Top Church Dudley Skyline

Building Project

The Grade II* listed Top Church building has been included on Historic England’s At-Risk Register since 2014. This means it is considered to be at risk of becoming unsafe for public use unless major repairs are carried out. Top Church also houses a rare surviving painted glass window by the acclaimed artist Joseph Backler. This window requires extensive repair and is listed by Church Care as being one of 100 church treasures most at risk.

We want the future of this precious building and prominent landmark in the centre of Dudley to be secured. Since 2019, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we have been working to fully assess the level of disrepair and what needs to be done to remove the church from the At-Risk Register.

This identified three key areas requiring work:

Repairs to high-level masonry


Repairs to high-level masonry. At present, stonework at roof level is severely decaying, with debris falling into gutters and onto the surrounding paths. This is causing water damage to the church.

Repairs to external windows


Repairs to external windows. The cast-iron window frames have experienced significant corrosion, with surrounding stonework becoming damaged. Again, this is causing water damage to the church. Three windows are identified as being of urgent risk and are therefore the focus of repair.

Repairs to the internal painted window


Repairs to the internal painted window. The painted glass window behind the altar suffered bomb damage in the 1940s with many panes becoming cracked. Post-war repairs were unfortunately poor and darkened the original glass. Measuring 1 mm thick in places, the panes will be repaired and cleaned in a specialist workshop to restore the original artwork.

Sharing our Story

Sharing Our Story

Alongside this, we are keen to share the story of Top Church and Dudley with our local community and schools. We will be hosting a programme of activities and events over the next 18 months. Keep your eyes peeled on our News page and social media for information on events and how to get involved.

Latest News

Work started on the painted window repairs at the end of 2022, whilst work on high-level masonry and window traceries commenced at the start of 2023. This work is expected to be completed in August 2023. The church will remain open throughout the works.

We are really grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their significant support to make this project a reality. Funding through the Heritage Fund is supported by Lottery players.

We are also grateful to our other funding partners for supporting this project:

National Churches Trust
Wolfson Foundation
All Churches Trust
Garfield Weston Foundation
Church Buildings Council
Worshipful Company of Glaziers
Martin Dudley