B1 church in Birmingham featured in the first Fresh Expressions DVD four years ago. Now Ed Mackenzie of the B1 council brings their story up to date.
B1 continues to be a community that seeks to reach out to the unchurched and dechurched within the city centre of Birmingham. Significant developments over the last few years have included the Breathe project and a 'recasting' of our vision and values.
The Breathe project began in early 2007 and aimed to 'help stimulate people's spiritual imaginations'. Based in a city-centre office space, the Breathe venue offered meeting spaces, spirituality discussion groups and a 'sanctuary space' for relaxation and reflection. The challenge has been to engage people within the busyness of a city centre environment, but significant relationships have developed throughout the project. Breathe has now moved into a new 'post-venue' phase where it will work closer with other churches and charities in the city centre.
B1 church also underwent a 'vision casting' process in 2007-2008. We articulated our vision as 'Living God, Living Differently, Living Community', and identified five values central to our life together: Attentiveness, Nurturing, Community, Acceptance and Equipping. We also developed a 'rhythm of life' with spiritual practices to help B1ers embody the five values within their lives – practices include intentional 'blessing', a daily or weekly prayer of review and regular Bible reading.
At the moment B1 church is in the process of recruiting a new leader to take us forward into the next stage of our church life.