Serving Jesus, Serving our Nation, Serving You
Theme – “Forward”, achieving our Potential
How a flourishing Church encourages a flourishing City
The Conservative Christian Fellowship were delighted to be hosted by Birmingham City Church and welcomed by the Christian Community in Birmingham as we drew together in worship for our 10th annual Conference Church Service.
Our Sponsors this year, the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion and International Development Charity World Vision UK are passionate about Churches, Communities and Children achieving their God given potential.
Across the great City of Birmingham excellence is practiced every day in our Civic life, by Churches, by Charities by Faith groups, by academics by students. As we grow our Churches, our Communities, our Nation, we want to inspire, support and encourage each other to achieve our full potential.
Birmingham’s Motto is “Forward”. In this cradle City of innovation and progress we pray that at our Conference Service we will leave inspired with the excellent work of our Churches, our Universities, and our Charities as they all seek to inspire us all to go forward!
Our VIP Politician was Caroline Spelman DBE MP. She was interviewed about her career and calling into politics and was asked the following questions by Steve Clifford, the General Director of the Evangelical Alliance:
How do you discover your calling in Politics?
What happens when the going gets tough?
What is our duty as citizens?
What is the most inspiring story of how Politics can make a difference?
Our prayers were led by Mike Royal from TLG Education Charity and by the Bishop of Birmingham The Right Reverend David Urquhart. Our Bible reading from Hebrews Chapter 12 was delivered by Caroline Ansell MP.
Our sermon was delivered by Dr Andrew Davies, Director of the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion. Head of Department of Theology and Religion at Birmingham University. Reader in the Public Understanding of Religion. Andrew inspired us with positive vision of Church engaged in society and with Politics.
The work of The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion is to enhance the public understanding of religion regionally, nationally and internationally.
The City of Birmingham with its City Motto of “Forward” reflects what this great metropolis can teach us about doing Faith, Community, Education and Politics well. The work of the Churches in Birmingham in bringing about excellent community interfaith and interdenominational relations.
The work of The Birmingham Policy Commissions bring leading figures from the public, private and third sectors together with Birmingham academics to generate new thinking on contemporary issues of global, national and civic concern.
The Research on ‘Megachurches and Social Engagement demonstrates the clear social impact that Churches are having in their local communities. As we can see from the work of the Church and its allies, it is having a disproportionate positive impact on building a better society.
Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman DBE MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, CCF Patron
Caroline was first elected as an MP in 1997. In opposition she has held a number of posts including shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, International Development and Spokesperson for Health. She was also Chairman of the Conservative Party. From 2010 to 2012 she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She is currently Second Church Estates Commissioner, providing an important link between Government and the established Church. Once a month she answers both oral and written questions from MPs in the House of Commons about Church of England matters. It is also her duty in this role, as a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee, to steer Church of England legislation through the House of Commons.
Caroline joined Parliament in 1997 as one of only 34 new Conservative MPs elected when she won the West Midlands seat of Meriden. Caroline is fluent in French and German and worked for the sugar beet industry in Paris for six years where she met her husband Mark .They have three children, Eleanor, David and Jonny.
Caroline fought to improve end-of-life care with a palliative care bill in 2009. She has helped to set up two charities in the Meriden constituency; one which helps rehabilitate people with drug addictions through training and employment opportunities, and another which provides a refuge and support facility for victims of domestic abuse.
These achievements together with the part she played in helping bring a young boy called Ali Ismael Abbas out of Iraq when he was left orphaned and critically injured in a missile attack are some of her proudest moments in her Parliamentary career. On the rare occasions Caroline has free time she is a keen gardener, an enthusiastic cook and an avid fan of cricket and rugby.