History of the Parish
In 1878 the Parish Priest of S. Mary Abbot in Kensington London, Dr. William Dalrymple Maclagan was made Bishop of Lichfield. He had worked hard in the Parish of S. Mary and his parishioners wished to show their appreciation in some way. The new Bishop asked that a sum of money be given for the maintenance of one or more curates in the Black Country which was part of his new Diocese.
The district that he chose was West Coseley with Swan Village.
In 1879 it became a Mission District and Fr. George Castriot de Renzi left the Parish of Cradley Heath to become its first Mission Priest.
Bp. Maclagan visited West Coseley in Dec. 1881and announced that The Earl of Dudley had given a site for the new church together with £1000 towards the cost.
The Foundation stone was laid just 3 months later on S. Chad’s Day 2nd March 1882.
The church took only 12 months to build and was consecrated on 28th March 1883 and became a separate Parish on 14th April 1884.
The Church is built of red brick and supported by stone pillars after the Early English style of Victorian Gothic architecture. It has a chancel, nave, north & south aisles and a porch at the west end. The Lady Chapel lies at the east end of the south aisle and contains the only pillar that is carved. There being no money left to carve the pillars in the Nave.
The Church was originally built with a small spire housing a single bell (the spire was removed in 1967 and replaced with a bell housing at the west end of the south aisle).
The sacristy is part of the original building but the choir vestry and organ chamber were added since.
From the very first S. Chad’s was influenced by the ‘Catholic Revival’ or ‘The Oxford Movement’ in The Church of England. Fr de Renzi introduced altar lights as soon as they were considered legal in the Church of England in 1892 and by 1920 incense was being used and the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Lady Chapel.
This caused members of the Protestant Reformation Society to stand outside church on some Sunday mornings and hurl missiles & insults at the congregation.