Browsing articles in "Birmingham"
Oct 19, 2015

The rise and rise of Birmingham

Here’s a great new video highlighting why Birmingham is on the rise. And in case you think it’s all just hype check out this study by PwC that ranks Birmingham as the most investable city in the UK and the 6th in Europe.

why birmingham


May 15, 2015

The new 2020birmingham website goes live

Dec 3, 2014

When people leave London why do more move to Birmingham than anywhere else?

The Office of National Statistics has published a report highlighting the fact that  more people are choosing to leave London in their 30’s than ever before.

The Telegraph reports ‘58,220 people aged from 30 to 39 left the capital between June 2012 and June 2013; a record number, and a ten per cent increase on 2010.’

So where are these people heading? More are heading to Birmingham than anywhere else. The Birmingham Post  comments ‘5,480 thirtysomethings left London for Birmingham last year, making it a more popular choice than any other UK city.’

In other words almost 1 in 10 people who leave London, head for Birmingham.

Tom Cullen is one such example why not find out why through his subscription e-mail I choose Birmingham

Jun 12, 2014

A life of its own – how a city movement multiplies churches

At our 2020birmingham conference last week I outlined 14 different reasons why UK cities would benefit from city-wide church planting movements and in an earlier post I outlined the first 7 reasons. Here we look at reasons 8-14.

8. The quickest way to reach a city is through a church planting movement of self-reproducing churches.

Churches typically plant churches in isolation, although some churches or networks may be able to plant small organic networks within a city.  To reach a city requires a church-planting movement that can only be created by concerted collaboration between churches and networks over a period of time.

Reaching a city requires a self-sustaining movement of church-planting churches, something that has a life of its own. Movement dynamics are only generated and sustained when plants are happening in sufficient number which generates a tipping-point for planting.  To change the metaphor what is needed is a concerted effort to generate enough ‘heat’ to sustain a movement.  In most UK cities that won’t happen unless we reach outside of existing partnerships to work together. Momentum develops as a city network accelerates church-planting and creates a culture of planting across the churches that becomes infectious and as churches plant, share resources, ideas, recruit planters, train interns most quickly through a vibrant city-network.

9. We can work strategically to reach the whole city when we work in collaboration

Reaching new communities and thinking how to reach more challenging communities can best be done together.  In Birmingham the challenge of establishing  gospel-communities for every section of society and every people-group seems too big for us as busy churches and pastors – creative collaboration helps overcome inertia when it comes to the bigger challenges.

10. City networks invite and promote partnership with non-Church planting churches

Churches that would not identify themselves as church-planting churches have a role to play in a city network.

  • Adopting a church-plant: prayer, giving, sending, training leaders

It also helps partner churches consider whether they might be able to church plant themselves.

11. Working together in cities is a powerful witness to the gospel

Jesus prayed in John 17:20 ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.’

12. Working together develops a healthy gospel mind-set that trains your congregation to live with gospel priorities

Working with churches that differ from you on secondary issues requires three gospel qualities.

A generosity of spirit – working wherever we can with gospel churches

Invisibility’ – City movements do not ‘own’ the church-plants but instead bless and work alongside planters and their plants. That is something that happens quietly and behind the scenes. Members of the plant may not even be very aware of the support and help the planter is receiving. In Birmingham the ‘2020’ label does not appear

Kingdom mind-set – We must get the gospel out and rather than seeing other churches as unwelcome rivals we rejoice in the work the Lord is doing through planting across a city.

13. Working together is a massive encouragement to our congregations

Our experience in Birmingham has been that congregations thrive when churches work together. Many Christians long for greater unity across the churches and

14. Working at a city level allows for local, flexible expressions of partnership

City movement will need to look different from one city to the next. The model for such movements allow for a high degree of flexibility.

Apr 9, 2014

Impacting our cities – a conference for everyone!

