In February, Juliet and I were invited to a joint “away-day” for leaders in the three Anglican churches in Aston and Nechells, which are now grouped together. Many of the 45 participants had lived in this area all their lives; nearly half were Afro-Caribbean, one leads the small Asian fellowship which meets every week, and the rest were white.
Andy Jolley, our vicar, skilfully helped us to consider how God is working in us individually and in each congregation; there was also a chance for those engaged in similar work to compare notes. It was great to hear what God is doing in and for each of us. We sensed that He is encouraging us all to think, worship, and witness in new ways, and that there is a growing confidence in people to get involved.
This is shown by the response to the diocesan Lent project, encouraging us to live generously. At St. James’ Church we will be giving out plants and seeds to people who live nearby. There are other excitingly creative ideas in the pipeline elsewhere, notably an open-air Palm Sunday service (donkey and all) to attract the attention of passing Aston Villa football fans, and a neighbourhood litter-tidying day ― with free food ― at Nechells.
That’s a glimpse of one slice of life at Aston. If you’d like to receive more detailed news, please email us at email@example.com, or phone us on 0121 327 0095.
We (Juliet and David) are glad to invite everyone in the Birmingham area to our official commissioning service at St James’ Church, Aston, on Sunday 30th April at 6.00pm (tea and refreshments available from 4.30pm). Phone the number given above for more information.