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

The Consecration Sermon

The parchment of the Consecration sermon also exists in the City Archives 32. The sermon was read by the Rev Thomas White, the surrogate of the Vicar General. It explains the background to the Act, with the rector of St Martin’s, the churchwardens and the parishioners all keen to have a new chapel of ease for the use of the parishioners of St Martin’s and the inhabitants of the Town. Charles Colmore is confirmed as the patron with the right of nomination and presentation for him and his heirs etc. and it tells us that the patron “and several others” have raised the money, which is all being rather economical with the truth. It is notable that whereas in other documents Colmore is described as “of Taplow in the County of Berks” he is now “late of Taplow etc” and “of Birmingham”. (The Colmore family had left Birmingham some years earlier, but according to some assorted deeds, he now had homes in London and Birmingham.) Everyone had, for themselves and their Heirs to “Promise and vow respectively that for ever they will refuse and renounce to put this Chapel or any part thereof to any private secular prophane or common uses whatsoever but will endeavour in their several places and Rights that all may be wholly and only reserved and applied to religious uses and to the Glory of God and the salvation of their souls”. It was also made clear again that all fees had to be double the St Martin’s fees, so that St Martin’s rector had his normal fee and a similar amount went to the minister. At the end of the sermon the Vicar General was asked to proceed to his holy function i.e. installing the new minister, the Rev William Toy Young. A document on the Form of Consecration has hand written on it that the collection at the door was £55-12-6.

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