Early in the C19th it became clear that Sedgley’s All Saints could no longer meet the needs of Coseley’s increasing population. On August 9th 1827 the foundation stone for the ‘chapel of ease’ was laid by the Bishop of Lichfield. Viscount Dudley provided the land for the 'New Chapel’ with its Gornal stone finish and finely proportioned west-facing tower housing one bell. Inside seating for 2,000 was installed.
Samuel Buxton, the experienced church builder, worked to the plans of Thomas Lee Junior, the architect of the recently rebuilt All Saints. Financed by the Church Building Commissioners and surplus money from the rebuilding of All Saints, just over £10,700 covered the costs. Sedgley's vicar, Charles Girdlestone, kept a watchful eye on proceedings.
Bishop Henry Ryder returned on August 27th 1830 to consecrate the building in its present name. There was even a baptism that day. However the first vicar, Charles Maxwell Provand, was not appointed until 1834.
The Rev. Thomas Slater, vicar from 1863 to 1883, influenced the 1866 restoration. A side chapel with attractive stained glass windows was added, the chancel modified, choir stalls put in, the organ moved and a Victorian 'make-over' to the decoration.
This brief history of the church cannot do justice to the contributions of eighteen vicars; numerous internal and external changes and the impact of Coseley’s industrial rise and fall over the intervening years. Yet the Rev. William Spencer [1883 - 1912] deserves a special mention.
He oversaw the founding of three mission churches, the creation of the Lady Chapel, the fitting of a chancel screen and the impressive glazing of the east window. In 1910 he paid for the erection of a wind turbine to power generating equipment to produce electricity for the organ bellows and eighty lamps to illuminate services. The scheme failed after a few years and gas lighting returned until a permanent supply of electricity was available.
Pews have come and gone, memorials have been dedicated, organs rebuilt, a ring of eight bells hung in 1847, floors and roof timbers replaced, outside a Calvary Cross war memorial erected in 1920 and the lich gate in 1927 - and throughout the passage of time kept by the original tower clock.
The 2005 photograph of the west front shows Lee's chosen style resembling C13th Gothic with Tudor embellishments. The stonework has suffered from industrial pollution.
The next 2005 photograph picks out the stone busts below the east window. These represent Bishop Selwyn and John Spencer, father of William and generous benefactor to the church.
Dorothy Turley kindly provided the superb photograph of William Spencer, Vicar of Coseley, graduate of Merton College, Oxford. In April 1912 his sudden death while attending the opening of a new pavilion at Coseley cricket field was a grave loss to the parish.
The lich gate and war memorial were photographed in December 2006.
Christ Church's own website covers services, activities including bell ringing and some more interesting church history.