Three buildings have served as rectories from the time of the famous Queen Anne building (now demolished) which was in the area now known as Rectory Park.
Roger Lea notes:
“Riland Bedford in his History of Sutton Coldfield published in 1890 confidently states that the building at 1, 3 and 5 Coleshill Street had been the Rectory in the seventeenth century, but recent research has shown that it was a former public house, which only came into the possession of the Rector in the Eighteenth century. ” It is believed this house was bought by the then Rector for a daughter, and this was misunderstood later as implying he had lived in it.
So the three remaining dwellings are the Queen Anne house in Rectory Park (built for John Riland in 1704 and demolished in 1929), the Victorian house in Coleshill Street the other side of Trinity Hill from the church (middle picture below) which was built in 1844 and used until 1998. Since 2008 it has been re-named Bishop’s Lodge as the home of the Bishop of Aston.
The house and gardens were extensive and increasingly unsuitable for the needs of modern clergy. Before the Trinity Centre was built the gardens were often opened up for a parish fund-raising “garden party” every September.
The current Rectory was part of new building in 2000 just off Jerrard Drive.
Accommodation for curates
The lovely cottage pictured, number 1 Trinity Hill, was the last building used by Holy Trinity as a residence for curates, a role which it fulfilled from 1987 until 2016.
The first curate to live there was Revd Peter Hackett, with his wife Glenys. They described it in the church magazine of December 1987 as a “des res”.
However its location was not ideal, especially for subsequent curates with younger children, as there can be rather noisy walkers going home up the Hill at the end of a long Friday or Saturday!
With the loss of a regular full-time curate in post over recent years, the need for permanent accommodation has been lost. This together with the mixed benefits of this particular house for the church led to its being sold as part of the preparation for the re-ordering of the church in 2016.
Curates assist the Rector with the many tasks associated with running a busy parish, from taking services to serving parishioners who are in need of support.
Until the late nineteenth century they were very often the mainstays of this work. Details of the lives of some of the curates from previous centuries at Holy Trinity are recorded in the rectors‘ section of the website.
Accommodation had to be found for these clergy and their families. Again, we do not know all the places that were used in previous generations.
Sometimes in busy parishes there would be more than one curate in post at any one time, and through the twentieth century, certainly, it was usual for newly-ordained clergy to serve a 3-year term as a curate before moving either to a second curacy or responsibility for a parish. This would lead to considerable turn-over of staff and differing accommodation needs, so properties might well be rented according to need.
Additionally there could be non-stipendiary curates working in the parish and remaining in their own homes while in this role.
The house used prior to the purchase of 1, Trinity Hill was in Midland Drive. However, little is known of previous accommodation used by curates of the parish.