Our Church of Ss Thomas and Edmund of Canterbury, popularly known as Erdington Abbey, has been serving the Catholic population of Erdington, Birmingham, England since 1850.
Designed in the Gothic style by Charles Hansom (brother of Joseph Hansom of the Hansom Cab fame,) it strongly resembles the work of Augustus Pugin, who is said to have made the first drawing.
The founder was Fr Daniel Haigh, a convert Anglican clergyman who paid for its construction from his personal fortune. He hoped that monks would be able to serve his church and included a spacious sanctuary to allow for choir stalls. His hopes were fulfilled in 1876 when Benedictine monks from Beuron in Prussia, expelled in the kultur-kampf, offered their services. He was able to make them Trustees of the church and property before his death in 1879. By the following year a monastery was built with a community of eleven monks.
After World War I, during which the community suffered aggravation, it was possible for the community to return to their homeland, and in 1922 the Redemptorists (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) took over the Trust. In the years that followed the monastery was home to the priests and brothers of the mission and parish staff, a junior seminary, and distribution centre for Redemptorist Publications. In the 1980s it was no longer fit for purpose due to new fire regulations and was taken over by a private school in the 1990s which could make the necessary and substantial alterations.
The Redemptorists continue to serve the church and parishioners. Thank you for logging on to us. Don’t miss our virtual tour of the church. Happy viewing!