Hidden Places: Methodist Central Hall

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Some building placed on Corporation street always got my attention. And as it is part of daily journey back home, it’s great to spot more and more particularities about them all.

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I guess I also have a thing for terracotta ones. Methodist Central Hall is the one that fascinates me most. Not just for its distinctive features and impressive tower but also the history of this fantastic Grade II listed building located in the opposite of Magistrates Court.

Digbeth June 2016 (8)

Having the opportunity to visit inside it through a Hidden Places Birmingham event was just perfect opportunity to also walk inside its history.

To start with, it’s absolutely huge. Built in 1903 by Ewan Harper & James A. Harper, the space was a respectful congregation used to keep the good souls out of the devil of alcohol until early 80’s.

church1.png

Some building placed on Corporation street always got my attention. And as it is part of daily journey back home, it’s great to spot more and more particularities about them all.

I guess I also have a thing for terracotta ones. Methodist Central Hall is the one that fascinate me most. Not just for its distinctive features and impressive tower but also the history of this fantastic Grade II listed building.

church2

Having the opportunity to visit inside it through a Hidden Places Brum event was just perfect opportunity to also walk inside its history.

To start with, it’s absolutely huge. Built in 1903 by Ewan Harper & James A. Harper, the space was a respectful congregation used to keep the good souls out of the devil of alcohol until early 80’s.

Mission work was varied, projects grew, projects changed, new ideas came along, increasing needs meant the Mission had to flexible and quick to respond. Work was not confined to within the city but branched out to areas of Aston, Nechells and Hockley.

In the early nineties it also worked in areas of Kingsbury, Kingstanding, Perry Common and Ladywood, and later in Alvechurch, Tysley and Sheldon.

DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA non-conformist churches helped provide much needed aid to the poor, in what seems to have been a two-way relationship offering benefits to all. The church offered food, clothing, shelter and health care and, in return, they received the pooris trust, faith and gratitude which inevitably led to increased attendances at Sunday services, conversions and memberships.

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Pretty ironic to say the same venue would become a very famous night club in 1991. Since its closure in 2002, the building has remained empty until open as Q Club again in 2007.

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The state of the building remains the same, looking a bit scruffy and battered.

Just having a look inside it that it’s possible to get a gist how days of praise used to work when it was a church and the vibrant nights use to end up as a night club.

It’s a  magnificent venue!  The narrow corridors seem like labyrinth that leads you to more empty rooms or spaces fulfilled with some old furniture.

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I love the big stained glass windows. Some of them need some TLC.  But they also fit part of the scenery perfectly.

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The altar is where you can get the best view from the whole arena. And to complete it there is what it looks like an organ still left next the choir area.

churhc7

The architecture that survived the time from a past worship hall features ornate columns floor to ceiling also (almost) intact.

And seats that reminds me the vintage French art décor ones used in some cinemas in the past. Something intriguing about that was not having a linear pattern in the numeration of those seats.

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A single row can follow a complex numeration of seats like 67, 45, 89, 19. Really funny though. Is there any explanation for it?

Pretty ironic to say the same venue would become a very famous night club in 1991. Since its closure in 2002, the building has remained empty until open as Q Club again in 2007.

church17.png

The state of the building remains the same looking a bit scruffy and battered.

Inside the building it’s possible to imagine how the praise days used to work and the sassy nights used to end up. It’s magnificent. The narrow corridors seem like labyrinth that leads you to more empty rooms or spaces fulfilled with some old furniture.

church14

I love the big stained glass windows. Some of them need some TLC.  But they also fit part of the scenery perfectly. The altar is where you can get the best view from the whole arena. And to complete it there is what it looks like an organ still left next the choir area.

The architecture that survived the time from a past worship hall features ornate columns floor to ceiling also (almost) intact.

church6.png

And seats that reminds me the vintage French art décor ones used in some cinemas in the past. Something intriguing about that was not having a linear pattern in the numeration of those seats.

A single row can follow a complex numeration of seats like 67, 45, 89, 19. Really funny though. Is there any explanation for it?

The floor is a bit sticky and it’s a proof how venue is still going strong. It’s a historical building that is part of heritage of Birmingham. I just hope it keep preserved for long time.

Source | Birmingham History

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Posted by

I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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