History and guided tours

We’ve a small team of volunteers with considerable knowledge of the history of St Thomas’. They’re trained to engage with groups, entertain with stories and answer any questions. We’ll cater for all ages and group sizes with the aim of providing an enjoyable experience – our church has a fascinating past!

To get the very best experience come along for a guided tour. However we’re happy to visit you – we’ll bring along a slideshow and the same level of enthusiam!

There’s no fee for our tours and talks but we do ask that you make a donation to the upkeep of our church.

Here’s a very brief potted history of St Thomas’ to give you a taster and hopefully encourage you to get in touch to find out more!

1726

1726

A church built for the people of Stourbridge, by the people of Stourbridge. Our journey started in 1726 when John Biggs, a clothier, left a legacy of £300 toward the building of a church. The rest of the money was raised by public subscription.

18th Century

18th Century

Construction commenced in 1727 and was completed in 1736. There is no documented proof of who the architect was however the design has similarities with those by James Gibbs. The Holy Ghost plaque in the ceiling of St Thomas’ closely resembles that at St Peter’s on Vere Street, London and we know that Gibbs designed St Peter’s. The tower was completed in 1759.

19th Century

19th Century

In 1809 the Barrel organ was replaced. In 1826 the first stained glass window was installed. The “Incredulity of St Thomas” was made by the Chance Brothers of Smethwick who also glazed Crystal Palace and the Houses of Parliament, they manufactured the white glass for the four faces of Big Ben and created ornamental windows for The White House.

20th Century

20th Century

In 1910 electric lighting was installed. Two memorial plaques were commissioned following the First World War. These are some of the many improvements and renovations carried out during this century including installation of stained glass windows by the Bromsgrove Guild, renovation of the organ and relaying of the Chancel floor. In 1947 St Thomas’ was awarded its Grade I status. In 1970 the tower was restored.

The adjacent Church Hall was built in 1914.

21st Century

In 2016 the church boiler was replaced with two modern, energy efficient boilers.

In 2017 damaged and eroded stonework was replaced and the church was made accessible to all by installing a ramp to the south porch, a toilet and semi-automatic door open/closure systems. This work was made possible by grants from National Churches Trust, Garfield West Foundation, Allchurches Trust and especially the Heritage Lottery Fund.