town pageant


The Sutton Coldfield Pageant of 1928 commemorated the granting of the town charter by Henry VIII in 1528.   Bishop Vesey was played by Canon Frederick Stanley Golden who was Vicar of St Peter's Maney from 1920-46.

1928-06-01 Read more

1928 Bazaar in a Japanese Garden


A large-scale fund-raising event was held at the Town Hall for restoration work carried out in 1929 (pictured).

1928-11-05 Read more

1929 Major restoration of Vesey Chapel


The work included restoration of exterior stonework, the painted ceiling by Charles Bateman and the erection of the screen (also by Bateman) in memory of Rector Charles Barnard, to create the Vesey Chapel.

1929-06-01 Read more

1931 George Harvey becomes Rector


The Revd George L Harvey MA became Rector, serving until 1945.

1931-06-01 Read more

1935 George V Jubilee


The Royal Town again held celebrations led by Alderman John Willmott who also wrote a play.  This time he played the part of Bishop Vesey (pictured), and the success of this and the earlier pageant of 1928 precipitated the setting up of the Vesey Gardens as a permanent memorial to John Vesey.

1935-06-01 Read more

1939 Vesey Gardens


The gardens were laid as a visible memorial to the Bishop for the town, following extensive clearance of houses and two pubs on the Church Hill site.

1939-06-01 Read more

1945 John Boggon becomes Rector


John Boggon was Rector from 1945 to 1966. He gave the window in memory of his late wife in 1965 which is in the choir vestry (East wall).

1945-06-01 Read more

1949 Grade I listing


The church received its Grade I listing on 18th October. This is relatively unusual for a parish church.

2020-07-05 Read more

1950 Changes to churchyard


The gravestones were moved from round the church and placed at the perimeter, overlooking Trinity Hill, where they now edge the car park (see picture).

1950-06-01 Read more

1950 Church interior


This artist's impression of Holy Trinity around 1950 was commissioned as part of the heritage project of 2017-19 from artist Bob Moulder.  The church at this point was more or less as it looked until the re-ordering of 2016.  This is one of a set of four pictures in different centuries - 1400, 1765, 1850, 1950.

1950-06-01 Read more

1950 Organ replaced


A new pipe organ by Hill, Norman and Beard was installed with pipes (pictured) and pipework in the tower. The console was in the south-west corner just outside the then South Chapel (now choir vestry) which housed a chamber organ, allowing for better audibility at the chancel end of the church.

1950-06-01 Read more

1956 Barnes window


A window dedicated to Bishop Barnes (Bishop of Birmingham) was installed in the South Chapel (now library).

1956-06-01 Read more

1956 Church choir joins RSCM


Our choir, under the direction of Harold Gray, was affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music, a support body founded in 1927. The RSCM offers awards and training courses.

1956-09-01 Read more

1959 Georgian house demolished


The early Georgian house built on the stone foundations of St Mary's Hall, at the corner of Trinity Hill and Coleshill Street, was demolished.

1959-06-01 Read more

1959 Foundation of St Columba's Church


The foundation stone of St Columba's Church, Banner's Gate, was laid by the Mayor, Alderman Minnie Grounds JP.

1959-09-01 Read more

1960 Library built in South Chapel


A library in oak was built in the South West corner chapel in memory of (William Edward) Douglas Clayton, a former churchwarden. This space is now the choir vestry.

1960-06-01 Read more

1964 Ralph Vale dies


Ralph Vale had been a chorister at Holy Trinity for 61 years.  He died aged 85.  A memorial to him is in the stonework (South side) of the flight of stairs leading from the nave to the tower base.

1964-06-01 Read more

1965 Mary Boggon window


Window in South Chapel given in memory of his wife by Canon John Boggon.

1965-06-01 Read more

1966 Alaric Rose appointed Rector


The Revd Canon Alaric Rose MA succeeded Canon John Boggon.

1966-06-01 Read more

1969 South aisle repairs


During repairs, the Sacheverell vault was opened and found to contain 5 coffins all bearing names of Sacheverell and Chadwick families except one, probably of George's wife, Mary.

