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Church of St John the Evangelist, Including Gate Piers, Gates and Boundary Walls, Birmingham

Description: Church of St John the Evangelist, Including Gate Piers, Gates and Boundary Walls

Grade: II
Date Listed: 8 July 1982
English Heritage Building ID: 217556

OS Grid Reference: SP0921584049
OS Grid Coordinates: 409215, 284049
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4543, -1.8658

Location: 5 St John's Road, Birmingham B11 1LD

Locality: Birmingham
County: Birmingham
Country: England
Postcode: B11 1LD

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Listing Text

uding gate piers, gates and boundary w

(Formerly listed as:

Anglican Church of St John the Evangelist. 1888. Martin and Chamberlain. Early English style.

MATERIALS: Constructed of red brick with terracotta and stone dressings. Plain tile roof. Iron arches to the interior.

PLAN: The church has a cruciform plan with no aisles. The west end has been altered to accommodate meeting spaces to ground and first floor.

EXTERIOR: The slender, buttressed, west tower with stair turret and stone spire. There is a porch to the south elevation of the west tower with moulded brick pointed arch and stone trefoil to the gable. To the left of the tower is the west end gable elevation with steeply pitched roof. The west end projects at ground floor and has a gable end west porch with pointed moulded brick arch. The north and south elevation consists of the transepts with porch to its west face. To the nave are alternating pairs of windows with moulded brick transom, with gable end three light windows with trefoil to the apex. To the roof are two gablets with three lights and medallions. To the east of the transepts are two gable end three light windows. The apsidal east end has three projecting gabled windows of two lights with cinquefoil above. The east of the church is joined to the brick narthex by a single story link.

INTERIOR: The west end storm porch leads to the remodelled two west end bays and the nave is accessed through an inserted door in an inserted partition wall. The broad is constructed of iron pointed arches with dog tooth detailing, which intersect at the crossing, and span the nave. Between the iron arch and the apex of the roof are five pointed arch openings with circular openings between them. The arches are supported on short cluster piers with foliate capitals. The floor is wood block to the nave with encaustic tiles to the chancel. To the sanctuary are encaustic and mosaic tiles including a large mosaic of an eagle holding a book, the symbolic representation of St John. The altar and communion rail were added in 1918. To the polygonal apse is a timber roof with segmental braces with floral motif. To the east end is a caen stone and alabaster reredos and three stained glass windows which depict the transfiguration, crucifixion and ascension by local stained glass artist B. L. Warren. The windows include portraits of the congregation and were inserted in 1914-15. To the south wall is a further stained glass window by Warren depicting the Garden of Gethsemane and inserted in 1947. The First World War memorial to the north chancel consists of an oak chancel screen and is reputed to be made by The Bromsgrove Guild in 1919. The stone font is from the redundant Emmanuel Church. The tower has a C13 bell from Ullenhall, Warwickshire which adds to the building's interest.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Brick gate piers with heavily moulded stone caps and dwarf brick boundary walls. The wrought iron gates include decorative emblem of a white cross within a red border.

HISTORY: St John the Evangelist was built in 1888 and replaced a temporary iron church built in 1878, on the same site. In 1894, Sparkhill became a parish. The vestry was added in 1895 and the spire was added in 1905, in memory of George Timm. In 1969 the west end of the church was remodelled to provide toilets, kitchen and ground floor and first floor meeting rooms.

SOURCES: N. Pevsner and A. Wedgwood, Warwickshire. The Buildings of England (2003) 207; St John's Past, Present and Future (2008) Unpublished; R. Thornton, Victorian Buildings of Birmingham (2006) 100

St John the Evangelist is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* A good example of church architecture by the important architectural firm Martin and Chamberlain
* The innovative use of iron trusses to create the broad nave and cruciform plan
* The intactness of the internal decorative scheme

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.