I travelled down to Birmingham today to spend some time with a group of Christian friends that I have met at retreats and conferences over the last few years. It was a bright Autumn day, and after all meeting up at a venue near the station, we went on to St Martin's in the Bullring for a period of silent prayer.
I must say I had rather stereotypical ideas about Birmingham, but it did look good in the sunshine. St Martin's was a beautiful church which, judging by its website, literature and displays, seems to have a mission to reach out to everyone. There was some debate about the origins of the name St Martin's in the Bullring, some of us thought it must refer to bull fighting having occurred in the past, others thought this sounded too Spanish and that it was a reference to a part of the market where bulls were sold. Of course I googled "Bullring" when I got home - that's how sad I am!
We then went for a meal, and it was truly lovely to catch up with people and hear what had been happening in their lives. We hope to meet again in the New Year, possibly in Manchester this time. In a world where so many people I associate with are secular, I do value Christian friends. I also love doing faith and fellowship in different ways than simply through church, and do feel ministered to in these kind of contexts.
I don't like to post too many pictures of individuals on the blog, but above are some pictures of the interior of St Martin's in the Bullring.