Birmingham 2017


On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, participants chose freely between workshops, forums and activities. The workshops lasted one and a half hours each, and were held in city-centre venues [1].

Also during both afternoons, at Carrs Lane Church Centre there were refreshments with the Real Junk Food Project and a “Hidden Treasures Exhibition” showing the work of Birmingham organisations and others who contributed to the workshop programme. Those seeking a time of prayer and silent reflection were able to find it in St. Chad’s Cathedral.

Some photos of the workshops have been inserted to give a feel for the events:

A visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital
– and a meeting with members of the chaplaincy and youth work teams.

An Introduction to icons with a practical exercise

The meditative practice of iconography in the Byzantine and Russian Orthodox traditions. With Constantina Wood

Christians Addressing Homelessness
– comparing our understanding of homelessness with the reality of people’s lives. Led by Neil Johnson and members of Birmingham Christian Homeless Forum

The Scandal of the Arms Trade and our response as Christians
The impact of the global arms trade and the involvement of our own nations. A reflection, making use of the tradition of Christian non-violence, on the Gospel’s challenge for us to work to end this trade. With Pax Christi, the Quakers and the Catholic Worker

Discerning Vocation

– offering help to notice what God might want you to do for the rest of your life or at least today. With Stephen Hoyland of Ignatian Outreach

Song practice

Learning the songs for the prayers

Rethinking Science within Christian Faith
– with Tom McLeish, professor of physics at Durham University and author of “Faith and Wisdom in Science”.

Urban Stories

An encounter with some of Birmingham’s African and Caribbean diaspora churches. Introduced by members of Life and Light Fellowship, New Testament Church of God, The Church of Pentecost, ...

Seeking Sanctuary
Refugees share their stories of leaving and finding a place to call home. Introduced by Helena Madden of St. Chad’s Sanctuary

Welcoming refugees: what can we do?
Ways of supporting refugees through volunteering, befriending, campaigning and participating in positive action. With Shari Brown, Project Co-ordinator, Restore and the Jesuit Refugee Service

Christian community living

Meeting with people who are living in various forms of Christian community. How do their lives resonate with our own desire for community? Caroline Price guided a conversation with members of Wellspring Community, Bruderhof, Lee Abbey, Taizé, Servants of the Word, and Jesuits

Caring for our common home
Spiritual and practical resources to engage with climate change and creation care. The earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1) but we’ve exploited and polluted it; the earth is also our common home, as Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si’. Coordinated by Dave Bookless with the participation of A Rocha, CAFOD, Operation Noah

A film recounting some key moments of the life of Brother Roger of Taizé – and meeting with one of the brothers who knew the founder of the Community

“Hidden Treasure”

A practical art experiment in hiding and finding. Accessible to artists and non-artists alike. With Anna Sikorska, an artist who has often done sculptures in churches, and currently works with arts and people in recovery from addictions.

Horses for children
A visit to Summerfield Stables that introduces local children, including those with disabilities, to a friendship with horses.

On the road together!

Forum with bishops and leaders of different churches around brother Alois’ “Call to Church Leaders for 2017”: advancing towards unity, going beyond mere cordiality. Rev. Mary Stallard, chaplain in a joint Catholic/Anglican secondary school, facilitated the conversation, encouraging Church leaders to share their perspective.

Prisons and Community

People seeking resettlement after being in prison, in the light of Luke 4:16-21: “The Lord has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, (...) to let the oppressed go free.” With Sam Ewell and people involved in various projects including Changing Tunes and Bringing Hope

Praising God with Nature

An introduction to the life and culture of the tribal peoples of Northern India - Ranchi/Jharkhand (also known as Chota Nagpur) with an invitation to join in the tribal dance. Led by Sister Jyoti Premika, a Medical Misson Sister who currently works with homeless Asian people in West London.

Friends or Strangers?

Some Birmingham people of different faiths shared their experiences of friendship and dialogue. With Andrew Smith, Director of Interfaith Relations for the Anglican Diocese

Last updated: 11 May 2017


[1The venues for the events (prayers and workshops) held centrally were city-centre churches: The Friends’ Meeting House (Quaker), St Michael’s Polish Church, The Church at Carrs Lane (Methodist and URC), Birmingham Citadel (Salvation Army), St Chad’s Cathedral (Catholic), St Philip’s Cathedral (Anglican), and St Martin in the Bull Ring (Birmingham’s ancient parish church).