We’re an affirming hybrid church committed to pursuing God’s radical inclusion. We meet near Birmingham City Centre (Five Ways) and online.
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
- When we meet together in person on a Sunday, we meet at Edgbaston Quaker Meeting House (11 St James Road B15 1JP – on the corner of St James and George Roads). The meeting house is 500m from Five Ways Train Station and a short walk from multiple bus routes (inc 1 and 8) that stop at the Big Morrisons at Five Ways. The Meeting House is JUST outside the clean air zone and there is plenty of free on-street parking on George Road. The Meeting house is accessible and has an accessible toilet. If you have any concerns about getting to us or if there is anything we can do to help make it easier for you to join us, please email email@example.com.
- As a Hybrid Church, we are committed to meeting online (via Facebook Live & YouTube) EVERY Sunday afternoon at 3pm (a new start time from Sept 2021). We meet in person at the Meeting House at Five Ways on the 1st & 4th Sundays of each month and those gatherings are ALWAYS livestreamed for those who aren’t with us in our venue. We host some online-only Sundays and Zoom events (so you can do church in your PJs). We also look for creative ways to integrate online engagement with our in person gatherings by including folks in conversation digitally where that is possible. Details of all of our gatherings can be found here.
- Our mid-week Community Groups are hosted mainly in homes around the city and/or by Zoom. Read more about our groups here. We also plan social gatherings, picnics and outings when we can. We LOVE eating together.
- We’re based near Birmingham City Centre (Five Ways) because we love the centrality and the accessibility to public transport. Lots of people travel to join us from around the city from Coventry and Worcester (and we’ve even got IGB folks in Finland and Canada). So travel links AND great digital communication and engagement are vital for our community!
- 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 believe that the experiences, spirituality and theology of many 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).
- 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.
- We are excited to be collaborating with Wylde Green URC to launch a monthly Open Table Network gathering in North Birmingham. Coming soon in 2021-22. Watch this space.
- 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.