The Church is Us - Oral History Project

As part of our 1st round development activities, Holy Trinity Birchfield wanted to capture the stories and experiences of our church members, many of who arrived from the Caribbean during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Thanks to the development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we were able to appoint a researcher, Dr Angelina Osborne, who was asked to record and write the stories. Sessions were organised between January and February 2018, to which church members were invited to share their memories and experiences of life in Birmingham and as members of their local Anglican church. Some interviews were also carried out in the homes of those who were unable to attend church on a regular basis.

One surprise visitor to two of the sessions held for church elders, was renowned photographer, Dr Vanley Burke, who had heard about the research project through our vicar, Revd Eve Pitts and wanted to meet some of those involved.

We wanted to have a record of the experiences of various groups in the church, from the elders who came here in the 1960’s, the children who grew into adulthood in church during the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the current generation of teenagers and young people. The result is a document called The Church is Us, a report that will add to the other histories of Holy Trinity Birchfield, and captures the lives of Anglicans who came to Birmingham from other lands and cultures.

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