Our gatherings are intentionally kept simple. We sing songs and hymns, we pray, we hear and share what God is saying to us from the Bible and by His Holy Spirit, and we enjoy refreshments together. We encourage one another to hear and follow His direction for our lives during the rest of our week - how we can love and serve people anywhere and everywhere He leads us.
All ages are always welcome. We love children and always want to include them in age appropriate ways while getting to know their unique personalities, gifts, interests and
needs. What exactly is provided for children will vary from Kiln to Kiln, depending on the group dynamics and families' needs. Typically at larger Celebrations, much is tailored to
children, including an activity of some sort for them to engage with during any parts of the Celebration more focused on adults. Children under age 11 should be accompanied by an
adult. Youth ages 11-17 may attend alone with parent / guardian permission.
Click here to read more about Celebrations and Kilns.
We believe that every human being has a deep need to encounter God. And we believe that God wants that too. That’s why Jesus came to earth to live as a human being. The whole Bible is a record of God breaking in to a broken world, and Jesus is at the climax. If you come to our gatherings we hope and pray that you will have a life-changing encounter with Him. But that looks different for each person. So if you come you’ll have time to watch and see what you think, to ask questions and to draw your own conclusions.
Our foundations run deep. We trust in the historic Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. We are linked to Christ Church in Lye – the parish church for over 200 years - and as such, Brickworks is technically an Anglican church. But as a local church family, we have diverse backgrounds in many different churches, and we’ve come together to be the church that Jesus wants us to be for this particular community, not to copy any other church.
We meet weekly, but not always in the same place. After all, we don't have our own building. Most Sundays in the Sunshine Club there is a Sunday morning "Kiln" (named after the place where bricks are made) at 11am, but if you cannot come on Sundays, there are more Kilns (house church gatherings), on different days and in different places to suit different needs. If you’d be interested in having one meet in your home, or have other ideas for where and when we could meet, please let us know.
A few times each year we also gather all the Kilns together for larger, gathered worship Celebrations. These may be
held on the field, in the school, or perhaps even the local football club.
As a local church with a heart to serve, we are also happy to meet up with you as and when needed, outside regularly scheduled church gathering times. If you need prayer, pastoral care, have questions about God and faith, want to know how the Lord offers you forgiveness for all your mistakes and a new life in Him, or anything else we can help you with, feel free to contact us and someone from the Brickworks family will be in touch to help, whatever your need. Just as we ourselves have been and are continually being rescued and healed by God in the mess, mistakes and challenges of our own daily lives, we long to help others grow in Christ past their baggage to then be able to carry on and in turn join His work in helping others. As Tom Fish (who spearheaded the start of Brickworks church from 2013-2019) always said, 'Seeing people transformed from sinks to fountains.' We all start out as sinks, needing to be healed by and filled with God's love and truth - and then He transforms us into fountains of His love and truth to pour out to others around us.
"Hey, Tom. We’ve just moved into the area and are thinking of joining Brickworks church. Tell me why we should.”
"Yeah, and what about me? I've lived in the area all my life but I haven't been to church for years."
“Well, Brickworks is about loving Jesus, loving each other and loving this local community in which we live and work. If you’re up for that - or happy to give it a go - then Brickworks is the place for you.”
“Yes, Ok, but what does that mean in practice?”
“Let’s start with loving Jesus. The first thing you need to do if you want to show someone you love them is... listen to them. So we’re a church that takes seriously what Jesus said – in fact all of what God has said – in the Bible. We let the Bible shape what we do as a church. We expect God’s Word to speak into our lives, we’re not surprised when we find God putting his finger on things that need to change.
And to love someone properly you need to let them be who they really are, and treat them as such. Since Jesus is God, and we’re not, that means worshipping him. So we aim to be a worshipping church. Worship isn’t a kind of mushy escapism - true worship puts us the right way up again, regains our bearings in a topsy-turvy world. It may bring us to our knees, but it sends us out on our feet.”
“That all sounds pretty religious to me – Bible, worship and so on…”
“Not at all. When Jesus was on earth, he got involved in people’s real lives, not just their religion. You find him down by the fishing boats, in the market square, out in the fields, at parties and weddings. The only times he went into religious places was to disrupt them. So we want to be a church that’s about real life, like Jesus was and is.
One of the big areas of real life it impacts is our relationships, our friendships, with each other. Part of the reason we intentionally meet weekly in smaller house church gatherings (Kilns) is so that we can really get to know each other properly, so we can be there for each other through the highs and lows of life. A church where ‘fellowship’ means no more than a five minute conversation over coffee after a service is not one where Jesus could say: ‘They’ll know you’re my disciples by your love for one another.’”
“So you’re focused in on each other, are you? A kind of cosy club, a place where I’ll feel secure and looked-after?”
“Well, we hope you find yourself well cared for in the Brickworks family, but we’re certainly not inward-looking. We mean it when we say we’re here for this community. Larger community events throughout the year have been and continue to be a core part of who we are as a church – things like the Pancake Parties, Easter Egg hunts, Summer Events, and Community Carol Services. But we also look for ways to get involved week by week – in the school, through various other community activities at the Sunshine Club, by getting to know the local police, simply being out and about as much as we can, helping neighbours in need, and however else we can connect and serve.
If you join Brickworks we really hope that you’ll find some way of being regularly involved in the community here. Don’t feel limited to the things we’ve already done – new ideas are always welcome.”
“That all sounds pretty exciting. Where do I start?”
“Come along any Sunday morning, 11am at the Sunshine Club (but double check the calendar in case we may be meeting elsewhere or at an unusual time). Or drop in to the Community Cafe on a Tuesday morning for a chat about it. If neither of those times at the Sunshine Club works for you, email or call us, and we can arrange some other time to connect. We look forward to meeting you!”
We take the protection and safety of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. All Volunteers in the church who work directly with children, youth or vulnerable adults are checked with the national Disclosure and Barring Service. If you have any concerns about safeguarding and would like to talk to someone, here are some useful phone numbers...
Brickworks Pastor, Fred Swartz - 07745 301136
Brickworks Women's Ministry, Lacey Swartz - 07470 060211
Brickworks Safeguarding Lead, Ruth Garratt - 01384 824611
Parish Vicar, Simon Falshaw - 01384 423142
Parish Curate, Jon Evans - 07584 919697
Parish Safeguarding Officer, Gloria Burrows - 01384 894948
Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, Hilary Higton - 07495 060869
Childline - 0800 1111
Age Concern UK - 0800 678 1602
Dudley Social Care - 0300 555 2345 (out of hours 0300 555 8574)
Non-urgent Police Enquiries - 101
Emergency Calls - 999
Promoting a Safer Church - Safeguarding Policy Statement PDF
This website (like Brickworks) is a work in progress - suggestions and comments welcome!
Any ideas of things we could do, or improvements to the website - we'd love to hear from you!
28 Shepherds Brook Rd
Stourbridge, DY9 7DX
Phone: 07745 301136
Brickworks Church is an outreach from Christ Church Lye (the one with the WWI soldier statue in front).