1968-09-01 Read more

1973 Bells re-hung


The eight bells were re-cast and re-hung in an iron frame.

1973-06-01 Read more

1974 Sutton Coldfield local government change


Sutton Coldfield moved local authority from Warwickshire to Birmingham as part of a national shake-up of local authority areas.  A new county of the West Midlands was created comprising seven metropolitan authorities - Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton.

1974-04-01 Read more

1974 Borough flag displayed


Following local government re-organisation, the Royal Borough of Sutton Coldfield flag was moved to be displayed on the North wall of the Vesey Chapel. In May 2018 the flag was moved to its new home in the tower.  

1974-09-01 Read more

1983 South Porch inner doors fitted


The inner oak doors were fitted in the archway of the South porch in recognition of 50 years' ministry of the Rector, Alaric Rose.

1983-06-01 Read more

1984 Ted Longman becomes Rector


The Revd Edward G Longman MA is appointed Rector following the retirement of Canon Alaric Rose.

1984-06-01 Read more

1985 Alaric Rose dies


Canon Alaric Rose, Rector from 1966 to 1984 died on 27th December. See Rectors section for more information. His son, John, was Vicar of St Peter's Maney at this time.

1985-12-27 Read more

1986 Congregation photograph


A whole congregation photo was taken in the Vesey Gardens on Palm Sunday 1986 and was used as the frontispiece of the first full colour guide book of 1987.

1986-03-01 Read more

1986 Major restoration of the stonework


The exterior stonework underwent major repair.

1986-06-01 Read more

1987 Curate's house re-roofed


The house at the top of Trinity Hill (no. 1 - pictured) was re-roofed and modernised for use as a residence for future curates of Holy Trinity.

1987-03-01 Read more

1987 History book


Norman G Evans produced "An investigation of Holy Trinity Parish Church Sutton Coldfield", the first full history of every aspect of the church. It was typed and several copies were made for the church, public library and various interested parties.

1987-04-01 Read more

1987 Burial of ashes in churchyard


The first interment of ashes following cremation took place in a small garden of remembrance between the South porch and Coleshill Street.  This practice continues.

1987-06-01 Read more

1987 Major repairs to church and roof


These were completed at a cost of £75,000.  Traces of a chimney stack, on the south side of the tower at the head of the spiral stairway, were removed.

1987-09-01 Read more

1990 Commandments Board


The wooden board with the words of the Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer and Creed in gold on a turquoise background, was made by Brian Dixon, Churchwarden, and Robert Alloway, Chorister, and erected on the corner surrounding the font at the West end of the nave.  Following re-ordering in 2016, it now stands in the South West corner of the church.

1990-06-01 Read more

1992 Mosaics


Students from Sutton College (now Birmingham Metropolitan College, Sutton Campus) were commissioned to create 4 mosaic panels in the Vesey Chapel under the East window.  See the section headed 'Other artwork' on our painted ceilings page. 

1992-06-01 Read more

1993 William Wood dies


The Revd William Wood was a much loved honorary curate of Holy Trinity. He is pictured in 1988 in the former choir vestry, with his wife, Edna, after the final 'Pram Service' run by them both.  For more information see our parishioners page.

1993-01-03 Read more

1995 Foundation stone laid for Trinity Centre


A service was held to mark the laying of the Trinity Centre foundation stone and burial underneath of a 'time capsule' of memorabilia.

1995-06-01 Read more

1996 Trinity Centre opens


The long awaited two-storey facility on the church site, known as the Trinity Centre, was formally opened on 11th May by the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Mr Robert Taylor OBE, KStJ, JP, to the admiration of congregation and community alike.

1996-05-11 Read more

1997 Dan Connolly becomes Rector


The Revd Dan Connolly became 50th Rector of Holy Trinity at New Year 1997 and stayed until Dec 1998.

