From Mission Home to Birmingham Temple Grounds

by Elder Martin J. Turvey

The site for the upcoming England Birmingham Temple

When I was called as an Area Seventy in 2020 and assigned to the Birmingham coordinating council, I had a very strong impression that this would be a special time of growth for the church in that area. Alongside the boundary changes to strengthen the Birmingham Stake, and the re-establishing of the Birmingham Mission office there, my heart leapt when President Nelson announced the proposed temple at the April 2021 conference.

The recent announcement that the England Birmingham Temple is to be built on the site at Penns Lane in Sutton Coldfield has special meaning for myself, and for many others who have visited this site over the almost sixty years that it has been in use by the church.

The site for the upcoming England Birmingham Temple

As a young boy, I frequently visited the mission home whilst my father served there- first as District President under the leadership of mission president George Cannon, and then as a counsellor to his successor Clifford Johnson. I enjoyed the feeling of the spirit there, as well as my first experience of the old missionary favourite, ’Sloppy Joe’s’.

Fifteen years or so later, the mission home was converted into the meetinghouse for the Sutton Coldfield Ward, into which my wife Debbie was baptised in 1979. Thus, in 1984 we were married civilly in the chapel (the former mission home) before going to the London Temple later that day.

By the early nineties, a new chapel had been built next door, and as a serving Bishop by that time, I was able to conduct the marriage ceremony of my mother-in-law and then my nephew there.

This site already holds so many special personal memories. I am so grateful that what is already very sacred ground for me is now going to be the home for a House of the Lord. As President Nelson said “With the dedication of each new temple, additional godly power comes into the world to strengthen us and counteracts the intensifying efforts of the adversary.”

I am looking forward to the additional spiritual influence that this new Temple of the Lord will have on those who visit it, and on the community around it who will be blessed by its presence.