Selly Oak Primitive Methodist Chapel, Birmingham
Methodism in Selly Oak was originally to be found in gatherings in a cottage, now demolished, at the corner of Oak Tree Lane and Raddlebarn Road. The community had developed after the cutting of the Birmingham-Worcester Canal and the arrival of various industrial firms.
In the 1830s, a Wesleyan Church was erected alongside a road leading to the canal wharves and fronting the main road. The original church became inadequate, and a new one was built in 1877.
1870 saw the Primitive branch of Methodism start to meet in open-air and cottage gatherings. A room at the “Village Bells” was rented until in 1874 a Chapel was opened on the main road. The site is now the sidewall of Halfords with the large tree on the roadside. Again the building proved inadequate and in 1907 a much larger suite of buildings was opened.
Both societies flourished in the first half of the 20th Century but following Methodist Union in 1932, the existence of two churches within 100 yards of each other began to appear illogical. So after World War II, moves began to bring the two societies together.
This was achieved physically in 1957, initially in the former St Paul’s (Primitive) premises, but with the agreed aim to build a new suite of buildings at a new site. The new church was opened in September 1966 at Langleys Road and has become a centre of much activity on every day of the week and a place of worship known across the world.