Birmingham Churches Together

#Pray24Brum 2021

Pray24Brum – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity#pray24Brum logo 24 hours of prayer 22-23 January 2021, 8am-8pm

This Friday and Saturday is #pray24brum. It is all a bit different this year. Most of the content will be online but we are also emphasising an invitation for individuals / households / churches to simply set aside 24 minutes at some point during the two days for personal prayer to pray for the city.

It is an invitation to pray for whatever communities and concerns someone has, in whatever way or style suits them: and an invitation to know they are united in prayer with others across the city, across many different traditions.

Download the programme

This year there are two main ways to participate:

  • throughout Friday and Saturday, you are invited to join with prayers being lead online. All the videos or links will be shared on Birmingham Churches Together’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BirmCTogether) and Twitter Feed (https://twitter.com/BirmCTogether).
  • you are invited to set aside 24 minutes (or even 24 seconds!) to pray in and for the city in whatever way suits your own personal style of prayer. Use words, or sit in silence; go for a walk in your local area praying for those you pass or sing praise to God from the privacy of your shower! If you wish, use the hashtag #pray24brum on your social media feeds to share when, where, how and for what you are praying and join a community united, albeit virtually, in creating a patchwork quilt of prayer to cover our city.

The event’s schedule is below, subject to last minute changes. Birmingham St Philip’s Cathedral, the first ever hosts of the event, will launch this year’s with morning prayer at 7.40am on Friday. We are delighted that many of our church leaders from different traditions have joined in prayer and invite you to pray with them at 10am each morning.

Friday 22 January
7.40am – 8.04am St Philip’s Cathedral – Morning Prayer
8.30 – 8.54am Carrs Lane Lived Community Morning Prayer
10am Church Leaders Part 1
10.30 St Chad’s Cathedral
11am Aston University Chaplaincy
12pm World Prayer Centre
1pm (Prayer 1.06pm – 1.30pm) Chaplaincy Plus – Prayers for the Business Community
2pm The Church at Carrs Lane
3pm Central England Quakers
4pm St Martin in the Bullring
5pm Urban Devotion
Saturday 23 January
8.30am St Nicholas, Boldmere
10am Church Leaders Part 2
10.30am Northfield Churches Together
11am Restore
12pm Student Cross
1pm Active Christians
2pm The Church at Carrs Lane
3pm Workplace Chaplaincy CIGB / Retail Chaplaincy
4pm Movement in Worship (TBC)

 

Listening Together

Listening Together … to a short story being read for you by Julie and Cristina

We’ll be ‘meeting’ again on Monday 1st February at 11am, to listen to a short story for Christmas.

You don’t need a book… just a quiet hour and your listening ears!

How to join in

Join us by phone or online on Zoom.

For details to join in, please email minister@carrslane.co.uk

 

Time4Change – The Birmingham Charter

Time4Change – The Birmingham Charter

Time4Change is a group of Churches and Christian organisations across Birmingham that have been meeting together regularly since the tragic death of George Floyd took place in June 2020. The heart and passion of the group is centred around Christian unity, harmony, speaking with one voice regarding racism, injustice and racial inequality. The group has discussed how the church, the body of Christ, can unite around the issues of racial disharmony and injustice.

At The Church at Carrs Lane, we are encouraging each other to read Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book, “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” as we begin to engage in conversations, creating the spaces for open, honest and frank dialogue. We celebrate Racial Justice Sunday in February and continue with this theme to enhance our activities and worship during Lent. It’s Time4Change!

THE BIRMINGHAM CHARTER
IT’S TIME 4 CHANGE
  1. We the churches, Christian organisations and followers of Jesus, acknowledge the issue of racial injustice and its systemic and institutional nature.

  2. We commit to  challenge racism confidently across Birmingham and see it removed from the church and society.

  3. We commit to an honest and open look at ourselves and our churches and where we are in relation to the issue of racial injustice.

  4. We will pray: actively encouraging prayer as a group and within and across our churches and neighbourhoods over the issue of racial injustice and disunity.

