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BEN: Birmingham`s Ecumenical News, February to June 2015

Birmingham Ecumenical News
News and events from across the Christian community
of Birmingham & Solihull
February - June 2015
This is a year of decision with the General Election fast approaching.
Why not hold an election husting in your church?
Many candidates have already been selected to stand for election on Thursday 7 May. Now is a
good time to contact them to arrange a date for a husting for your local community after the
dissolution of Parliament on 30 March. There will also be local elections on the same day.
To help, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have launched a General Election website:
You can download a Guide to on organising a local Hustings event; you can also register details of your own
event and search for events happening near you. The website also contains details of a range of election
related resources, briefings and events from member churches and others.
Our society is facing some fundamental challenges – rising levels of poverty, inequality and austerity, a housing crisis, challenges facing children and young people and the prospect of climate crisis. This isn’t
new, but whoever forms the next government has a tough job and key decisions ahead. These will ultimately
shape the type of society that we become. In such circumstances, the churches have a major role to play –
both in hosting local Hustings meetings – and in stimulating discussion about the kind of ‘Good Society’ we
want to live in and the vision and values which underpin it.
In early March, the West Midlands Joint Public Issues Team of the Methodist, Baptist and United
Reformed Churches will be launching a manifesto. To ensure you don’t miss the latest information, sign up
to BCT’s monthly enewsletter:
Latest news from Birmingham Churches Together
is now live
BEN is published by Birmingham Churches Together: Many Voices - One in Christ
Rugby World Cup: opportunity to serve your community
Engage 2015 is a cross denominational organisation
helping UK churches demonstrate God’s love by
serving the Rugby World Cup 2015, and their
communities during the event.
Acting as an umbrella for a partnership between denominations and a range of Christian agencies, Engage 2015
provides a menu of ideas that local churches can deliver as part of their ongoing outreach, together with access to the
relevant resources.
The focus is on five specific areas of ministry:
Community festivals – around screening games as churches or linking with local rugby clubs
Hospitality – showing hospitality to families of participants & supporters
Guest events – rugby based Christian speakers, sports quizzes
Children & Youth – range of materials for schools, Holiday Clubs, Messy Church, Youth Groups
Tag & Touch Rugby – helping churches see the possibilities they offer for outreach
Engage 2015 is also seeking to serve RWC 2015 by offering chaplaincy services and the provision of an athletes’ family
home stay programme. Underlying all this activity Engage 2015 is developing an extensive prayer programme.
The six week Rugby World Cup 2015 starts on September 18 with 20 national squads playing 48 games in 13 venues
spread across England & Wales all on ITV and half a million international visitors & a global TV audience of 4 billion.
For more information go to or contact [email protected]
Also link in through Facebook: Engage 2015 and Twitter: @engage2015
Trumpet Call: Saturday 4 July
The WORLD PRAYER CENTRE invites you to pray in the heart of the city
in the heart of the nation
From 1875 to the mid 1960’s the Bingley Hall in Birmingham was not only a place for cattle markets, exhibitions and shows but
also a place where many thousands of people received Christ as the Gospel was preached by godly men such as D.L. Moody,
R.A. Torrey, George Jeffries, Eric Hutchins, Dr Billy Graham and many others.
On Saturday 4 July, WORLD PRAYER CENTRE invites you, your prayer group, your church and your friends to join us
on this same site, now the International Convention Centre to pray for our nations. With the political, financial, social and
religious uncertainties facing us, we believe it is the right time to again blow the trumpet in the heart of the nation.
In the book of Numbers trumpets were used to gather leaders, assemble the people, move the people forward, sound
an alarm for war and celebrate God’s goodness. As we go to print we are not exactly sure of the programme, but we are sure
they will include the five callings as outlined in Numbers 10.
Hall three has a capacity of 3,000 people the same number that were saved on the day of Pentecost. We are inviting
you to be amongst the 3,000 from across the nation who will gather, agree to move forward, sound an alarm and celebrate
God’s goodness as in unity we stand in the gap on behalf of men and women, boys and girls from every strata of society, every
race and creed, that God will again move by His Spirit and that thousands upon thousands are drawn to Jesus.
