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Fairest place in the UK

Youngsters Booked for Charity

Ministers sign off after 16 years in Sutton

Santa Success

Summertime Hope

Reaching out to vulnerable elderly

Muslims and Christians celebrate together

5 May 2009

Fairest place in the UK

Fair Trade mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?  Wylde Green United Reformed Church is!

After 25 years of Fair Trading, Wylde Green United Reformed Church were thrilled to find out that they purchased and sold more Fair Trade goods than any of the other 5,700 outlets in the UK in 2007.  The goods sold originate from developing countries with a guarantee that a fair price is paid, enabling families to lift themselves out of poverty and to work for a sustainable future. 

Dorothy Slater, who helped start the whole enterprise explained:

Early in 1984, my son Philip asked me if I could sell some Traidcraft tea and coffee at our church. Not knowing anything at all about Traidcraft, I asked for more details and thought it sounded an excellent idea.

Of course the Minister at the time, Brian Holroyd, immediately wanted to extend the idea to selling a whole range of their products and I found myself flung in at the deep end!  I soon found some willing helpers including Marjorie Clarkson, who was very enthusiastic.  My flat was taken over by huge boxes of goods and after a while it became obvious that, because of the way our church had welcomed the Traidcraft philosophy, I was short of space, not only in my flat, but in my spare time.

Dorothy and Marjorie have since been joined by a small army of volunteers that help keep the stall going and were thanked during a service in the church when they were joined by Revd Holroyd, who came out of retirement in Cheshire for the occasion.

The church opens up its doors each Friday and Saturday morning from 10.00 until 12.00 to sell Traidcraft food, clothing and household items to the local community.  The church also supplies thirty other organisations including schools, community groups and other churches.

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5 May 2009

Youngsters booked for charity

Young people from Wylde Green United Reformed Church buried their heads in piles of books to start the fundraising ball for Christian Aid Week on its way.  The sale of books at the church, followed by a supper and Quiz, raised over £400 and is just one of many activities at the church to raise much needed money for Christian Aid this year, including joining in with 300,000 volunteers across the country to raise over £13,000,000 through the house to house collection. 

Christian Aid Week, launched in 1957, is Britain’s longest-running fundraising week and is famous for the distinctive red envelope that drops through millions of letterboxes. More importantly, Christian Aid Week is keeping hope alive for many of the world’s poorest communities.

‘They’ve given me education for life,’ says 18-year-old Nadia Kabula. When her father died, Nadia’s family struggled desperately to make ends meet. But a tailoring course run by Christian Aid partner Humanité Nouvelle in the Democratic Republic of Congo has allowed Nadia to imagine a brighter future – and she hopes one day to open her own business. Meanwhile, Nadia is giving others the chance of a fuller life by passing on her skills and her love of fashion to other young girls in her community.

Christian Aid is an international development agency working in around 50 countries, wherever the need is greatest – regardless of race or religion.

For further information about Christian Aid visit

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21 July 2008

Ministers sign off after 16 years in Sutton

Friends and members of Wylde Green United Reformed Church gathered in their hundreds this past weekend to bid a fond farewell to the Reverends Ken and Meriel Chippindale as they retire to Shrewsbury.  The smallest babies of a few days old to the eldest ladies into their 90s crowded into the church on Saturday evening for a special concert and on Sunday morning for their last service.

During their time at the church, they have baptised and blessed 224 children, married 155 couples, led countless services and have stood alongside many in distress and need.  As well as encouraging a spirit of inclusiveness within the church, which has meant that its work with children and young people has flourished, Ken and Meriel have led the church into a greater understanding of peace and justice issues.  They have taken stands on third world debt, fair trade and environmental issues, leading to the church becoming a Fair Trade Church and an Eco Congregation.  They have also worked with other local churches to establish Vesey Home Link to befriend local housebound people and have overseen major refurbishments of the church premises to ensure it is an accessible and suitable resource for the whole community.

Ken explained:

"We have been privileged to have been the ministers of this church for the last 16 years, and are sorry to be leaving such a warm and supportive fellowship".

The farewell concert contained one final surprise for Ken and Meriel when five friends from twinned churches in eastern Germany turned up following a closely guarded secret:

"We have been overwhelmed by the cards, gifts and good wishes given to us over the last few weeks, and especially by the farewell concert and social arranged for us last Saturday evening." 


Photos show Ken and Meriel, Ken and Meriel receiving gift from surprise German guest and Ken enjoying a final joke with the church choir.

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16 December 2007 - Update

Santa Success!

When Santa and his sleigh came for an early visit to the streets of Wylde Green and Boldmere he came in for a big surprise – so many people came out to say hello that nearly £1,700 was raised.

