Church House

“The Church House and Parish Hall were a gift to the Church in 1907, in memory of John Rose Grove.  The Grove family lived at Cedars, Doe Bank, one of the largest houses that used to stand on the stretch of Lichfield Road between Little Sutton Lane and Four Oaks Station.”

So writes  Margaret Gardner in an article in the parish magazine, reproduced in Around the Church, 2000, p 27.

The house,  15 Coleshill Street, still stands, (see picture) but the hall to the rear has been replaced and is now in use as office space.

For some years the House was office space for curates of the Parish, whose accommodation did not include such space.

Church House

According to research by Margaret Gardner (ibid), the driveway known as Church House Drive is named on the 1821 Ordnance Survey map as the Fordrift, with the house there. This was probably built in the eighteenth century.

There was also a designated Fire Point or Fire Station in the drive on the 1821 map. Based on Church Council (vestry) minutes of 1803, buckets had to be purchased to replace stolen ones used with the fire engine, the ‘engine’ (a receptacle for water on wheels) possibly kept in the base of the church tower.  With no lychgate or steps on the church side of Coleshill Street, it is likely this was trundled out and across to the water point in the Fordift.  People would form bucket chains to fill the engine.

Farmers on the Glebe land and Barn Field (the current Rectory Road cemetery) behind the street would have brought their animals to the Fordrift for water.

Water pipes from this source may well have gone back to Roman times, when wooden pipes were used.

Church House and hall were sold in 1999.  This followed the opening of the Trinity Centre in 1996 on the church site. The images below show social activities in Church House in the early 1990s.