Article on new Citadel in ‘The War Cry’

12 September 1892 – It all begins

A remarkable day began at 7.00am when 500 people gathered for morning prayers. Commander Eva Booth – daughter of the Salvation Army Founder – accepted the keys to the building from the architect.

In the evening service, the doors had to be closed with hundreds clamouring to enter the new Salvation Army church. The Salvation Army band from Burton upon Trent led the singing. The Birmingham Citadel Band was formed a year later.


The Salvation Army’s Founder, William Booth, visits Birmingham with Sunday services in the Town hall drawing great crowds.


Through the kindness of W.A. Cadbury Esq and other friends, over 12,000 meals were distributed to Birmingham’s needy and over 300 needy families were supplied with coal, boots, groceries and other essential supplies during the winter and coal strike.


The Grimsby Salvation Army Fisherman’s Brigade marched up Birmingham’s Corporation Street complete with lifeboat, attracting huge crowds to the services. This was one of many campaign events held during the years between the wars.


Birmingham Citadel’s building was used as a canteen for servicemen during the war. The German blitz made it impossible to hold evening services and the Citadel was damaged. Afternoon services were conducted in the air raid shelters.

In 1941, the Corps held an Easter Sunday open air service in the Bull Ring. The triumphant instrument playing, singing and declaration of the Easter message sounded out as a challenge to the desolation around and of a joyous hope of better things that were to come.

The present day Bull Ring with its modern shopping centre is still a focus for Sunday afternoon open air outreach watched by many shoppers and visitors.


Salvation Army General Albert Orsborn visits Birmingham Citadel which was packed out meaning many were unable to gain admission to the services.


The Salvation Army moves from its building in Corporation Street to the new Citadel in St Chad’s Queensway. A grand march was held from the old Citadel to the new home with crowds lining the streets.


Centenary Celebrations were held to celebrate 100 years of Birmingham Citadel. Many former comrades joined the celebrations.


This year saw the 25th Anniversary of Christmas with The Salvation Army in Birmingham’s world famous Symphony Hall. For many of those years the concert has been performed twice on the same day to allow more people to attend and celebrate Christmas.


The 125th Anniversary of Birmingham Citadel. A special weekend of celebrations took place with special guests Chief of the Staff Commissioner Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle. The weekend included outdoor concerts, a meal, a concert and Sunday meetings led by the Commissioners.


June 2019 we welcomed back now General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle to lead Sunday worship on the day after the Gospel Arts Concert in Birmingham.  The hall was packed and The General and Commissioner were presented with coffee and Cadbury chocolate to remind them of their visit.

2020 – 2022 – The Covid Years

Pre Covid-19 Birmingham Citadel continued to thrive. The musical sections enjoy a good reputation, the young people’s work is growing and our community outreach is helping many people across the city.  in 2020, our ministry moved online with weekly podcast broadcasts and daily devotion videos and material. and returned to in person worship from in 2022.


Once we were able to return to worship at the Hall, we were blessed that so many of our congregation wanted to return to worship, and since then we have been blessed with an increasing church family.


This year we celebrate 50 years in our current building on St Chads Queensway. We will post more information about a celebration weekend which will take place at the beginning of November.

Find out more about the work of The Salvation Army in Birmingham in the ‘Groups’ and ‘In the Community’ sections of the website.

Christmas with the Salvation Army - click here for more details ›