Santa was so impressed with the generosity that he asked Wylde Green United Reformed Church, who had organised the visit, to pass on this message:

“Ho, Ho How can I say a big enough thank you to all of you who came out on such frosty nights to support such a great project, which will help so many children and young people in the area!”

Elaine Siggers, who invited Santa, said she was thrilled with the result:

“With a dedicated team of helpers and the support of Erdington Lions, who provided the sleigh, we are now a huge step closer to being able to employ a Youth Minister.  The United Reformed Church in Wylde Green is committed to ensuring that there is suitable provision for children and young people in the area and, with Santa’s encouragement, it is great to know that the whole community is behind us.  Thank you to everyone who gave to generously.”

3 December 2007

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Wylde Green United Reformed Church is delighted to announce that Santa has agreed to come early this year! 

On December 11th, 12th and 13th Santa and his helpers from the church will bring his magical sleigh through streets in Wylde Green and Boldmere.  The church is collecting to help fund a Youth Minister to work with children and young people in the local area.

Erdington Lions, who provided the sleigh have said,'' we are delighted to be able to support such a worthy cause.''

As part of Santa’s tour, the sleigh will be visiting streets in the area including Melrose Avenue, Green Lanes, Goldieslie Road and Station Road.  So, listen out for Santa's Sleigh - he could be in a street near you!

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13 July 2007

Summertime Hope for 30-Somethings

Are you a person who believes in God, but thinks that church is not for you?  Then a new initiative might just be what you’re after.  Open to all, but specifically with the 30-something age group in mind, ‘Space @ Wylde Green’ is a relaxed occasion to meet new people and listen to a mixture of live music and contemporary songs to get you thinking.  Held on a Sunday evening, it provides a good opportunity to relax and unwind in a candle-lit setting before the hectic week ahead.  As far as possible all food and drink served in the café is Fairtrade, organic, local and often home cooked. 

The next event, with the hopeful title of ‘Summertime’, is on Sunday 15th July starting at 7.30pm on the field behind Wylde Green United Reformed Church on the corner of Highbridge Road and Britwell Road, as the event moves outside for a barbeque.  If you miss this then the next event is on Sunday 23rd September, with a climate change emphasis.  For further information email

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23 April 2007

We are delighted to announce that the meal and auction were a tremendous success and £2,000 was raised towards the project.

11 April 2007

Reaching out to Vulnerable Elderly

Did you know that 32 elderly people die alone in their home each day in our country, and Vesey ward has the highest concentration of elderly people in Birmingham?  We all know that as people get older many factors can affect their lives, including retirement, the death of a spouse or other family members, ill health and increasing disability. For many, these events lead to loneliness and isolation, especially if they have few family members living nearby.  They can easily be forgotten, and be afraid to leave the security of their home. 

VESEY HOME LINK offers a hand of friendship to isolated and lonely elderly people in the Boldmere and Banners Gate area.  The project is being sponsored by local churches, through Cornerstone, a charity that runs a coffee shop and meeting place on Boldmere Road.  Local volunteers will visit and befriend elderly people, helping them integrate more into the community.  Assistance will be offered to ensure that appropriate services and help can be accessed according to need.  Vesey Home Link will promote social events to supplement those organised by churches and other agencies and will work alongside agencies and charities for the elderly.

The immediate goal is to raise money in order to appoint a paid co-ordinator. So on 21 April at 6.30pm a Charity Dinner and Auction is to be held at Wylde Green United Reformed Church in Britwell Road, Boldmere. Tickets for the 3-course meal, including the auction brochure, will be £11 and can be purchased from Rev. Ken Chippindale on 0121 354 2307, or the Cornerstone coffee shop at the corner of Boldmere Road and Antrobus Road.

Items already donated for the auction are a week’s stay in a holiday home in Brittany or Devon, a weekend or week’s stay in the medieval town of Shrewsbury, a bottle of House of Commons whisky (given by our M.P. Andrew Mitchell), 2 tickets for a match at Aston Villa or West Bromwich Albion, vouchers and items from local shops, original paintings and framed photographs by prize winning artists, family admission tickets to Midlands attractions, a brand new coffee set, various services such as childminding and gardening, and many others.

Good quality items for auction are still being sought, and any such offers, and any further enquiries, should be made to Rev Chippindale on 0121 354 2307.  The auction itself will be open to people who cannot attend the meal and will commence at 8.00pm.  The items to be auctioned will be available to be viewed from 3.00pm to 6.00pm on the 21 April at the Church. ‘Commission’ bids can be made on that afternoon if people are unable to attend in the evening.

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