I liken this to the story of Moses; you may recall God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land, but God only let him see it wheras Aaron took them in.
Halesowen Borough Council were slowly re-housing the tennants from the houses they had compulsory purchased, five owned by the Church and others in the area. Their intention was to demolish the properties, giving the view of the Church we have today.
The Church owned a further two houses adjacent to the drive up to the 1925 building, one occupied by Mrs W, and the second was the home of the retired Caretaker; Mr Wilf Homer.
The Twist; Miss C, who lived in Birmingham said “I was passing through Colley Gate when I saw so many happy faces coming to Church. I got off the bus and joined them”. She would arrive sometimes before the doors were open, last to leave, and could be seen walking away from the Church then disappearring and reappearing at 5:30 for evening worship. Discretely following her one day, she was found in a local field known as the Bath Meadow, eating her sandwiches.
When this was made know to members, she was invited for lunch by several. Miss C became a regular attender and Sunday School Teacher.
The Council found Mrs W a Bungalow, leaving the first cottage empty.
Miss C asked the Trustees if she could rent it. Either out of compassion or foolishness, they agreed and Miss C moved in.
Now as you can imagine, Halesowen Council were not pleased, as they would now have another tenant to re-house and to compound it when they had re-housed Wilf Homer. Miss C asked to move into his cottage, and again the Trustees agreed.
The actions of the Trustees slowed down the Councils efforts to demolish all the properties.
The Church was opened in 1963, and it was a further 10 years before Miss C was re-housed in a Council Bungalow, and the site as we see it today, was created.
For those ten years, the New Church had been hidden from view literally up the back garden; folk didn’t know it existed.
Like Moses, some of the Trustees who had made the decision to build along with those who had worked to raise the money, never saw it as we see it today.
The delay did give us a financial gain as the value had increased, but that’s another story.
I leave you to decide if the Trustees were compassionate or foolish