  5. We repent – we have caused or ignored hurt and we pray for a deep healing in our city.

  6. We will engage in conversations – creating the spaces for open, honest and frank dialogue. We will listen to the voices of our black and all ethnic communities, across the generations and the different parts of our city.

  7. We commit to relationship building  with church and city leaders modelling strong supportive relationships across the city. We will build a culture of honour, openness and support within our churches, neighbourhoods and workplaces.

  8. We will bridge the knowledge gap, building a shared understanding of what it is like to be black, or of other ethnicity in Birmingham today, understanding the historical context and the damage to their psyche by sustained and systemic racism.

  9. We aim for truth, reconciliation and healing through open discussions across the city, that understands and acknowledges the hurts of the past and hopes for the future. We will Identify actions to bring healing.

  10. We will advocate; using our influence and understanding to speak up for racial equality and equity in the church and the city. We will inspire changes in structures and cultures to remove racism. We will engage the city’s civic leaders as they address this issue. 

  11. We will build and strengthen representative leadership: Creating systems, structures and processes that encourage representative leadership in our churches and organisations. We will actively mentor and encourage young and emerging leaders.

  12. We will take practical action, developing short, medium and long term plans to equip the wider church to strengthen unity and collaboration and engage the wider community.

  13. We will equip and engage the wider church with material on theology, and key principles around justice, equity and equality, testimonies and events. We will ensure our actions and narratives are centred very clearly on Jesus, rooted firmly in the word of God and inspired by the Spirit.

  14. We will communicate and dialogue regularly and clearly, in an engaging and accessible way to ensure the wider church is kept up to date.  We will inspire Christians engaged in business, health, education, arts and media and other spheres to be champions for equity, equality and builders of unity.

  15. We commit to being a welcoming city, a super diverse community where all peoples, whatever their background or ethnicity, see that God’s people will always provide a home, a community and a generous welcome. We commit to strengthening unity and harmony across the church that we might be one just as the Father and Son are one.

VISIT THE TIME4CHANGE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

 

Coloured light box with the words 'Make this world better'

Church Meetings 2021

Dates of regular Church Meetings on the third Sunday of the month in 2021

 

17 January:

Light box with words 'Make this world better'

21 February

21 March

18 April

16 May

20 June

18 July

(August – no meeting)

19 September

17 October

21 November

19 December

Church Meetings are usually held monthly on the third Sunday and are open to all. As far as possible, they will always be inclusive of all expressions of church. A quorum of 25% of church members is required for the meeting to be properly constituted.

Decision making at this meeting is generally by consensus. However, the Church Meeting retains the right to take formal votes of church members present, especially in the case of the call of the United Reformed Church minister. According to sections 9-21 of the Constitution, there is also provision for a Special Church Meeting, called as necessary to deal with any single issue.

Latest advice from the denominations

#StayHome It could save livesRev Ian Howarth, Chair of the Birmingham Methodist District and Revd Steve Faber, Moderator of the URC West Midlands Synod, have written to churches at the start of Lockdown 3.

Read the letter from Ian Howarth

Read the letter from Steve Faber

Chaplaincy: ‘Come and sit over here!’

Sometimes I wonder, what on earth am I doing? Not just regarding chaplaincy! But here I am, rushing out to a pub foodie night, after promising the manager that I would turn up.Revd Elaine Hutchinson, Retail Chaplain in Birmingham

I’m late (as usual) and feeling really guilty and trying to be inconspicuous as I arrive at the event. ‘Good intentions’ a great name for a pub and it’s holding a foodie night, trying to encourage people to enjoy food while socialising at the pub. “It’s a new initiative. Hopefully we’ll get more people into the pub”, explains Roz, the assistant manager, who just happens to also be an excellent chief and has been serving up amazing dishes and catering for all sorts of events. Roz thinks it might just be good for business given the times we’re in.

So, I hang around thinking maybe I could’ve been better off at home, I feel a bit out of my comfort zone. I chat to Roz’s partner who is also helping with the event, but they’re both busy so I order a drink and sit outside.

