Welcome to Hodge Hill Church!

Welcome to the website for Hodge Hill Church – a partnership between St Philip & St James (Church of England) and Hodge Hill United Reformed Church. We are committed to being an Inclusive Church and try to live out that commitment to God’s inclusivity in all that we do.

We meet at the ‘Blue Cross Church’ (242 Coleshill Road B36 8BG) every Sunday for worship (10.30am), but are also present and active in all kinds of ways in our wider neighbourhood.

Use the navigation menu (on the left) to find out more – or contact us


Is God calling you? Come and explore with us!

Do you feel like you’re at a crossroads in your life?
Or sensing God calling you and want to explore further?

Why not consider…

‘Mission in Community’ Exploration Year
with the Common Ground Community, Hodge Hill
A partnership between Church of England – Birmingham and Hodge Hill Church

Hodge Hill is a multicultural, rapidly-changing area of east Birmingham, where God is doing exciting things and the local church is seeking to respond in new and creative ways. We can offer you a life-changing year, living together in intentional community, engaging in a rich diversity of pioneering missional activities, exploring your sense of identity and of God’s call alongside experienced Anglican priests and wise lay people, and learning together more about God, the world, and a lived-out Christian faith among our neighbours. Grants may be available to cover accommodation in one of our Community Houses. So what are you waiting for?!
Contact us today to find out more: CGCHodgeHill@gmail.com

(more info below…)

postcard v2 frontWhat we can offer:

    • Loads of opportunities to experience and engage in diverse, exciting and pioneering missional work, within a large, urban, multicultural parish in East Birmingham, including:
      • Drop-in ‘places of welcome’ for adults, offering both hospitality and practical support
      • A multi-faith women’s group
      • Youth and children’s work, including Messy Church
      • Schools work, assemblies, and school-gate pop-up ‘cuppa’ events
      • Activities in and around our new Community Forest Space
      • Creative ‘retreat days’ in and around the Community Houses
      • ‘Street Connector’ work, helping organise and invite people to ‘micro-local’ events (e.g. street parties, barbeques, etc)
    • Opportunities to get involved within Hodge Hill Church, an Anglican-URC local ecumenical partnership seeking to be creative and radically inclusive in its welcome, worship, and decision-making (as well as its missional engagement!)
    • The Common Ground Community is an intentional community of about 25 adults (and 12 children) living in and around the Hodge Hill area, committed to a shared rhythm of life involving being, doing, learning and praying together.
    • ‘Exploration Year’ participants will live in one of our two Community Houses, alongside our resident members (single adults and a family with 2 children), sharing life together within the Houses, and a rhythm of prayer, hospitality and activity within the wider neighbourhood
    • Each participant will have their own bedroom (single/double), and shared use of the bathroom, kitchen, communal living space and garden
    • A great opportunity to join others locally in reflecting on what you’re doing and experiencing, growing in faith, and exploring further what God might be calling you to
      • Some wonderfully wise, passionate and gifted people within the Houses, church and wider neighbourhoods, including experienced youth and community workers
      • An experienced clergy team of 3 priests (2 female, 1 male) with widely-recognised expertise in training, supervision and theological reflection; children’s, youth and community work; worship and liturgy; and missional leadership.
      • Regular opportunities to meet with others (in small groups and 1-to-1) to reflect, learn and explore together
      • Both lay and ordained people with experience of discerning, encouraging and nurturing vocations, and offering ‘spiritual companionship’ to those exploring their vocations, both within daily life and in more ‘specialist’ ways
      • Links to courses (theological and practical) offered by the Diocese of Birmingham, the Queen’s Foundation and the Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry

What we would ask for:

  • A commitment:
    • to stay with us for 10 months (normally September/October to June/July, but we’re flexible!),
    • to ‘get stuck in’ to the communal life of the Houses, and a wide range of the activities that make up our mission/engagement in our neighbourhoods and the worshipping life of the church
  • A financial contribution
    • towards the Community Houses running costs (normally around £100-200 each month, depending on your income), and towards the costs of shared meals in the Houses
    • grants may be available (for young adults from the Diocese of Birmingham) from the St Martin’s Trust, for up to £1500, to cover the living costs detailed above

To find out more:

Contact us on CGCHodgeHill@gmail.com
or via (Revd) Al Barrett, email: hodgehillvicar@hotmail.co.uk, tel: 07738119210

Why not #TryPraying with us?


#TryPraying ‘taster day’ @ The Old Rectory, Saturday 14th May 2016

Do you find praying hard?
Not sure how to do it in a way that comes naturally to you?

Why not drop in to The Old Rectory for a bit, and get a taste of one or more of these different ways of praying…?!

9.30am Tea & coffee served!

