The following is an extract from the Amblecote history society web site:
Thomas Hill built 14 schools around the district, including two at Lye and one at Amblecote, near the Gas Works called the Madras school, which was later used as an office by the gas board. One of the schools in Lye was built at Waste Bank, using bricks taken from the Fimbrell glasshouse, which had been derelict for many years.
Thomas Hill, together with his nephew, Samuel Hopkins, built a church at Blaenavon and called it St. Peter’s Church, it was said that he was so pleased with its design that he built a similar church at Lye in 1813, which was later called ‘Christ Church’, where he rented his own pew and was known affectionately as ‘Squire Hill’, many of the town’s people of Lye baptised their children Squire or Esquire, after him, as a mark of their esteem and affection.
In the 1970’s Christ Church was in decline and was merged with the neighbouring parish of St. Marks Stambermill. The vicar at the time, Rev Graham Cooper took the bold step of closing St Mark’s and focusing resources in the centre of the town at Christ Church. The building was renovated, adding a multipurpose church centre and meeting rooms, while at the same time retaining the attractive features of the historic building. Today Christ Church serves the local community through practical deeds and the good news of Jesus Christ. Being sited on a busy High Street at the heart of the Lye “Balti district” it continues to attract people from a wide area.