As you may be aware, for the last year we have had a long-term resident with us at 121 Albert Road. His name is James Hicks, and we have really enjoyed having him living here. We thought you’d like to know a bit more about him, so here are some things which he told me in a recent “interview”:
When did you first come to Aston, and why?
I moved to Birmingham to start my job as a water engineer in October 2003, but my only contact with Aston was when passing through on the bus or train to the city centre. At Spring Harvest the next year I felt challenged to be involved in Christian youth work within the inner city, and before I left I was given details of The Wash, which is a youth church that the Salvation Army had recently set up in Aston.
I got involved with that and was soon sharing a house in Aston with Ian, the full time youth worker at the Wash. I was encouraged to explore different churches in the area and I settled at Aston Parish Church, where I also got involved in the Sunday school.
Why did you ask to live in the LA Aston Community?
In August 2006 Ian left Birmingham for further studies, so I needed to find somewhere else to live. I love living in Aston ― although it can be very challenging ― because God’s given me a passion for youth work in this area and it is a very varied, multi-cultural community. I already knew the Lee Abbey Community members and I wanted to be close to The Wash. The main reason I wanted to live here was that being in a Christian Community means we can support and help one another all week, not just on a Sunday.
What of the future?
I work full time and currently I have a long journey into the office, but this is likely to change in the autumn which will free me up to spend more time in the Lee Abbey house! I’m part of a team who organise a city-wide Christian event for 7-11 year olds, called x:site, and I want to encourage children from Aston take part in that. Plans are also taking shape for Hope 2008, which will see lots of local churches sharing the love of Jesus with the local community. I’m excited by what God is doing in Aston, especially amongst the young people I meet, and I hope to carry on being a part of that.