St Thomas's Church the beginning.
A contemporary illustration of St Thomas's shows an imposing building with Chipman's windmill at Holloway Head in the distance. The church was designed by architects Rickman and Hutchinson, inspired by the classical buildings of ancient Greece. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Worcester on 22 October 1829. It cost His Majesty's Commission pver £14,000 to build.
Serving the growing community between Holloway Head and Five Ways, the church could accommodate over 2,000 people. Social responsibilities to its parishioners were taken seriously and clubs were established in the 1830s for sick pay, medical attendance and life assurance. The church played a part in the political upheavals of the period and was the site of a protest aimed at electoral reform and led by Chartists. During the protest, on 4 July 1839, the railings were uprooted and used as missiles.
St Thomas' Peace Garden is a small public park in Birmingham, England designated as a monument to peace and a memorial to all those killed in armed conflict. It was designed around the tower and west porticos of St. Thomas's Church, Bath Row, which was half demolished in the Birmingham Blitz in 1940 and never restored. The grounds were laid out in 1955 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. They were redesigned in 1995 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of WWII. When the world leaders came to Birmingham for the G8 summit in 1998, each planted a tree. Each premier chose a tree that most represented their respective countries and they are now a living symbol of peace. Although the Peace Garden is within St Thomas' grounds this is a site that is for everyone including the ever growing numbers of non-religious people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the World.