Ever wondered who was the Glynn Edwards, who the now famous Glynn Edwards Hall in Acocks Green was named after? We have the exclusive lo-down, including an image of the man himself, above. (John) Glynn Edwards came to Acocks Green in 1921 from St Mary’s Church in Norwich. He remained as Minister of Acocks Green Baptist Church for thirteen years. Accounts we have referred to before suggest he had already made a name for himself as both a pioneering theological thinker and a kindly man. However, it seems it was in Acocks Green that he was to really leave his mark. He became determined that the Acocks Green should have a fine new Baptist Hall and apparently with little support and in the early post-war years when money must have been tight, he threw all his energies into the raising of funds for his vision. The Hall was completed only three years after he arrived in Acocks Green. (The picture above is of Glynn Edwards at a meeting, a year before the Hall was completed.) The book extract below tells us that:
January 31st 1925, will long be remembered as a time of jubilant gladness for the Hall was opened free of debt. From a human standpoint this splendid achievement was mainly due to the optimism and faith of the Pastor who, from the very first, with very few others, believed it possible, and whose persistence and enthusiasm never wavered.
You can read the rest below. It is from a book by Arthur S. Langley called Birmingham Baptists Past and Present(London: Kingsgate, 1939).
And here, again, is that Hall, the vision of Pastor Edwards, no not the most special building in Birmingham, or even in Acocks Green, but a building of distinctive character, still welcoming as a meeting place, still a key community point: the place where the local community, Baptists and non-Baptists together, gather for social functions and to discuss matters of community concern and still fitting as well with its surroundings now as it did in 1924. The campaign to save The Hall continues. Watch this space for updates.
*Image of J. Glynn Edwards from a picture of the Birmingham Baptist Executive in 1923 in William Finnemore, The Story of a Hundred Years: 1823-1923, Being the Centenary Booklet of the Birmingham Baptist Missionary Society (Oxford: Hall, 1923).