Four Oaks Methodist Church
We are a busy Methodist church in the Four Oaks part of Sutton Coldfield, and we serve in particular the communities of Mere Green and Four Oaks in the northernmost part of Birmingham. The menu will help you find out more about where we are and what we do. Click on the buttons for more options or follow the links in these paragraphs.
We completed a big refurbishment in 2018, so although our sturdy old church looks very traditional you will find our facilities are all very new. As part of our calling to serve our community, when they aren't in use for services all our rooms are available for rent by getting in touch with our manager. Click this link or look out for the "book a room" buttons.
The Christmas period is properly underway. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, remorseless advertising, shops filled with tinsel, Slade announcing the season with a sound unmistakable and unchanged since the 1970s. We aim to mark the season a little differently (although we are also inordinately fond of tinsel!)
For Christians this is not the season of re-runs of Home Alone, shopping stress, staff parties and fleets of Amazon vans, although in our daily lives we are not spared any of that anxiety either. This is the season of Advent. A time of preparation to welcome Jesus into the world as a human infant, who as an adult would go on to die on a cross as a sacrifice for the redemption of all people, and who will one day return to this world in triumph.
During services in Advent you will see a ring of candles, with an extra one lit every Sunday as we count down the weeks to Christmas Day. You'll also find special services on the Services page and listed on the News page, and we hope we will be welcoming you at some of them. Perhaps the Blue Christmas service on 19 December will be a comfort if you are one of the many who find this Christmas season tough, perhaps for family or financial reasons. If you need directions to find us or information about what facilities are here (step-free access, the hearing loop etc), please have a look at the Visitors page, or get in touch through the office if you can't find what you need.
Ordinary life goes on of course. The general election has made an unusual backdrop to the beginning of Advent and we pray for a healing of the divisions in society that are so prominent in public life. Some news is good - the final resolution of our friend and brother Lazarus' long struggle to have his asylum claim accepted by the Home Office which Reverend Stephen records in his letter is a huge relief.
Some news is terrible - we learned for example of the catastrophic economic collapse and farming crisis affecting many communities in Zimbabwe. The suffering is widespread and the need for help is very urgent. The Methodist Church in Kadoma District in Zimbabwe is connected with our own Birmingham District and only recently we welcomed visitors from Kadoma who shared worship with us across Birmingham, including in our own church. We have contributed £1,000 towards a fund hurriedly being collected by Birmingham District to be used by the Kadoma church to alleviate suffering in their community, and members of the congregation have also been adding to this. If you wish to help please contact the office.
This prayer was written for us by Deacon Marilyn.
Our loving God of diversity, forgiveness, restoration and unending grace.
Let your Spirit of equality, forgiveness and acceptance move among your people at Four Oaks Methodist Church. As you have called us to be a beacon of light, let your light shine in and through us.
Forgive your church where difference and misunderstanding has caused hurt and damage among your people. Restore her to be authentic in preaching love, forgiveness and grace; acknowledging there is no Greek or Jew in your kingdom.
I thank you that you have called us together here as your people, not by accident but by divine providence to your high praise and purpose.
I thank you that we share one faith, one baptism and believe in your forgiveness of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. This season and forever,
The Cross of Knives
This striking sculpture of a cross with a crown of thorns was created from knives taken off the streets of Birmingham. Many of our local communities have been terribly affected by the scourge of knife crime and our circuit of churches has challenged the government to take effective action to tackle it.
Members of the circuit walked alongside this cross as it was driven from Birmingham to London, culminating in a service in front of Parliament on Good Friday.
The cross itself remains an enduring symbol of our commitment. It was recently on display in our church for a week.