10.00am Bread-making: praying with our hands and hearts

10.45am Walking the labyrinth: an introduction (in the garden)

12.00 In the midst of chaos: praying with busy children

12.00 (in the prayer room) Praying with the Bible:
the ancient practice of lectio divina

12.30pm Lunch-time: praying around the table

1-3pm More ways to pray!
(option to repeat some of the morning sessions, or try other things,
including walking prayerfully on the Common)

Come for any or all of the day!
For more info talk to Genny, Matt or Al (07738 119210)

We Need Your Bricks!

We need your bricks!
Next month we are hoping to start the construction of the labyrinth in the garden of The Old Rectory, the date set is the 6th February.
The picture below shows something similar to what we are hoping to achieve. If you have any unwanted bricks, whether they are broken, whole, new or old then we will happily take them off your hands.
Bricks can be left piled up, outside the house (80 Hodge Hill Common) near the garage. Thank you!

Come and join Hodge Hill’s Common Ground Community: sharing life, learning together, seeking shalom

Who we’re looking for

  • an ‘anchor’ person (or couple, or family) – prepared to consider a long-term commitment to the community here, able to give at least 20 hours a week of their time to ‘making connections’ with neighbours, and helping to shape new and developing local community activities, in and around our 2 Community Houses;
  • shorter-term community members (minimum 1 year) – wanting to explore the fun, challenges and possibilities of sharing a common life together (perhaps alongside studies or paid work), getting involved in local community activities, and drawing learning from shared reflection on a (possibly) once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Who we are

The Common Ground Community is an intentional, missional community, part of the ‘extended family’ of the local church (an Anglican-URC ecumenical partnership), with ‘resident members’ living in our 2 Community Houses and ‘local members’ dispersed across the wider neighbourhood.

Together we are seeking to learn and live out rhythms of life shaped by ‘shalom’ (peace, justice, wholeness), and expressed in hospitality and friendship with neighbours, activity and prayer. We’re involved in women’s groups, stay-and-plays and forest spaces; we’re learning to garden and we love cooking and eating together; we offer spaces for retreat and reflection, and hospitality for refugees and asylum-seekers. We learn from each other (e.g. ‘Doubting Aloud’), from our neighbours, and from a network of reflective-practitioner friends across the UK and beyond!

Where we are

We’re in the diverse, multi-cultural and rapidly-changing area of Hodge Hill, in East Birmingham, near M6 Junction 5. ‘The Croft’ is right in the middle of the Firs & Bromford estate (B36 8SN), ‘The Old Rectory’ is in a quiet spot on the edge of Hodge Hill Common (B36 8AG).


We currently have 4 vacant bedrooms (2 in each house, some big enough for couples and/or children). Residents make a financial contribution, according to their means, to the running costs of the Community Houses (covers rent and bills, but not food; guideline £200 per person, per month).

If you’d like to find out more, then come and visit us!

To start the conversation, contact Al Barrett: hodgehillvicar@hotmail.co.uk / 07738119210
See our website, hodgehillchurch.wordpress.com for more details
Join our Facebook group ‘Common Ground Community in Hodge Hill’

Hodge Hill Prayer Diary December 31st

Wednesday 31st December

Blessed are you, The Word that became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood.  Amen

1 John 2: 18 – 21

Psalm 96: 1, 11 – end

John 1: 1 – 18

We pray for people and places

Dear God, we thank you for all the people who live in Fishpool Close and we ask for your blessing on them.

We pray for blessing on all our brothers and sisters at Hodge Hill Gospel Hall.

Bring peace to the world dear God, bring your true shalom.

The joy of this day be yours

The joy of this week be yours

The joy of this year be yours

The joy of the Father be yours

The joy of the Spirit be yours

The joy of the Son be yours

Joy for ever and ever be yours. Amen

Written by Matt Lynch

Closing prayer from The Edge of Glory: D. Adam

Hodge Hill Prayer Diary December 30th

Tuesday 30th December


Blessed are you, The Word that became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood.  Amen


1 John 2: 12 – 17

Psalm 96: 7 – 10

Luke 2: 36 – 40


We pray for people and places


Dear God, we thank you for all the people who live in Eastbourne Avenue and we ask for your blessing on them.

Thank you for the role of the church child protection officer, who makes sure that everything is in place to safeguard children and adults.  We pray for the children, young people and adults that use the building every week.

Help us to have a change in perspective towards living greener, to reduce our carbon footprint.


Father, you have revealed your love

by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into our world.

Help us to welcome him with joy,

and to make room for him in our lives and homes,

that we may abide in him and he in us;

Through the same Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

with you, O Father, and Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen

Written by Matt Lynch
Closing prayer from The Rhythm of Life: D. Adam