On Sunday 13th October, Six Ways Erdington Baptist Church became Birmingham’s first Church of Sanctuary (and is, we understand only the second such Church of Sanctuary in the country).
The church has several asylum-seekers and refugees in their congregation, who have been supported in many ways throughout their asylum journey. There is also a well-attended ESOL class and a weekly food bank. Asylum and refugee stories are going to be a main focus for all the church groups and especially the children’s and youth groups are going to work on the “36,000 Humans” project, honouring those who have lost their lives in search of sanctuary in Europe. The church is also in touch with two local schools, one secondary school with the Sanctuary Award, and a Catholic primary school which has just started working towards the award and which has already had contact with the Baptist Church in the past.
At the award presentation service, singing was led by two refugees from Zimbabwe, special prayers were said for a Christian Somali asylum-seeker just released from immigration detention, Richard Reddie of Churches’ Refugee Network gave the address, and the award was handed to the three Sanctuary Advocates nominated by the church – one refugee, one daughter of refugees, and a British Jamaican.
We look forward to continuing to celebrate the life and work of this church.