Smethwick Old Church is both an historic building and a family of Christians. We share our trust in Jesus Christ with 2.2 billion people, about a third of the world's population. Since 1732, our spiritual home in this Church of England parish has been the oldest building in Smethwick, a Grade II listed gem and a place of worship for generations of Anglicans. It was built with money left by Dorothy Parkes, hence its original name, Parkes' Chapel.
We worship together twice each Sunday, at 10.15 a.m. using Common Worship but adapted to suit the times and seasons and the nature of the congregation. We celebrate Evening Prayer every Sunday at 5.00 using the Book of Common Prayer. Children aged 5-11 are provided for at our Junior Church which meets every Sunday during morning service, either in church or in the Dorothy Parkes Centre. Big Fish, for older young people, also meets at that time. Holy Communion is celebrated every Tuesday at 10.00 a.m. On the last Wednesday of each month, the church is open between 6.00 and 8.00 p.m., candlelit and with the opportunity for quiet prayer, company and refreshments. If you wish, you can then join a service of night prayer, Compline, at 7.45 p.m. We call this time Soul Space. On the last Thursday of each month, you are invited to pray with others in a gathering that starts at 2.00 p.m. The church has a loop system and there is adequate access for those with mobility problems. Our many social activities take place in the nearby Dorothy Parkes Centre.
The Old Church is set in the Deanery of Warley in the Anglican Diocese of Birmingham. It is a part of a group ministry with two other local churches, the Parish of the Resurrection (Holy Trinity) and St Matthew with St Chad’s, Windmill Lane. We also maintain links with other Christian denominations in the Smethwick area.
We are very easy to find, about 4 miles west of the centre of Birmingham and less than 10 minutes from Junction 2 of the M5. The 89 bus service runs between Birmingham City and Oldbury with a stop on The Uplands, by Old Church. For satnav users, the post-code is B67 6EQ. There is no difficulty with on-street parking. Click the satellite image on the left to see an interactive map of where we are.
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Festival 2016 at Old Church starts in just a month's time, on 4th June. It is an opportunity to celebrate the richness of the created world in displays, performances and activities over the full week, Saturday to Saturday.
Throughout the week there will be a flower display in the church together with tea and cakes. The following is a list of the other main activities, some of which will require a ticket. All the events are in Old Church, unless indicated otherwise.
Saturday, 4th June, 7.00 p.m.: Gospel Choir Concert.
Sunday, 5th June, 10.15 a.m.: Festival Service of Holy Communion led by Bishop Anne Hollingsworth followed by a One World Cafe lunch. The Flower Festival opens at 2.00 p.m..
Tuesday, 7th June, 1.00 p.m.: a recital by the Taiwanese flute player, Sheng.
Wednesday, 8th June, 7.00 p.m.: Poetry Open-Mic Evening.
Thursday, 9th June, 11.00 and 1.30 p.m.: Performances by Uplands School.
Friday, 10th June, 7.30 p.m.: An evening of poetry with Nicola Slee and Rosie Miles.
Saturday, 11th June, 2.00 p.m.: Glimpses of the Graveyard, a talk by Mary Bodfish from the Smethwick Historical Society.
Saturday, 11th June, 7.30 p.m.: End of Festival Barn Dance, Dorothy Parkes Centre.
For full details of events, places and prices, look at the Festival 2016 programme which can be viewed by clicking this link. (It may take a little time to open as it is a large document.) Festival 2016 is also on the Documents page.
Thank you to all those very many members of the Old Church family who work to maintain the quality of our Sunday worship together, whether by cleaning or flower-arranging or many of the other duties for which you volunteer. The Service Rota for the next quarter is now available. It is available on the web-site or can be seen at Old Church. Please contact Paul Martin if you wish to change any of the arrangements.
At 5.00 on Sundays we meet together to celebrate Evening Prayer following the Book of Common Prayer. Approximately monthly, we are now planning to offer an alternative service to Evening Prayer. The details of the services up to March 2016 can be found by clicking this link, Special Sunday Services at 5.00, or looking on the Documents page. Do come and tell the Ministry Team what you think of these alternative forms of worship and prayer.
If you interested in meeting with others to explore issues of faith, to sing or to be quiet for a day, to pray together or walk together - or a number of other activities, then spend some time looking at our Smethwick Old Church What's On, 2016? It's also available as a hard copy, on paper, but you will need to come to church to find that. We look forward to seeing you at some - even all of these activities.
The Reverend Margaret Farr organises monthly Healing Services at St Matthews, on Saturdays at 9.00 am. Those who have attended have found them to be wonderfully supportive, a quiet time to share your concerns with God and to receive a blessing - if you would like that. The Healing Services until September 2016 will be held on the following days. Do come!
14th May, 11th June, 9th July, 10th September.
Click on the link at the botom left-hand corner of this page and you will be taken to the Old Church Facebook pages. For all those who enjoy the wonders of social media, and I'm starting to at last, this is the place to see what is happening in the church community and to share your thoughts.
Old Church has had a new vicar - for a year! On 17th February 2014, the Reverend Deb Buckley was instituted as vicar of Smethwick Old Church. We thank her for her ministry and continuing the work of bringing the grace and truth of Christ to the people of the parish and beyond.
We are delighted that you have found your way to the Old Church website and hope that you have found here the information that you are seeking. Whether this is about regular or special services, or about Old Church social activities, or about help that you think that Old Church might provide, do feel free to write using the Old Church mail system.
We have improved our Contacts page, leaving space for e-mail and postal addresses and a 'phone number, if you wish to provide these. In addition, there is room for prayer requests. We look forward to hearing from you.
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