Herbert Austin founded his Austin Works in Northfield in 1905. This became the Longbridge car plant, part of the Rover Group. F. Paul Impey and Oliver Morland established the Kalamazoo paper factory in 1908. These factories attracted workers from the city and started the movement to the suburbs. These industrialists were influential and active in the area and many buildings, parks and other amenities are the result of their generosity.
Northfield changed rapidly during the 20th century, large areas of housing were built in the 1930s, and housing estates were developed at Ley Hill, West Heath, Bunbury Road and Vineyard Road in the 1960s. The Northfield of today is a very busy place, but the area around the church has been a conservation area for over twenty years and reminds us of earlier times.
St Laurence Church tower has been renovated and a new ground floor ringing chamber created at the foot of the tower. The bells were dismantled while this work was done, but have now been re-hung with an addition of two new bells making a peal of ten. These bells were 'blessed' on 20 November 1999 and rang in the 21st century.