Our services are relaxed and simple. We sing songs and hymns, we pray, and we hear what God is saying to us from the Bible. And we have refreshments together.
All ages are always welcome. We love children and always include them in the service and make sure that they are looked after and given interesting activities. Typically, during the talk they will be working together on something that will come back and form part of what we are learning together.
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 meetings 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 as much time as you want 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. So we are, technically an Anglican church. But we have backgrounds in many different churches – and we’ve come together here to try and 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 we meet at 11 am in the Sunshine Club for our morning "Kiln" (a place where bricks are made). And in the afternoon (in term time) there's Messy Kiln.
In time we hope there will be more of the Kilns, on different days, at different times and in different places to suit different groups of people. 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.
Once a month on Wednesday we run Messy Church, jointly with Lye Church. Messy Church meets at Lye Church from 3.30-5.30 pm, for crafts and other fun around a bible theme, a short time to reflect on what we've been doing, followed by eating together. It's planned with children aged 7-11 in mind, but younger and older children enjoy it too. Please note that each family should bring at least one adult.
“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 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. We’re enthusiastic in worship – not because we like it that way (although we do), but because we reckon that gives most honour to God. And actually it’s good for us too. 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, not religion.
One of the big areas of real life it impacts is our relationships, our friendships, with each other. For the moment, at least, Brickworks is a small church. That means that we can really get to know each other properly. We eat together regularly as a church – on Sunday lunchtimes and Wednesday evenings at present. We can be there for each other through the highs and lows of life. Issues with elderly parents, new babies, job changes, injuries – they’ve all been part of our experience even in these first few months.
And even as the church grows, we’re committed to keeping it that way. A church where ‘fellowship’ means a 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 will be looked after, but we’re certainly not inward-looking. We mean it when we say we’re here for this community. Community events have been defining moments for us as a church – things like the pancake party, Easter egg hunt, summer games and Korean night. But we also get involved week by week – in the school, through social activities at the Sunshine Club for young and older people, by getting to know the local police, and simply being out and about as much as we can.
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 at 11 (normally the Sunshine Club – but check the calendar for dates when we meet at school), or on Sunday afternoon around 3 for Messy. Or drop in to the Cafe on Tuesday morning for a chat about it. 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 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...
Pastor for Brickworks, Fred Swartz - 07745 301136
Women's Pastor for Brickworks, Lacey Swartz - 07470 060211
Parish Vicar, Rev Simon Falshaw - 01384 423142
Parish Safeguarding Officer, Mrs 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 0055 (out of hours 0300 555 8574)
Non-urgent Police Enquiries - 101
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
Tel: 07470 060211
Brickworks is an outreach from Christ Church Lye (the one with the WWI soldier statue in front).