We’re a diverse, justice-seeking, LGBTQIA+ affirming church for ALL based in Brum’s Gay Village (City Centre). We’re a community learning to practice God’s radically inclusive love & inclusion the best we can.
We meet in the Southside District of Birmingham City Centre every Sunday afternoon at 3pm. For the month of September 2023, we are meeting at Ibis Hotel at the Arcadian (opposite Chung Ying). Our large worship gathering happens on the 1st Sunday of each month and will also be livestreamed to Facebook Live.
We believe that the way of Jesus leads us to the wild, radical idea that true spiritual community can be formed based on who is INCLUDED, not by who is EXCLUDED. We are a learning community, constantly growing and changing to live out this vision in new and expanding ways.
When we say “inclusion”, we mean much more than mere tolerance or welcome. We believe God wants us all to know that we actually belong.
That means people of every race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, age and background, HIV status, ability and disability, theological and political conviction are loved, invited, and fully included.
Fully included. We mean it.
No secondary status if you’re a woman. No bait and switch if you’re LGBTQ. No restrictions in the fine print if you have doubts or questions about faith.
This radical inclusion is not something we invented. It is who God is. In the Bible, we read story after story of God breaking down the walls of exclusion and building up people and life.
Living this way is not easy – it requires us to really listen to one another, be open to discovering our blind-spots and practice forgiveness and reconciliation with one another (when we inevitably get things wrong). But through this practice we believe that we will experience the inclusive love of Jesus in practical, unexpected, and transforming ways.
Common Practical Questions
- We’re based in Birmingham’s Gay Village because we want to contribute to the flourishing of the LGBTQIA+ community in the city AND because we believe the LGBTQIA+ community is an important part of OUR flourishing as a community of faith. Lots of folks travel from around the Midlands to come to IGB, so the Gay Village’s easy access to New Street Station, bus and tram routes make it the perfect place for us to meet and to serve and to learn.
- Despite MEETING in the Gay Village, we are not an LGBTQIA+ ONLY church. We believe that the experiences, spirituality and theology of LGBTQ+ people are a gift to the church and can point all of us to a more expansive understanding of God’s love. This recognition has been a key turning point in many of the spiritual stories of those involved in our church community (for both those who identify as LGBTQ+ and those who don’t). Our locality is reflects this.
- Many of us identify as Christians (of different traditions – Methodist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Quaker, Catholic, Evangelical, post-Evangelical, and loads more). Others of us describe ourselves as agnostic, spiritual (but not religious) or aren’t really sure. We believe this kind of diversity in perspective and tradition is an enormous blessing.
- It’s fundamentally important to us that our church is a place where questions, doubt and disagreement are welcome (expressed in a loving and respectful way to one another). Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, we want you to feel free to express yourself and talk things through openly in a safe space without fear of judgement. Processing through what we really believe can be tough but it’s made easier in community.
Networks, Partnerships & Collaborators
- We are proudly members of the Inclusive Church Network. People across the sexual orientation and gender identity spectrums are included and celebrated, as are all people, as expressions of God’s creativity.
- We are part of the Birmingham Methodist District and partner particularly closely with our friends at The Church at Carrs Lane in Birmingham City Centre. We collaborate with the Church at Carrs Lane to host IGB weddings (between any two people) and funerals. If you would like to enquire about weddings or funerals email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As a proudly LGBTQ+ inclusive/ affirming/ celebratory church we are signed up to Student Christians Movement’s Honest Church campaign. Clarity is kind. And ALL are welcome here.
- Accountability: our funding comes from individual giving from our community and also from grants from the Methodist Church. This means we report to them, and are expected to uphold their standards in our financial, safeguarding, GDPR, and other policies.