Many of the great preachers mentioned earlier stated that it was the prayers of God’s people that opened the way for
the gospel. God does not have another plan. We truly believe that God wants to move by His Spirit as highways of prayer,
worship and mission spread across our nations.
To book tickets (£10 each, the seats are unnumbered):
Tel: 0121 633 7393 World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG
Chaplaincy Fortnight: 7 - 21 June
Invite a Chaplain to speak at your Church! Pray for Chaplains Everywhere…
Celebrating the Whole Body of Christ
Information at
Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge. (Ruth 1:16)
Chaplaincy is a Ministry of Going. Chaplains go out to serve and witness. One
favourite bible story of journeying is Ruth: her faith to travel to a new land and to
trust in God. It is a surprising story because Ruth is a Moabite, not a Jew. Chaplaincy
is a Ministry of Surprise. Chaplains are constantly surprised to find that God is
already at work in unknown places.
Churches and Industry Group Birmingham and Solihull
is facilitating a fortnight this summer on behalf of many types of Chaplaincy.
Chaplaincy in its different forms will be celebrated in two weeks of
meetings, prayer and discussion during Chaplaincy Fortnight (June 7-21).
Chaplains from healthcare, emergency services, retail, prison etc will make themselves available to come to churches to tell of
what they have seen and heard, as well as to ask for prayer for chaplaincy. Chaplains have wisdom and experience from a frontline
of mission.
CIGB continues to see growing numbers of people wanting to be involved in voluntary workplace chaplaincy: over 30 people
from difference church denominations completed our training courses in 2014. Similarly new businesses are asking for Chaplaincy
support. Other chaplaincy teams report similar interest in becoming voluntary chaplains.
Many non-churchgoers are exploring transcendence and the ‘otherness’ of life. They use our chaplaincy encounters to
explore what this means. Sometimes they have a need for healing and understanding of how things have happened to them.
Chaplains never know what they are going to discover when they meet someone. On occasion they are rebuffed and told their
presence is not welcome: usually the Chaplain goes away in prayer! It is not a comfortable ministry, but it is a ministry of grace.
The Rev Canon Dr Peter Sedgwick, Principal of St Michael’s College, Cardiff, and host to Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy
Studies ( describes our ministry:
“In a world that often seems narrow, we seek to model God's generous love:
transforming men and women into what God calls each one of us to become.”
If you are interested in getting involved in chaplaincy work, contact [email protected]
Growing with God: sowing the seeds of faith
Birmingham Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB
9.30am – 4.15pm Saturday 7 March
Cost £12 per person (discounts for multiple bookings from the same church)
Growing with God is for adults of all ages – beginners and the more experienced – who nurture the faith and spirituality
of children on Sundays, in midweek groups, in families or in the community.
To book online or for more information visit
or contact Jelena Cammack e: [email protected] t: 0121 426 0435 for a booking form
Trussell Trust Foodbanks
Today people across Birmingham will struggle to feed themselves and their families. Redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic
violence, debt, family breakdown and paying for the additional costs of heating during winter are just some of the reasons why
people go hungry. There are currently 10 Trussell Trust foodbanks operating across Birmingham to meet this need, with an
eleventh soon to be opening in Handsworth. They are all run by churches in the city and supported by businesses and schools in
their own communities. In 2014, these ten foodbanks fed the equivalent of 31,335 people. This included 11,898 children.
The recent 'Emergency Use Only' report, research jointly conducted by The Trussell Trust, Oxfam, Child Poverty Action
Group (CPAG) and the Church of England, concluded that foodbanks were predominantly a last-resort, short-term measure,
prompted by an ‘acute income crisis.’ This crisis or life shock was often outside of an individual’s control. In terms of the reason
for referral to a foodbank, the main reasons across Birmingham in 2014 were benefit delays (32%), followed by low income (20%)
and benefit change (16%), this is reflective of our national statistics.
