A beautiful church has been opened at Coleshill as a memorial to Mgr. G. V. Hudion, the founder of Fr. Hudson's Homes, and the Archbishop of Birmingham told a moving story of faith at the opening of the church last week.
In 1938, he said, Bishop Griffin (Administrator of the Homes) went to Lisieux and on returning informed him that the sister of St. Teresa lied advised him to go ahead with the work and that her " little saintly sister " would see it through. The foundation-stone was laid on her feast day in October of that year, and the building of the main structure began in the spring of 1939.
But the contractor died and the subcontractor no longer could supply materials; the clerk of the works had his house bombed, the foreman left because his own home had been. bombed; the architect went to do war-work in the Army. Bish6p Griffin .put all his cares in the hands of St. Teresa and with her help he engaged the men and work continued.
The new church, dedicated to the Sacred Heart and St. Teresa, is of simple Romariesque type, with brickfaced elevations and stone dressings. It has a wide and lofty nave with processional aisles and two transepts, forming side chapels, the one on the Gospel side, dedicated to Our Blessed Lady, being in memory of the late Fr. Bunce, Administrator of the Homes from 1935 to his death in 1937; and the second, on the Epistle side, dedicated to St. Teresa of Lisieux, being in memory of the late -Fr. James Connor, for eighteen years assistant to Mgr. Hudson.
There is a spacious narthex with, above, a large gallery. Sanctuary and High Altar. placed at the crossing. are in full view of every member of the congregation. The altars are exceptionally beautiful, being formed of specially selected marble with mosaic work to harmonise. The centre panel of the High Altar Li of mother-of. pearl and lapis.
The Communion rail is of creamcoloured marble and has bronze gates. In the general planning an unusual feature is the arrangement of the children's choir and organ at the cast end beyond the Sanctuary. The church has seating accommodation for the Sisters, children in the Homes, domestic staff ds well as the parish congregation of Coleshill and its immediate area.
The original estimate of the cost was approximately £15,000, since increased to a total of some £25,000. Generous benefactors have come to Bishop Griffin's aid, but there is still a substantial amount to be found.