in the Archdiocese of Birmingham

History of Catholics in Northfield

ST. BRIGIDS ALTAR 003 (Small) (Small)

The origins of the parish of Our Lady and St Brigid, Northfield lay in Archbishop Ilsley's decision to appoint a priest to take charge of Catholics in the Longbridge district of South-West Birmingham in 1918. Prior to this appointment local Catholics had been obliged to attend either St. Edward's, Selly Park or private hospital and convent chapels nearby.

At first there were experiments with temporary accommodation but, eventually, in 1930, land was acquired. By 1931, a building had been erected to serve as both a church and a parish hall.

A purpose-built church quickly followed; it was completed in 1936 but a school, though planned from the early 1930s, was not opened until 1951.

A striking feature of the church interior is a wonderful mural painting of the Resurrection which stretches from floor to roof. In the late 1980s a local artist, Neil Harvey, was commissioned to paint this mural in the apse on the curved wall behind the high altar. Work on this painting began in 1990 and was completed in 2000.