I’m really tempted to go home. I’ve shown my face, ordered a drink, will buy some food then leave, that’s what I’m contemplating and still feeling guilty for having missed most of the event as I sit and sip my cider.

There’s a couple sitting outside, and they shout over to me, come and sit over here!

Now, maybe it’s my collar or maybe they feel sorry for me. Whatever the reason, they invite me over and I’m not one for refusing an invite so I’m intrigued and go over.

Shirley and Justin (name changed for obvious reasons) both work at the Law courts and they’ve heard of the foodie event.

Shirley has just finished a bottle of wine and orders another. “It’s been a busy day” she sighs and Justin is sipping what smells like whisky. They both look tired. “Are you a real minister?” Justin asks.

“No, I’m just pretending!” I reply. We all laugh and then the conversation ranges from faith to Black Lives Matter to favourite meals. Phew! Now I really want to go home. Justin goes to the bar, and I’m left alone with Shirley.

She asks “does it make you happy?” I’m puzzled, not sure what she means. “Does God, your faith, make you happy?” she speaks quietly and I realise that we’ve got until Justin returns. I pause. It depends on what you mean by happy. If you mean do-I-get-everything-I-want ‘happy’ then no, God doesn’t make me happy –  in fact God can make me very unhappy. I wonder if that was the right thing to say.

Shirley continues: “I’ve tried everything, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses. My mom’s very religious but I’m not sure.” I’m digging deep to find something profound to say, but that’s really about me, not about Shirley so I continue to listen. “Do you have a contact number? I would like to continue this conversation”, Shirley asks. I give her my card, Justin returns and that’s it, the conversation moves on to other things.

I still wonder at times what I am doing, but felt that at this particular moment, listening to Shirley grapple with faith was the right place to be chaplaincy, holy ground… sipping cider.

’Nuff, blessings!

Revd Elaine Hutchinson
be.friend Team Leader and Chaplain to the Great Western Arcade

Read our Chaplaincy page

 

Living in the church during Lockdown

Steph Neville is interviewed by Rev Nick Stanyon in his series of Good News videos for the URC West Mildands Synod. Here, she reflects on life during lockdown, how prayer underpins action, and how the large church space has enabled her creativity, plus her continuing involvement with Stories of Hope and Home.

More videos of Good News Stories with Rev Nick Stanyon are available to watch here here: https://www.urcwestmidlands.org.uk/synod-video-stories.html

More YouTube videos of Steph’s work with Stories of Hope and Home are here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqYJNo8mlmn5qGfTitSQlyQ

Carrs Lane Lived Community Live-Streamed Prayers are on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/carrslanelivedcommunity

Stories of Hope and Home on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopeandhomestories

 

 

 

Carrs Lane Lectures in Radical Christian Faith

NEW! Download Lectures Podcasts

We are gradually adding our podcasts of ‘Carrs Lane Lectures in Radical Christian Faith’. You can now download podcasts for 2015 and 2016, or listen to them by playing them direct from our website.

2015 LECTURES

Belonging without Believing: Canon Brian Mountford, Vicar of The University Church, Oxford and Revd Dr Harriet Harris, Chaplain at The University of Edinburgh

Download Lecture 1: ‘Christian Atheism’ by Canon Brian Mountford

Download lecture 2: The Tears and Laughter of God, by Revd Dr Harriet Harris

Download the Questions and Answers session



Go to our Lectures page to see more as we add and update the collection

We hold on to HOPE

In these challenging times when we are physically separated from each other, we hold each other in our thoughts and prayers as we continue to be together in spirit and in hope.   This is the message we proclaim to the city and share amongst ourselves…and with you.

We invite you to join us at the Church at Carrs Lane at 10.30am every Sunday morning.  Details at https://carrslane.co.uk/worship/sunday-worship/

We also are live streaming weekday prayers, currently at 8.30am on Monday to Friday morning and Monday to Thursday evening at 7pm.      You can watch live, or later at www.facebook.com/carrslanelivedcommunity

They are set to ‘public’ so you don’t need a Facebook account to be able to watch and pray with us.

We hold on to HOPE together!