The Trussell Trust is a charity founded on Christian principles. We work with people of all faiths and none, but are inspired
to do what we do by Jesus' words in Matthew 25:35-36. Our mission is to develop, run, and enable communities to replicate
sustainable projects that combat poverty and exclusion, sharing our experiences to raise awareness of the issues. Trussell Trust
foodbanks are run by local churches or Christian charities and supported by local people, enabling each foodbank to meet the
individual needs of its community. Numerous churches across Birmingham are involved in Trussell Trust foodbanks.
Foodbanks are generously supported by their local community through donations. In 2014, approximately 235 tonnes of
food was donated to foodbanks across Birmingham. They are also supported by people’s time, and many foodbanks are entirely
manned by volunteers who work tirelessly to help local people in crisis. Foodbanks partner with a wide range of care professionals
such as doctors, social workers or benefit advisors, who are best placed to assess the need and ensure that it is genuine. A referral
is made to the foodbank by issuing the individual with a voucher which is taken to the local foodbank. The voucher is redeemed for
a food parcel which will provide three days of nutritionally balanced food for the individual or the family. The foodbank provides a
friendly and welcoming environment and, whilst the food parcel is being prepared, volunteers take time to listen to each guest
over a cup of tea or coffee and signpost them to further support.
If you would like to find out more about your nearest
Trussell Trust foodbank or speak
to them about ways in which you can support them,
please visit our website:
The 10 Foodbanks operating in the Birmingham area are: Birmingham Central foodbank, Sparkhill foodbank, Smethwick foodbank,
Stechford foodbank, Kingfisher foodbank, Great Barr foodbank, Aston & Nechells foodbank, Quinton & Oldbury foodbank,
B30 foodbank and Erdington foodbank (Some of these have more than one distribution centre.)
Further information about the areas that they cover can be found on their individual websites.
New rooms for hire at Carrs Lane Conference Centre Ltd
At Carrs Lane in the centre of Birmingham, rooms 5 and 6 are small rooms catering for up to a maximum of 15 people.
The Wiseman Room, with a special introductory offer for meetings held prior to the end of March 2015, will seat 16 boardroom
style or 30 theatre style, with additional lounge seating for 10. Additionally, for new bookings made after 1 January 2015,
a discount of 50% will be available on evening room hire prices to registered charities or small ‘not for profit’ societies.
Please see our new website for full details – or call us on 0121 643 6151.
24 hours of prayer
Thank You
‘Like a taste of heaven’: was the comment of a man who happened to call in during the 24 hours of prayer, at
Birmingham Cathedral from 9.00am on Saturday 24 to 9.00am on Sunday January. He stayed in the cathedral
for several hours, deeply moved by the prayer led by Christians of different backgrounds and traditions,
united in a common faith in Jesus Christ.
The idea was simple: to start our special tercentenary year with a great wave of
prayer and to invite local churches to join in. Birmingham is home to an
incredibly rich Christian expression and we invited people to come and lead
prayers for an hour in their own tradition.
We were overwhelmed by the love and care with which people responded.
Prayers were offered with silence, or with great and joyful noise; we sang Taizé
chants and prayed the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary; we formed a prayer
tunnel to surround one another in prayer and took part in inter-active prayer
stations; teenagers prayed through the night in the comfort of onesies and just
as we were flagging, at 8.00am the Salvation Army turned up with a nine-piece
brass band!
Thank you to everyone who took part and made this possible. Special thanks to
the World Prayer Centre and Birmingham Ecumenical Network, to Laurence
Sharman and Revd Colin Marsh. This was a unique, powerful and profound
In accepting our invitation, you have blessed us with your presence and your prayer. We have grown closer
in unity and love in Christ. Our hope is that our city, nation and world will continue to be blessed by these
prayers and the generous service of so many amazing Christians.
Catherine Ogle, Janet Chapman, Nigel Hand. Clergy of Birmingham Cathedral
Hope kept me going
Restore – Birmingham Churches Together
supporting refugees and those seeking sanctuary
Paulette Mengnjo's story
"It's on me!" was Paulette's greeting when I met her at a church cafe in Birmingham in early February. I was about to challenge her offer to pay
for lunch but then thought otherwise. Her African tradition requires that a first salary be broken in sharing with others ... and Paulette had just
received her first pay cheque!
