A brief history of St.Aidan's Church


In 1950 the Revd.J.Caldwell Peers came to the parish as vicar. He is remembered for a lively and genial personality and for his low church churchmanship that earned him the name "Father Peers" amongst some. By the end of the decade of the 1950's the state of St.Aidan's "tin tabernacle" and outbuildings required some urgent attention. The vicar approached this with customary energy and in consultation with a firm of surveyors plans were drawn up for a two-phase replacement. The first phase was to be the replacement of the outbuildings with the inclusion of a meeting room quite separate from the main church, this was known as "the extension". The second phase was the replacement of the church itself.

In September 1958 a detailed specification for the construction of a new kitchen, committee room, store room and toilets were prepared by W.E.Knott, an incorporated surveyor of Stourbridge. This included a note to "take off metal sheeting to side gable of Mission Hall and cut out for new door opening"

This was going to cost money and St.Aidan's Women's Fellowship quickly got involved in a project that was likely to cost several thousand pounds. A stroke of good fortune in 1960 yielded the sum of £1960/3/1. This was the winding up of the Dalton Mission which had been founded in 1883 to provide and support a mission room in Baker Street, Graiseley. The mission was approximately on the site of the former Dale Street flats. Wolverhampton Council had demolished all the houses in the area, on the grounds that they were sub-standard, in 1954 leaving the mission without any clients. After discussion by the trustees it was decided to wind up the mission and distribute the proceeds between St.Luke's and S t.Philip's churches.

Meetings of the special PCC sub-committee were held in April 1959 and a quotation from Messrs. Philip Blundell Ltd. was accepted for the extension. The quotation was for £2930. Acceptance was proposed and seconded by Messrs L.C.Greaves and V.Crane who were described as St.Aidan's Quasi-Wardens. The extension was finished by March 1960.

Clearly Messsrs Blundell's work was satisfactory as, in September 1961, they were invited to dismantle the existing wooden building and erect a new one in accordance with the estimated figure of £3377 they had submitted. Again everything seems to have proceeded smoothly although there was some discussion of underfloor electric heating, an idea which was eventually rejected.

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