The Square Club, once a popular youth club in Weoley Castle, stood empty and derelict for a number of years but was recently sold at auction. So, what’s next for the site?
I recently met with two representatives from the church to see what the plans were for the building and the land and to discuss the recent damage to the building.
The land and what’s left of the building was bought at auction for £282,000 by Assembly of the Brethren in Christ Church (abccchurch.com). A Christian church attended primarily by Eritrean families living in Birmingham they are currently based in Newtown, Birmingham where they have been leasing a building for the past 10 years, they have raised the money from their congregation to finally secure their own building that they can mould and develop for the future.
“We had a good look at the building and area before we decided to bid for it at auction, we liked the look of the area and knew that this is a place we could be happy and our Church could grow. We have rented a property for 10 years but due to this we are restricted on what we can do with the building so are unable to fully make it our own. With our own building we can make the changes needed to support our congregation and grow.” Simon
A service can see up to 200 people attend from the Eritrean community where Christ is celebrated with speeches, songs and music. Families and children are supported with positive values focusing around the importance of family, Education and support.
Unfortunately, a few weeks after the purchase vandals conducted a series of targeted and malicious attacks on the building causing extensive damage.
“We were shocked and scared by the extent of the damage and the effort to cause the damage. This was more than just mindless damage by children, I feel it was an attempt to prevent us from ever using the building. Some of the members of the Church who first saw the damage were fearful of returning and we did consider whether this really was the right place for us as the feeling of terror was similar to what many of us had experienced in our own country and the reason why we moved to the UK. Fortunately, the support we received in the following weeks from other members of the community and the local police team meant that a lot of our faith was restored and made us more determined to continue and showed us that this is not what the majority of the community felt towards us. We do not want to be an isolated building, we want to be a part of the community” Simon
There is an invite for the community to attend once the Church is up and running and they are happy for the buildings to be used for any community activities which fit in with their principles of the Gospel and ‘love your neighbour’ There is also hope that some of the sports facilities will be refurbished, again meaning more facilities for the community to take advantage of in the future.
PC Richard Barber from Weoley neighbourhood team is currently in the process of arranging a community clean up at the Church to show support for the Church and its members, more details will follow.