Paulette Mengnjo is in her early 40s and comes from southern Cameroon, West Africa. She was a successful business woman back home
and engaged in politics through joining the opposition party calling for greater autonomy for the minority English speaking south. She had a son
and supportive parents. Following arrests during political demonstrations she grew particularly fearful when security police called at her home.
Warned that they had targeted her, she fled into the rural area and then left the country on false papers.
Arriving in the UK in September 2006 she made her way to Croydon to apply for asylum. She still speaks of her apprehension about
approaching any one in uniform and the loneliness of being in a strange country. Yet there was relief and confidence that she would be granted
asylum soon. She was dispersed to a hostel in Birmingham and went forth to find a solicitor - the first on a list she had been given (as they must
be the best!)
Today she talks with frustration about the lack of quality legal representation she received in her first case. She was refused asylum by
the Home Office case worker following her substantive interview and the case then went to court. Her solicitor arranged for a French interpreter,
who was finally instructed to step back by the Judge who recognised that Paulette was an English speaker. There was no evidence to substantiate
she had been tortured as her solicitor had argued a medical report was unnecessary as the Home Office believed she had been in prison.
Paulette's asylum application was rejected. The Judge determined she was not a high profile political activist and could relocate to a safe place in
the Cameroon.
With no more entitlement to legal aid she paid the solicitor privately to appeal. No action was taken, however, to translate a French
medical report her parents had sent from the Cameroon and she became particularly vulnerable to removal from the country as she had no
'live' case. Paulette was detained when reporting at the regional Midlands Enforcement Unit in 2007 and sent to Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre. An
injunction led to her release some days later and she returned to Birmingham. Homeless and without benefits (as Asylum Support had long since
been terminated), she turned to the Hope Projects, a Birmingham project offering accommodation to destitute asylum seekers. She reminded
me that she was accommodated by Hope Housing for 1 year and 8 months!
Further submissions were made by another solicitor in 2009 and Paulette was able to apply for Section 4 Asylum Support
(accommodation and cashless support - a card which is topped up each week and can be used in supermarkets). In 2010 her fresh claim was
refused and she became destitute again.
Finally in 2011 a much respected legal firm took on her case and insisted a medical report was needed. She was referred to Freedom
from Torture. Friends and church people accommodated her. In April 2013 she was detained again ... and then released after 11 days (she is
currently seeking compensation for unlawful detention). Finally on the 25 January 2014 Paulette was granted Refugee Status!
"Seven years and four months later!" says Paulette, with a wry smile, she won her case for asylum. I ask her what kept her going through
these tough years and she answers: "Hope kept me going!" She then refers to:
the daily communication she has with her son, who is doing academically well in his studies back home
the support of agencies like Restore and Hope Projects
the commitment of her latest solicitor
the wonderful support of her church community at Olton Baptist
certain individuals who have generously provided accommodation, financial support and counselling
her political activism in exile with Southern Cameroon National Council and involvement in Right to Remain as the Chair.
Now able to access mainstream benefits, housing and having entitlement to work, Paulette rejoices in the opportunities open to her. She has a
small Council flat and through the Learning Hub at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital received training late last year. Her first salary cheque comes
from the QE where she began work as an Auxiliary Nurse in January this year. She calls me 'next of kin' and I threaten that she is never to get ill
and cause me further concern, but I am grateful for the inspirational, courageous woman she has been in my life over the past seven years!
Shari Brown, Project Coordinator, Restore (published with Paulette’s permission). February 2015
For further information about Restore’s work, please contact – [email protected] or 0121 236 0069
Restore launched a new website in December 2014,
thanks to funding from St Peter’s Saltley Trust and the work of Morse-Brown Design.
Please refer people to our website for information about Restore’s work
and opportunities to get involved.
We are shortly to begin a training course for potential befrienders on 26 February, 12 and 19 March from
7.15pm at Carrs Lane Conference Centre and are delighted at the number of people who have already registered.
The next training course of Restore will take place on the evenings of 22 and 29 June and 6 July.
Restore’s 2015 ‘Equipping Refugees for Work’ course begins on Monday 23 March.
