With a good weather forecast and a Friday to ourselves we decided to pay Birmingham a visit. Of course, I work in Birmingham most days but I rarely have the time to stop and look at the cityscape which surrounds me.
This dawdle through my adopted city included a look at St Philip's, the city cathedral. I could say that I visit this building regularly in so far as I attend a business carol service each year, an event which marks the start of Christmas. But for the rest of the year I pass it by as I walk across the city centre.
Main alter window - Birmingham Cathedral
Windows to the left and right at Birmingham Cathedral
As a cathedral it is understated to say the least. It was originally built as a parish church and consecrated in 1715. When the Diocese of Birmingham was formed in 1905 it was decided that rather than spend money on a flash new building, the cash would be used supporting the local poor. As a result the Parish Church off New Street would be upgraded to cathedral status, even if the structure remained unaltered.
Western window - Birmingham Cathedral
So what you get is a baroque church which is smaller than many village churches. That said ,it has four magnificent stained glass windows and a outlook which continues to worry more about the local people than an impressive pile of masonry.
I think the founder would approve....