Who we are
Jesus Christ said: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). We are a group of Christians who have come to know Jesus as our Saviour and King and experience the life that he offers. Through what we say and do, we want to share this life in our local community of West Smethwick.
We belong to West Smethwick Congregational Church. It’s been in the area since 1870 but for some years now it has been growing smaller. We are currently gathering local Christians together to give the church a new start. We believe that breathing new life into this church will give our local community an opportunity to hear about Jesus, the one who offers life, now and forever, to all who come to him. This good news is for everyone wherever you’re from, no matter your background.
We want to be a contemporary, Reformed church that reflects the local community in its diversity but possesses a unity that can only be explained by the good news of Jesus Christ.
The church here first started in 1870 when Christians began meeting in the area supported by two neighbouring churches. At that time there were about 100 people coming each Sunday. In 1971 the first building the church used was demolished and the current one built to make way for the new Oldbury Road development. In recent years the church has struggled to attract new people, and the existing congregation has become older and fewer in number. Two years ago they decided to ask for help to see if the church could be revitalised. The EFCC (Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches) and 2020 Birmingham (a local church planting network) agreed to try and find a small team of people to come in and join the existing members to give the church a new start.
As part of this process, Tom Martin was invited to be the pastor of the church. He had been serving as assistant pastor at Kensington Baptist Church in Bristol. Over the summer of 2020 Tom and his family moved up to West Smethwick.
What's the plan?
We haven’t started public meetings yet because we are still in the preparation stage before the church formally restarts. However we are meeting as a group each Sunday morning to hear from God by studying the Bible and to talk to him in prayer. If you’d like to find out more about this please do get in touch; we’d love to hear from you.
The church is a member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches (EFCC). As well as receiving support from EFCC, we are also being helped by 2020 Birmingham, a local church planting network. John James, the pastor of City Church Birmingham, is acting as a coach for Tom during the re-planting phase. In addition, several local churches are praying for us and supporting us financially. It is so good to be part of a wider church family.