Saturday, July 02, 2011

Praying for Saint Phillip’s

Robert Pickles
Nettes and I had a good time this morning praying in what used to be Saint Phillip’s Sixth Form College. This is a building that has stood empty for some time and is now rented by New College Birmingham. New College works in association with the Birmingham Bible Institute Family that includes Birmingham Christian College. Robert Pickles gave us a guided tour of the building explaining that the plan was to use some of the rooms there for the college, but there was more space than they needed.  He was open to suggestions that may be acceptable uses for the rest of the space, such as opening the canteen as a community café, renovating and using the sports hall and even using rooms for a social enterprise.

Paul & Jackie had invited us there to pray. They work with the homeless and run a Drop In one day a week at the Ledbury Centre. They have been helping decorate Saint Phillips along with some of the guys who go to the Drop In. Paul & Jackie and some others usually pray every other Saturday about the work with the homeless and the Drop In. This time they had decided to come to Saint Phillip's to pray that these premises would be used for God’s Kingdom as New College moves in there and to pray about possiblities for other projects that might be explored.  Paul and Jackie are looking to eventually move the Drop In into larger premises as it is outgrowing our little church building and are hoping to explore the possiblity of using some of the space at Saint Phillip's.

New College, Birmingham

Another idea that has been mooted as a project for the local area is to have local artists and artisans set up a social enterprise running workshops teaching people their skills. It could be that they also have exhibitions and sales. This is the sort of project that might be feasible to be run from a place like Saint Phillip's.

We prayed for some time in the canteen gathered around Robert and Hazel Pickles. It is great when Christians get together at grass roots level to pray like this. But we were also talking about the importance of church leaders getting together. We were saying how we know of local leaders in the area getting together to pray. Robert also mentioned an initiative called 2020 Birmingham where leaders across Birmingham from a number of different groupings are working together with an aim to plant twenty churches in the Birmingham area by the year 2020.

Finally we broke down into two or threes praying in different areas of the centre. I went with Nettes into the small kitchen. Among other things we were praying that the kitchen would serve wholesome food and not be tempted to go the fast food route but to serve healthy, locally sourced produce and for the café to be a fair trade café and possibly even a training enterprise.

This is all very exciting!

Related posts:
Down And Out In Birmingham
More Thoughts On Social Enterprise

1 comment:

Gemma Chambers said...

It would be great to open up the space to community groups and social enterprises for projects that could benefit the community.