It was great to spend the first few hours of 2018 in my old Warwickshire stamping ground of north Birmingham. I just had to pull over to photograph William Bidlake’s Emmanuel Church in Wylde Green, near Erdington. It is a favourite of mine and is grade II* listed.
Bidlake was a leading Arts and Crafts practitioner, whose churches sometimes had that peculiarly Midland slightly thin character. Emmanuel is no exception and, despite its French Rayonnant Gothic inspiration, it is comfortably scaled and, as you would expect, beautifully built.
I understand that it was never quite completed and transepts and a crossing tower were planned, hence the plain section of walling adjacent the belfry.