Built out of his own money by the parish priest as a thank offering for his conversion, and consecrated on June 11, 1850, by the Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, the church of SS. Thomas and Edmund, Erdington, Birmingham, celebrated its centenary on June 10.
High Mass was celebrated in the presence of the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Godfrey, by Mgr. Joseph Masterson, Archbishop of Birmingham.
The celebrations were continued at High Mass on June 11. when the officiating priests and the preacher were all former boys of the parish.
The mission was started in 1846, but hardly was Fr. Daniel Haigh ordained than he laid the foundation of the present church.
The church is an elegant building in the Gothic style of the Pugin tradition, and the reliquary which contains a relic of the Holy Cross was actually designed by Pugin.
Er. Haigh died in 1879, but before his death, Benedictines of the great Bavarian foundation of Beuron, seeking refuge from the persecution of the Bisrparckian Ralturkampf in Germany, established themselves in the parish. and commenced to build the Abbey.
It was opened in 1880, and was visited by the aged Cardinal Newman in that year. The Benedictine community returned to Germany in 1922, and their place was taken by the Redemptorists who now. under their superior, Fr. Wilfrid Hughes, are responsible for the parish.
The past century has seen Erdington change from a rural village to one of Birmingham's largest suburbs, and a number of new parishes have been carved out of it. It is the main centre of Catholic activity in the northern parts of the city.