The Building of St Paul’s Church, Birmingham in the 1770s

Appointing the Minister

With the planned date of March 1st 1779 for the chapel to be ready for consecration it is somewhat surprising that an advertisement for a minister for the chapel should be published in the Gazette some seven months before that date. The notice read as follows:- “ADVOWSON Birmingham July 10th 1778.—The Trustees appointed by Act of Parliament in Building St Paul’s Chapel in this Town, being desirous of fixing on a Clergyman to present to the Living (which will be worth upwards of two Hundred pounds per annum), give this Public Notice to such Gentlemen as may wish to treat for the same, that they may be furnished with further Particulars, by applying to Mr Daniel Winwood, in Birmingham, any Time before the 14th Day of August next”. What is surprising about this announcement is the use of the word “advowson” for the heading. Strictly it should have been headed “Nomination and Presentation of Minister”, because that was the arrangement with Colmore. At this point we come back to the Deed of Covenant already referred to. This is the manuscript with the indenture of 1777 and the references to 1774. The top page of the manuscript is dated December 23rd 1778 and it becomes clear that this was the date of the meeting to decide the man to be nominated and presented to the bishop. Details are given on the system for calling the meeting of trustees, for example the length of notice to be given and how notice would be served. A simple majority of electors was sufficient. The name of the successful candidate is not given in this manuscript, but it is in another, and it is not at all surprising for this chapel of ease to St Martin’s that he was a curate at St Martin’s, the Revd W T Young, a man probably very well known to many of the trustees.

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