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…
We’ve recently made some important decisions about our next steps together as a church.
As Hodge Hill Church, we are committed to “Growing Loving Community – in the love of God, with all our neighbours, across Hodge Hill”.
We understand that “growing” in at least 5 dimensions:
- growing spiritually (‘roots’): growing deeper in our learning, praying and living the way of Jesus
- growing communally (‘trunk’): growing together as a church community, beyond ‘us and them’, drawing out and sharing all the gifts we have in our midst
- growing missionally (‘branches’): growing wider in encountering and making friends with more and more of our neighbours
- growing evangelistically (‘leaves’): with more and more of our neighbours, discovering afresh the story of Jesus (in ways that change us as well as change others)
- growing the Kingdom (‘fruit’): nurturing and celebrating compassion, generosity, trust, friendship and hope in all that we are, and in our neighbourhoods around us
To help us in that ‘growing’, at our Church Meeting on Sunday 21st October, we agreed 3 key proposals for moving forward together.
Proposal #1: continue to develop plans for ‘messy & missional church’, building on the relationships we’ve made through our community-building work in the Firs & Bromford, to journey with our neighbours in developing new ways to meet together to eat together, discover afresh ‘the Jesus-story’, pray, and share bread and wine.
Proposal #2: develop a single, consistent Sunday 10.30am ‘core service’ – replacing our current monthly pattern of alternating services between URC and CofE traditions. This new service (to be piloted from March to Sept 2019) will be shaped by these key principles:
- Missional (accessible for newcomers) & inclusive (including children)
- Consistent in look & feel (including arrangement of chairs)
- Consistent in structure & style
- Drawing on both traditions (URC & CofE) & beyond
- Locally led (lay & ordained, CofE & URC, using gifts of whole congregation)
- Possibilities for different options in ‘ministry of the word’ (e.g. monthly pattern and/or splitting into different parts of the building)
- 5th Sundays & Festivals a wider, ‘whole church’ celebration together with people from Homely and Messy & Missional gatherings
Proposal #3: develop new oversight structures – extending the oversight of Worship Planning Group and Pastoral Oversight Group to all of our ‘expressions of church’, and creating a new ‘Strategic Leadership Team’ to oversee:
- connectivity between different expressions of church
- mission, discipleship and nurturing a ‘growing culture’
- learning and training, including growing leaders
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…)
What 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
- LEARNING & VOCATIONAL EXPLORATION
- 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: email@example.com, tel: 07738119210
#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!
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07738119210
See our website, hodgehillchurch.wordpress.com for more details
Join our Facebook group ‘Common Ground Community in Hodge Hill’
Here’s a bit more detail about the Common Ground Community, from our official ‘launch’ in January 2015:
Common Ground community – info booklet (B&W) Jan 2015 Memorandum of Commitment (CGC) v2
And here (for a lot more detail!) is the current ‘Memorandum of Commitment’ that resident members of the CGC have signed up to:
Memorandum of Commitment (CGC) v2
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