A church in Birmingham which grew out of missions in the Punjab celebrated 25 years in its own building at the weekend.
The anniversary of the Good News Asian Church on Saturday was marked with a special service led by the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart and was attended by hundreds of Asian Christians from across the UK. The service was followed with prayers at St James Church in Handsworth.
As a proprietary chapel, the church is both independent and part of the Anglican church. Its roots date back to the 1950s when a Punjabi-speaking congregation began meeting at St James Church.
Fundraising for their own building began on May 28, 1979 when the then minister of the congregation, the Revd D K Chanda, opened an account at Barclays Bank with 1p.
Members of the congregation fundraised and donations were received from across the country and by 1983, the congregation had raised £30,000 – enough to buy a former Primitive Methodist chapel owned by the Church of God of Prophecy who were moving to a new building.
The church was dedicated in 1983 by the Bishop of Birmingham Hugh Montefiore and the opening ceremony included a procession from the chapel to St James’ Church.
Jaisher Chaudhary, a trustee of the church who will be ordained deacon later this month and will become a group curate in the Handsworth Group of Churches, said: “This church started 25 years ago so Asian people could gather together and worship in their own language.
“Today services are held in a mixture of English and Asian languages and we have our hymn book, the first ever hymn book in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Roman Urdu.
“We have around 75 Asian people coming as families, including children, teenagers and students.
“It is a place where people feel at home and all are made welcome."
The service is held at 4pm every Sunday.