After the excitement of the foundation-stone laying the committee had to return to more mundane and difficult matters.
By mid-October the builder's first bill of £250 had been paid and a tender of £135 for heating apparatus accepted.
The committee were in negotiation with the Church Commissioners about building grants and had already had enquiries from Moor
Green about the possibility of purchasing the temporary wooden church. When it was sold, the wooden church in fact went to
the new parish of St. Mary and St. Ambrose on Pershore Road, where it still stands, now acting as the church hall.
other debate of importance was over whether the seats in the new church should be free and unappropriated. It had been the
custom in the Church of England for several centuries for seats in the pews to be sold to individuals as their exclusive properly
as a means of raising money for the incumbents stipend. Consequently, it was difficult for poorer people, who could not afford
seats, to gain entrance to many older churches. One of the main reasons for building St. Agnes was to provide a church with
more free seats for the poorer people of Moseley.
In the event it was agreed that half the seats in the new church should
be free and half appropriated, the division being down the centre of the nave. The (colder!) seats on the north side were
agreed as the free ones. Even this resolution was carried by only eight votes to six as some members of the committee could
already see financial problems looming.
By April, 1884, finances could no longer be ignored and a new appeal leaflet
was prepared asking for further donations to raise the £2000 still required to complete the first section of the church.
Just over £3000 had already been promised and the leaflet lists all of these subscriptions. They range from three donations
of £100 down to a large number at one or two guineas. The appeal met with little success and two years later there was
still a debt of £1100 remaining unpaid on the final construction cost of £4,245.
The first part of
the new church was approaching completion by mid summer. The City Corporation laid gas pipes along St. Agnes Road for lighting
the church and Mr. Willmott, who had given the site, offered to build the stone wall around the churchyard and to plant a
holly hedge. The New Church Committee met for the last time on 28th August and W. H. Colmore, the Vicar proposed 'that
the Consecration of St. Agnes Church be fixed for October 29th, 1884',
The parts of the church which were completed
included the chancel, the north and south transepts and the first two bays of the nave and aisles. The organ chamber on the
north side of the chancel and a small vestry on the south side had been built, while the foundations of the remainder of the
body of the church had also been put in. A rough brick wall with a temporary door and porch sealed off the nave and aisles
at the second bay. St. Agnes is built of Hampstead red sandstone with Bath stone dressing and decorations on the outside,
and entirely of Bath stone inside.
This first part of the church was consecrated by Dr. Philpott, the Bishop of Worcester,
in which Diocese Moseley then lay, on October 29th, 1884. The day was a fine one, unlike that when the foundation stone was
laid, and the opening services were well attended.
These two pictures of St. Agnes after the first
phase shows the half length nave.
It took another 10 years to save enough money to
build the rest of it.