If you know of refugee or asylum seeker friends who may benefit from training to help people
become more job-ready, please refer them to Restore for further information:
[email protected] or 0121 236 0069.
Transforming Congregational Life
It is so easy for congregations to become inward looking. If the church is to grow, local transformation is essential. The problem is,
however, to know where to start. This article describes a simple technique which costs nothing and only takes a few minutes every
other week. Experience proves that it can contribute significantly to turning congregations out towards the world in mission.
Two churches in Birmingham, the Birmingham Vineyard Church and All Saints, the parish church of Kings Heath, have joined:
Justice Mail (
We have collected email addresses from members of our congregations who want to receive regular Justice Mail action requests.
Justice Mail provides a list of 22 approved organizations, such as Christian Aid, Amnesty International, Church Action on Poverty and
Oxfam. List managers select their action suggestions from the current interests of these organizations. The email action requests are
sent out once a fortnight and it only takes list members a few minutes to respond to the link that has been provided for them. In this
way people become more aware of some of the great issues of the day, such as tax avoidance, third-world debt and climate change.
Their messages join with hundreds of others and are often surprisingly effective.
The Fourth Mark of Mission, agreed by the Church of England, the Methodist Church and other denominations, is ‘To transform unjust
structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation’. The churches attached to Justice
Mail find that this simple tool increases the number of well-informed and active members in their congregation, and, step by step, may
bring about a change of culture towards church growth and Christian mission.
Justice Mail has branches in several parts of the West Midlands, from Chester to Nottingham. The Anglican Diocese of Lichfield has
adopted Justice Mail as one of its favoured resources for bringing about congregational transformation.
If you would like to start a Justice Mail list in your congregation, the Justice Mail website gives advice on how to do it, or you can email
the Justice Mail General Secretary, Professor John Hull at [email protected]
Justice Mail is for busy people who want to reform the church and to change the world. It works and it’s free!
Dr Michael Cross, All Saints Church, Kings Heath
Pastor Andrew McNeil, Vineyard Church, Birmingham
Acts 435
ACTS 435 – the Archbishop of York’s
online giving charity...
...invites Birmingham churches and Christian charities to
become Acts 435 advocates and bless those in need in their local area
with targeted, specific help.
Whether it’s a replacement cooker, school uniform for the children, or a bike to get to work, the Acts 435 website is the
place of exchange where generous givers are linked with those in need. Take a look –
The process is simple. A church (or charity) signs up to participate and receives a login, enabling them to directly post
requests on the website for people known to them to be in need of something specific, up to a limit of £120. Donors
choose requests which touch them and bit by bit, or sometimes all at once, the money comes in (98% of requests
posted to date have been met). Once the request is fulfilled, the Acts 435 team will send the money to the church who
then arranges getting the item/money to the applicant. It’s that simple, and free to get involved in. It works effectively
alongside a church’s other ministries or stand-alone.
2015 marks the charity’s 5th anniversary and it also recently had its 5,000th request granted! Unfortunately, none of
those requests benefited people in Birmingham because no churches from the city have signed up and posted requests.
Surely this is an opportunity missed – some churches have received over £10,000 through Acts 435 for people in need
in their local community. We have Birmingham donors just wishing there were local requests to support.
When finances are tight, a small gift can make a huge difference to stop a family or individual falling into crisis. Whether
it is a squeezed budget, homelessness, benefits sanctions, fleeing domestic violence, the effects of health problems –
there are many reasons why people need a helping hand to tide them over until their finances stabilize once more.
Many applicants share of the positive effect on their self-esteem as well as the impact of the actual item requested.
You could be posting requests by the end of the week!
Take a look on our website for many stories
of how a small amount of money can make a significant difference.
Take up this resource today by emailing Jenny Herrera: [email protected] for more information and to sign up.
TLG - The Education Charity, is holding a Church Partnership Forum
Yardley Wood Baptist Church: 10am - 12pm on 19 May
This is a key event for any church that wants to make a difference
in the lives of children and young people in their local communities.
TLG works in partnership with local churches to assist pupils who are at a crisis point in their education. We work holistically
with the local church, school and family to bring about positive change in children and young people’s lives. (
The event is free of charge but guests do need to RSVP. Please get in touch with Rob Stevenette,
Church Partnerships Ambassador, on 01274 288890 or [email protected] if you would like to join us.