1997-01-01 Read more

1998 Plane tree made safe


The large 120-year-old plane tree on the corner of the churchyard at the top of Trinity Hill was made safe, and the crumbling wall repaired at a total cost of £60,000 which was borne by Birmingham City Council.

1998-06-01 Read more

2000 Induction of James Langstaff as Rector


On 18th February 2000 The Revd James Langstaff MA was inducted as Rector. He served until 2004, leaving to become Bishop of Lynn, the first incumbent to go on to be consecrated Bishop since John Arundel left in 1433 and became Bishop of Chichester in 1452!

2000-02-18 Read more

2000 Flower festival


A large-scale flower festival was held in church with community groups of all kinds contributing displays.  The festival celebrated the 700th anniversary of the church (inasmuch as a start date is known!)

2000-06-01 Read more

2001 Town centre chaplain


A new post was filled by Cheryl Slusser to provide a town chaplaincy service.  Sadly, this post was not renewed at the end of Cheryl's tenure.

2001-12-01 Read more

2006 John Routh becomes Rector


Our current Rector, the Revd John Routh MA, was inducted in January 2006, having previously served as Vicar of St Chad's, Hollyfield Road, one of our neighbouring parishes.

2006-01-06 Read more

2008 Rectory becomes Bishop's Lodge


The Rectory in Coleshill Street which was used from the nineteenth century until 1998 changed its use after some uncertainty as to its future, and has since that time been the home of the Bishop of Aston.

2008-12-01 Read more

2011 "Creation" flower festival


A weekend at the end of September turned warm and provided a lovely backdrop to this fund-raising festival, with flower arrangements reflecting the theme of Creation.

2011-09-30 Read more

2013 Friends of Holy Trinity


Our Friends organisation was established under the chairmanship of Nick Revell.  It has organised a series of concerts in church each year and raised some £10,000 each year for the church fabric fund to help keep the building in good repair.

2013-09-01 Read more

2016 Church interior re-ordered


A major refurbishment of the interior was undertaken to create a new entrance and a flexible and accessible space for worship and other activities.

2016-01-01 Read more

2016 Dedication of the re-ordered church


A service of dedication was held at 10am on Sunday 2nd October 2016 as the formal re-opening of the newly re-ordered church.  The President at Holy Communion was the Lord Bishop of Birmingham, Revd David Urquhart.  

2016-10-02 Read more

2016 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Awarded


The HLF awarded a grant for "Holy Trinity Parish Church: heritage at the heart of Sutton Coldfield". The project ran from January 2017 to 2019, allowing the church to create a volunteer stewards' programme and create new historical records and activities for the community.

2016-12-19 Read more

2017 Civic Society Design Awards (1)


The church re-ordering work scooped two design awards in Sutton Coldfield Civic Society's awards of 2017.  The N Legal Trophy for an outstanding project was one of the two.....

2017-12-02 Read more

2017 Civic Society Design Awards (2)


The second award for the church's re-ordering work from the Sutton Coldfield Civic Society Design Awards 2017 was the "Restoration" award.

2017-12-03 Read more

2018 Re-ordering phase 2


The work begun in 2016 was completed exposing the stained glass West window  and painted ceiling (pictured) hidden since 1950.

2018-03-31 Read more

2018 Church guide book


A new guide book was published in December, made possible through the Heritage Lottery Fund grant (2017-18). The guide offers an easy-to-follow tour with fold-out plan and gives just enough background information while you tour the building and grounds. Lavishly illustrated throughout it is also a lovely memento of the church - past and present. Please email heritage@htsc.org.uk if you would like to order a copy  - £4 to collect from church or Trinity Centre or £6 to have it posted to you.  

2018-12-08 Read more

2019 Heritage project celebration


We celebrated the end of the funded phase of our project with a lunch in the church on Sunday 3rd February, attended by members of the church congregation and project partners. The date turned out to be the feast day of St Blaise who was the patron saint of the forerunner of Holy Trinity - the chapel at the Manor House in Sutton Coldfield. It was also the date 2 years previously on which the Sutton Coldfield Observer published our press release announcing the start of our project.  

2019-02-03 Read more