2020birmingham will be holding its annual conference on Tuesday 3rd June in Birmingham. At the heart of our commitment to mission is a belief that to reach our cities for Christ we need to see churches planted that in turn will plant churches.  We need nothing less than church-planting movements of all shapes and sizes. At our conference this year Richard Coekin of Co-Mission Network in London will share something of a vision to plant 360 congregations in London over 25 years.

But to reach the people of our cities it won’t be enough even to plant many more churches.  To impact our cities we will need churches established that can creatively engage with the gospel across culture, class, ethnicity and every sphere and interest of life. The focus of this year’s conference will be to ask what might it look like for church-planting movements to engage our communities and impact our cities for Christ

If you live in a UK city (or have a heart for our cities) and want to think through what it might look like for you to work towards a church-planting movement where you are then why not join us. If you want to consider what it might look like for your church to engage through social action, the arts, politics and more  then this could be a good place to meet with others who are also seeking to engage their communities in this way.

Here’s a short video introducing our conferences.










I have become all things to win all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Cor. 9:22-23 (NIV 2011).

Mar 28, 2014

This is Birmingham

Stunning photos of our city by Tom Cornbill

Jan 27, 2014

What the ‘Cities Outlook 2014′ study reveals about Birmingham

Five things the Centre for Cities study ‘Cities Outlook 2014‘ published today reveals about the city  of Birmingham

1. Birmingham has enjoyed the greatest increase in ‘life satisfaction’ of any major UK over the past year (Table 17 – Life satisfaction change)

2. The city created 15,400 new jobs in the private sector between 2010-12; only London and Edinburgh figured better (Figure 3: Private and public sector job creation)

3. Birmingham has the 4th lowest employment rate of any UK city (Table 5: Employment rate)

4. It has the second highest level of inequality of any city in the UK (Table 12 – Disparities within cities)

5. Birmingham is one of the 10 cities with the highest percentage of no formal qualifications (Table 10 – Residents with no formal qualifications)

Nov 26, 2013

What we have to learn from the ‘next generation’ of church leaders

Here’s a summary of Brad Lomenick’s take on the next generation of leaders in the church and his reasons for optimism.

  1. Passion for God
  2. Willing to work together
  3. Don’t care who gets the credit
  4. Generosity and sharing are the new currencies
  5. They understand the holistic responsibility of influence
  6. Authenticity wins
  7. Not willing to wait
  8. See social justice as the norm
  9. Seeking wisdom and mentors
  10. A change the world mentality
Many of these same values are shaping our 2020birmingham network.  A partnership of now 10 congregations committed to working together in church planting across Birmingham works because rivalry and self-interest are giving way to gospel-hearted collaboration. There is much to give thanks for and many reasons to be encouraged about the future of the church in the next generation.
What’s of greatest encouragement is that these values seem to be instinctive to our younger leaders and result in an energy and vitality that isn’t  manufactured.

(HT: Matt Perman)

Oct 23, 2013

Our vision for 20 churches over 10 years in 6 minutes

We hope you like our new 2020birmingham video setting out our vision for 20 churches over 10 years told in 6 minutes.


Oct 19, 2013

10 extraordinary truths about our extraordinary city of Birmingham

1. 4.3 million people live within an hour’s commute of Birmingham centre

2. Birmingham has the youngest population of any city in Europe with 38% under the age of 25

3. Birmingham has twice the working age population of Manchester (638,200 as against 329,900)

4. 10,000 people are added the population of Birmingham every year

5. In 2011 census, for the first time ever, less than half the city’s population self-defined as Christian.  46.1% of Birmingham  residents said they were Christian, 21.8% Muslim and 19.3% had no religion.

6. Between 2001 and 201 the population has increased by almost 90,000 – a growth of 9.1%. That’s 200 people a week!

7. Birmingham has the largest student population outside of London at 65,000.

8. Only 6% of the population of Birmingham ever go to church

9. 57% of the Birmingham’s under 11’s are from a variety of ethnic minorities

10. Birmingham has the highest unemployment rate of any major UK city – 10.3%

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