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Diocese of Arundel and Brighton Article

Taizé Birmingham 2017 Hidden Treasure - Inner Life and Solidarity

Dates: 28/Apr/2017 - 01/May/2017

In cooperation with the churches of the city, the Taizé Community will be facilitating ayoung adult gathering in Birmingham next year, over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend, 28/04-1/05, 2017. Brother Alois, prior of the community will take part.

Main events over the weekend will take place in city-centre churches: St Chad’s Cathedral (Catholic), St Philip’s Cathedral (Anglican), The Church at Carrs Lane (Methodist and URC), and St Martin in the Bull Ring (Birmingham’s ancient parish church). 

The meeting is being held with the blessing of the presidents of Birmingham Churches Together, Archbishop Bernard Longley, Bishop David Urquhart and Reverend Ian Howarth. Support has been expressed by other Church leaders (see below).

16-35 year-olds are invited for the full weekend. 
16-18 year-olds may alternatively come for a one day programme, just on the Saturday.
The prayer gatherings will be open to people of all ages.
See website for more details on the programme.

In 8 host neighbourhoods of the city, local people of different churches will be working in teams during the coming year to prepare accommodation and a programme for the young participants.

As with all gatherings led by the brothers of Taizé, a regular community prayer will be at the heart of the weekend. Brother Alois, prior of the international and ecumenical monastic community, will speak at some of the evening prayers. Birmingham Church leaders are being invited particularly to the Saturday evening prayer.

Afternoons: workshops in the city-centre will celebrate the myriad ways in which people of faith in Birmingham and beyond are striving to make the world a better place: interfaith relations, the welcome of refugees and asylum seekers, engaging with the sick and with prisoners, living more ecologically, becoming aware of the problems of human trafficking, the arms trade and inequalities in financial systems. Afternoon activities will also include music and the arts, and questions of faith, vocation and Christian community life. A church will be set aside for those seeking a time of quiet reflection and prayer.

Some messages of support and invitation from Birmingham Church leaders

Taizé is a haven for peace, prayer, discussion and debate, a village of young adults who also are known in every church across the globe for rich prayerful music and songs that are easy to chant along with. It is also a place of diversity where you can stretch your intellectual understanding and ponder life’s important questions. Thousands travel to the international gatherings to experience the unique sense of Christian community these prayer weekends provide. We are delighted to welcome you and the Taizé Community to Birmingham Archdiocese in 2017 to share this charism. We are excited to welcome young pilgrims from all across the UK and further afield for 3 days of encounter, simple Christian living, learning and prayer in the heart of our city. The Catholic community are excited to be in partnership with so many to host you here. Be assured of a warm welcome.

Sandra Satchell and Fr Michael Dolman,
Directors of Birmingham Catholic Youth Services and the Kenelm Youth Trust

I have taken a group of inner city youngsters to Taizé where they experienced unique times of prayer, reflection and singing: it was spiritually and emotionally inspiring! So I am pleased that for the ‘Taizé Birmingham 2017’ gathering young people from across the world will enter Birmingham to share in worship, reflections, unity, prayer and an openness for God to speak into their lives. I pray that the vision for this gathering, will grow from a seed into a manifestation of young people engaging in transformational exchanges that will reach far beyond 2017.

Rev Dr Carver Anderson, Executive Director Bringing Hope Charity, former National Youth Director for the New Testament Church of God

I am greatly looking forward to the Taizé Birmingham 2017 gathering. It is exciting to imagine young people from all over the world gathering in this city to pray, to listen to one another and to what the Spirit of God is telling us about peace and reconciliation in this age. It will be a sign, a small snapshot of God's peaceable reign, and one that I hope will echo throughout the UK and to churches and communities around the globe.

Dr C. Rosalee Velloso Ewell, Executive Director of the Theological Commission for the World Evangelical Alliance
Imagining the Taizé Birmingham 2017 gathering makes me very excited. I look forward to that great event when young Pentecostals worship God alongside their brothers and sisters from other traditions of our big Christian family and learning how to listen, hear and obey God in our generation. This is a wonderful initiative, an opportunity that young Pentecostals should embrace joyfully to identify the gift of God in the Holy Spirit available in all believers from all backgrounds.
Dr Lord Elorm-Donkor, District Pastor of the Church of Pentecost-UK and Director of Christian formation and ministerial training in Birmingham

The Church of England in Birmingham is delighted that the city is hosting this international gathering of young adults. God works through the Taizé Community in extraordinary ways to inspire young adults from diverse cultural backgrounds to discover a deep and transformative place of prayer, leading to a commitment to transform our world.
The Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston