The Church of St Agatha, designed by W H Bidlake, was begun in October 1899, in the same year that the church it replaced - Christ Church, New Street -was demolished. It was consecrated by the Bishop of Worcester (in whose diocese this area of Birmingham stood in 1901). It is now a Grade l listed building.
The style of the building is a modified form of the later Gothic style, built in red and blue brick with stone dressings on the outside and buff brick on the inside. The building consists of the sanctuary (the whole of the chancel) a nave of six bays with brick piers, a clerestory and north and south aisles.
The interior beauty of the church is due to its lightness and simplicity achieved by its height, colour and large clear windows. The large east window was designed and executed by Mr .L C Evetts in 1961. It replaces a window destroyed in the last World War, and depicts scenes from the Book of Revelation.
The interior of the church is as Bidlake designed it, in spite of severe bomb damage in 1940 and even more severe fire damage in 1959. The church was reconsecrated by the Bishop of Birmingham in 1961 and for the first time in 20 years was completely restored and looking much as. it does today.
There is an extensive documentary history of the Church held in the city archives:- for example, the original architects drawings and letters from John Betjeman.
In addition the Church owns an extensive collection of "Arts and Crafts Movement" silver by Omar Ramsden which unfortunately has to be kept in secure premises.
Dominating this part of Birmingham, the graceful tower stands 120 feet high. It contains one bell which came from Christ Church. The tower of red and blue brick is of logical and simple construction, though taller than on the architects original drawings. The focal points of the west front are the richly formed ornaments in stone. Above the south door St. Agatha is depicted with Quintianus, her persecutor. Above the north door she may be seen chained and imprisoned with the figure of St. Peter holding a chalice, comforting her. Above the west window a massive arch upholds a canopied niche enclosing angels of justice and pity beside a figure of Christ the King.
Below the west window the baptistery projects from the tower. The large crucifix is from the now closed Church of St Jude which stood near the city centre. It was placed in its present position in 1971.
The church is entered via the Baptistery. The wood panelling and font came from Christ Church together with the foundation stone, which is dated 1805 and is set in the base of the south wall.
The tower clock is by Gillett & Johnston dated 1900 and a plaque on the Baptistery wall commemorates the fitting of the electric winding mechanism by the makers in 1984. It strikes the hours on the church's single bell, cast by Rudhall of Gloucester in 1813 which came from the old Christ Church.
On the western pillar of the nave at the south side stands the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, carved in the Norfolk village of the same name. It was installed and dedicated in 1978.
Further along the south side of the nave is the statue of St. Agatha, dedicated in 1931, restored.in 1961 when the church was rededicated and again in 1977. She is seen holding her instrument of martyrdom - a pair of pincers, which. is her symbol in art.
The statue of St Joseph in the south aisle near the organ console is a restored. antique, hand carved image from Bavaria. It was dedicated in 1991 in memory of a member of the congregation and given by her family.
The present organ installed by Nicholson of Malvern in 1960 incorporates parts of the original organ which survived the bombing and the fire and also second hand parts of the Harrison Organ from Oundle School. It sounds magnificent in the splendid acoustics of St. Agatha's. It was fully cleaned and restored in the mid 1980's, and further restored in 2006.
Under the organ, at the east end of the south aisle is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, originally dedicated in 1919 as a Memorial Chapel to those from the Parish who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 War.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel opens out in to the Sanctuary which takes up the whole of the Chancel. The large stone altar of Westmorland Green Stone was consecrated on Sunday 4th October 1964. The six candlesticks were given in 1979. The Crucifix on the east wall survived the bombing, as did the pulpit which has stood in the church since its opening in 1901.