Retreats and Counselling
BCAP Spirituality/WM Counselling
with Spirit Network
Residential Silent Retreats 2015
These residential Retreats are conducted in silence with experienced
guides to work alongside you as you pray with scripture and other aids.
Would you like to meet with other practitioners to explore
Weekend Retreat:
the relationship between spirituality
Shallowford House, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NZ
and counselling / pastoral work?
6pm Friday - 4.30pm Sunday, 24 -26 July (cost £150)
Carrs Lane Conference Centre, Birmingham B4 7SX with guided meditations from St John’s Gospel, and optional individual
interview, exploration of the labyrinth and art facilities
Guides; Rob Hingley, Juliet Fletcher and Diane Thompson
9.30am to 12.30pm 16th May
5-6 Day Individually-Guided Retreat
Theme: ‘The potentials and Pitfalls of Spiritual Self Disclosure
Nicholaston House, Gower Peninsular, Swansea, S. Wales
in the therapeutic / pastoral relationship.’
beside the Sea from Monday 5pm to Sunday 10am
Speaker: Clair Dinsdale. Cost: £15
Concessions: £5 BACP Spirituality members, £10 BACP members.
28 September to 4 October (Cost £372)
Booking via the BACP website at
with daily individual guidance to suit your need and temperament
Guides; Rob Hingley and Pat Callaghan
For further information please email
For further information contact Rev Rob Hingley
Juliet Fletcher or Maureen Slattery-Marsh
email: [email protected]
post: 4 Adrian Croft, Moseley, Birmingham B13 9YF
telephone: (0121) 777 2171
at [email protected] or [email protected]
Carpe Diem is a private training provider offering Christian and secular counselling courses in small intimate
groups to facilitate the best possible learning experience.
All our courses are accredited by the ABC awarding body:
Level 2 Certificate in Counselling skills (30 hours) 10 weeks & Level 3 Certificate in Counselling skills (145 hours) 1 Year
For Prices and Course dates please contact us - 0121 236 0001
Watch what our students said about our courses at
CPD training coming up. ‘Key Concepts in’: 28 March - Person Centred Counselling; 25 April - Psychodynamic Counselling;
30 May - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; 27 June - Gestalt Therapy & 31 October - Transactional Analysis
Please contact: Edieneh at [email protected] or 0121 236 0001
Supporting Testimony and Engagement in the World
Courses for both non-Quakers and Quakers at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LJ.
For the full range of courses and to book go to:
or tel: 0121 472 5171 [email protected]
Nonviolent Atonement: peace-church
perspectives on the death of Jesus.
Friday 3 – Sunday 5 April
£145 (non-resident place)
£210 (ensuite room) / £200 (standard room)
Does the crucifixion really imply that
God demands violent retribution in
order to forgive human sin? In this
course we will consider the meaning of
the death of Jesus and engage with
contemporary nonviolent theories of
atonement that are rooted in a peace
church perspective.
Praying with Psalms
Poetry in the Hebrew Bible
Friday 22 - Sunday 24 May
Monday 11 – Thursday 14 May
£145 non-residential place /
£210 ensuite room / £200 standard room
For centuries people have found solace, challenge,
inspiration and companionship in praying with the
Psalms. Those attending this retreat can look
forward to entering into a living stream in which
they may encounter the comforting presence of
God through the lyrics of these songs. Meditative
reading, worship, song, individual and corporate
reflection, writing and sharing will enhance our
experience of praying together with the Psalms.
£145 non-residential place /
£210 ensuite room / £200 standard room
Explore afresh the ancient poetry of the
Hebrew Bible. Discover the expressive force
in its characteristic use of repetition. We will
read from the Psalms, Isaiah, Job, and Song of
Songs, to see how their poetic language
enables nuance, ambiguity, and paradox, as
well as emotional intensity. Time & space will
be given for participants to develop their own
creative responses to the poetry we read,
whether in the form of words, music or art.
Uncover the Gospel of Luke with Saltmine Theatre Co.
