Birmingham is classified as a “super diverse” city with people from nearly 200 different ethnicities making us their home. As in many cities the shock of the George Floyd atrocity sent shock waves through our community with 4000 people gathering in the city centre to cry for justice. We have a long history of profiting from slavery, rejecting the Windrush generation, and tolerating racism and inequality. This was a loud wake up call, a tipping point for many of us as we saw the deep hurt and grief in our black brothers and sisters.
We realised we did not have the wisdom and understanding we needed to bring about change. City leaders gathered together under the Time 4 Change banner to pray, listen and understand. From that we created a vision for the city it says, “We have a vision to see institutional racism confidently challenged, and removed from the body of Christ across all sectors of God’s church, our communities, and the city of Birmingham.”
The vision is driving action, to strengthen relationships across the city, to review our history and the sins that fed and strengthened racism, we sent out messages of unity through social media at Pentecost and will do more to strengthen understanding. On October 25th the city united in prayer via social media, to repent of our sin, pray for unity and bless the city. There is much more to do but the issues of racial justice have renewed our heart for deep unity where we honour, support and bless each other as God’s people. As Europe’s youngest city we want to raise a new generation of leaders united in blessing the city. We are on a journey, there is much more to unpack and repent of, there is more to do to build relationships and unity, but we feel God’s momentum and a determination that THIS TIME we will see real change.