Saltmine Theatre Company is excited to announce that Three Witnesses, their contemporary re-telling of the
Gospel of Luke, will be available for church events, Christian holidays and conferences this summer. For
Summer 2015, Three Witnesses will be re-modelled as an hour-long show without interval, to fit into
multi-event programmes. The production is suitable for age 12 and above.
Available to book: 26th June – 7th August 2015
Minimum Suggested Donation: £790 + travel donation
(books a team of five actors and a technician, can cover publicity if required) Donations are not subject to VAT
For more information or to reserve your date,
please contact Joanna on 01384 454807 or on [email protected]
Part of registered charity Saltmine Trust, Saltmine Theatre Company is a professional Christian theatre company
that creates and tours faith-motivated art to churches, schools and theatres throughout the British Isles.
For more information please visit
Marriage Preparation
Couples preparing for ‘The Big Day’ can make the best start to their life together by devoting time to prepare for their
Church Leaders: Do you marry a few couples a year? Is Marriage Preparation too time consuming for you?
Would you like to access resources already up & running?
We are registered Care for the Family’s Facilitators in the West Midlands and offer ‘Marriage By Design’ – a one day marriage
preparation course. This excellent resource gives couples the opportunity to develop skills & address issues which will enhance
their relationship and lay the foundations for a fulfilling life together.
Our next course is being held on Saturday 18th April 2015
For more information please contact: Rob & Pam Whittington (07804 853 057) email: [email protected]
Community for reconciliation at Barnes Close
Monday 23rd March 6.30 to 9.30pm:
Romania with Janos Antal (Ecumenical Officer, Reformed Church in Romania, Kings Pass District)
Saturday 28th March 10.30 to 3.30 at Barnes Close
Afghanistan with Roddy & Annabel of AMCR (Afghan Mother & Child Rescue)
Monday 30th March to Thursday 2nd April Volunteering Experience (anyone aged 16 or over)
Learn new skills in the house and garden and help our Centre as you help our regular volunteers
Volunteers to help in the garden, mow the lawns, paint rooms and undertake minor repairs are always welcome.
Whether you can offer a day a year or a day a week (or any other combination) please get in touch with Ian to discuss possibilities.
Thursday 2nd April to Tuesday 7th April
Spend Easter at Barnes Close and join in Worship and Reflection based around the events of the first Easter.
There will also be opportunity for walking and entertainment will be provided.
Monday 6th April 10am to 4pm Easter Walk
Circular via St Kenelm’s, approx 12 miles - bring your own lunch
Thursday 9th April Thursday 14th May Thursday 11th June Thursday 9th July Reflection Days 10am to 4pm Cost £15 per day
An opportunity to open the bible, to be still and let God speak to you
Barnes Close, Chadwich, Bromsgrove B61 0RA
Email: [email protected] Tel: 01562 710231 & Web:
Events: March to May
Faiths For Our City
Faiths for Fun Event
in partnership with Birmingham Council of Faiths
1.30 - 5.30p.m Sunday 1 March
Faith, Health & Wellbeing Seminar
for all youngsters aged 7½ to 12 years of different faiths to have fun and
learn about different faiths at Hamstead Hall Academy (previously known
as Community Learning Centre), Handsworth, organised jointly by
Birmingham Scout Association & Birmingham Council of Faiths: Baha’i,
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish faith bases.
Games in Spacious Sports Hall
University of Birmingham Orchard Learning
& Resource Centre, Weoley Park Road, Selly Oak, B29 6QW
Cost £2, including refreshments. Further details from Dr Peter &
Mrs Jean Rookes Tel 477 2282, or e-mail [email protected]
Tea and coffee can be purchased at the refreshment bar, but please
(free of charge)
10.00-4.30 (registration 9.30)Wednesday 15th April
bring your own packed lunch. The Orchard Learning and Resource
Centre is accessible by the 61, 63 and 98 buses from the City Centre
A day for lay women only, to tell our stories
and approximately 15 minutes’ walk from Selly Oak Station. Free
of our experience of church, explore what is missing
and resource ourselves for change.
parking is available around the site. There is no charge for the event,
Saturday 21 March 10.30 a.m. – Registration and Coffee
but please contact Dr Peter and Jean Rookes to book a place at
[email protected], phone 477 2282, 077 033 360 88
for prompt 11.00 a.m start and to finish by 4.00pm.
The closing date for booking is 28th February.
Venue: The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham
The Programme for the day will include: Shared stories – Panel
chaired/facilitated by Dr Nicola Slee, who will give the results of recent
relevant research on the faith lives of women and girls, alongside the
stories of panel members.
New Testament Church of God:
52nd National Youth and Christian Education Convention
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd May
Called, Chosen, Committed: An exploration of the life of Samuel;
Guest speaker – Nerissa Dubidad;
Cost: £25 (full price) £10 (concession) including lunch.
To book your place please contact [email protected]
Praisefest (Sat 2nd May)
featuring Jahaziel, Annastasia, Rix,
Anthony & i4one, National Children & Mass Choirs
Youth Empowerment Session
Birmingham Diocesan Romero Mass
St Chad’s RC Cathedral.
Themed workshop activities for 4 – 11 year olds on Saturday,
Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon service
1pm on Tuesday, 24 March
Followed by a reception in the Grimshaw Room with
refreshments and a Talk from Clare Dixon, Secretary of the
Archbishop Romero Trust and Head of CAFOD’s work in Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Bethel Convention Centre, Kelvin Way,
West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 7JW
Contact: Tel: 01604 824 220; Email: [email protected]
Please call CAFOD with any queries on 01922 722 944.
You are invited to the meetings of a vibrant group of the Disabled Christians Fellowship, Hay Mills/Yardley
10:30am on 28 March & 10:30am on 23 May
Hay Mills Congregational Church, Waterloo Road B25 8LD
(Opposite Boots Optician Car Park)
We would love you to join us. For further information please ring 0121 440 3564 All ages and abilities are welcome
or for more information on Disabled Christians Fellowship
Details for the following Vacancies can be found on the Birmingham Churches Together’ website
The United Reformed Church (West Midlands Trust): Part time Finance Officer
Church Edit: Sales Executive and PHP Developer
Young Vincentians: Volunteer Youth Development Officer
New trustees: The Old Print Works
Visit the vacancies page of
Stories of peace, war, conscience and the First World War
BMAG WW1 Exhibition 2015
Faith and Action:
Quakers and the First World War
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
17 January - 7 June
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Community Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
(by Great Charles St entrance)
Opening Times: Mon-Thu: 10am-5pm; Fri: 10.30am-5pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-5pm
Using original photographs, film, interviews and artefacts, ‘Faith & Action’ tells the compelling stories of Quaker men and women
during the 1914-1918 conflict and its aftermath. The exhibition examines the impact of the war on Quaker artists, businesses,
families and communities in Birmingham, central England and beyond. With rare archival material, ‘Faith & Action’ explores
aspects of Quaker humanitarian, medical and relief work in Britain and Europe, and brings to life the dilemmas experienced by
young Quaker men in deciding whether to fight, face imprisonment or serve in other ways.
Contact details for Birmingham Churches Together
BEN (Birmingham ecumenical news)
is a publication of Birmingham Churches Together (BCT)
The contents of BEN do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the BCT Trustees or its member churches.
BCT reserves the right to edit/format news articles/events/information for inclusion in BEN.
Deadline for the next edition of BEN: 5.00pm Thursday 25 June 2015.
Deadlines for enews: 9.00am on the following Mondays: 9 March, 13 April, 11 May and 15 June
Postal Address
Presidents of BCT:
Birmingham Churches Together, St. George’s Community Hub
Great Hampton Row, Newtown, Birmingham. B19 3JG
0121 236 3966 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday or please leave a message on the answerphone)
Revd Colin Marsh, Ecumenical Development Officer (email: [email protected])
Bishop David Urquhart (Anglican Bishop of Birmingham)
Archbishop Bernard Longley (Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham)
Revd. Barrie Smith (Heart of England Baptist Association)
Birmingham Churches Together: at the heart of Christian partnership in Birmingham and Solihull (Charity No. 243931)
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