For the first time the Archdiocese of Birmingham is to host a unique, free festival celebrating the Word of God.

FLORILEGIUM: A festival of Scripture, Art and Flowers will be held at Carrs Lane Centre (Carrs Lane, B4 7SX) and St Michael’s Catholic Church (Moor Street, B4 7UG), which are next door to each other in Birmingham city centre, between Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 September.

The word Florilegium means a compilation of excerpts from other writings, from the Latin literally meaning a gathering of flowers, or collection of fine extracts from the body of a larger work, and so provides the perfect name for this year’s very special event.

Quick links:

Festival Highlights

Event Programme

Booking

The God who Speaks

In partnership with Bible Society, this exciting initiative focuses on celebrating, living and sharing God’s word throughout the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Highlights

FLORILEGIUM: A festival of Scripture, Art and Flowers will be open to the public over three days.

Highlights will include free Scripture resources; a flower trail between the two venues; artwork; workshops; school visits, a lecture and Q&A session; a choral concert by the well-known choir of St Mary’s Church, Moseley and celebrations of Mass.

A ‘developing flower display’ in the form of a ‘Tree of Life’ will be a key feature, commemorating all those who have died of Covid-19 across the Archdiocese.  Visitors will be able to choose a leaf on which to write the name of a loved one, followed by a short prayer, to place on the tree.

Flower displays by schools and churches will be on display drawing inspiration from the autumn season, preparation for COP26 and climate action.

Relic of St Jerome’s at St Michael’s Church

The enshrined authenticated Relic of St. Jerome came from his Tomb in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome. A similar one has recently been taken from Rome to the Church of St Catherine in Bethlehem where Jerome lived and worked, as a bible translator, for most of his life.

The relic was for many years in the protection of Fr. Peter Dennison, a former Archivist of the Birmingham Archdiocese. At his death it was entrusted to a colleague. He is happy that its veneration might bring a blessing on the God Who Speaks campaign, encouraging all believers to engage anew with the living Word of God. May it be so.

Women in Scripture lunchtime conversations

Women in Scripture with Natalie Orefice – Lunchtime conversations on every day of the festival, hosted by Natalie and women from around the Archdiocese of Birmingham, sharing who in the Bible inspires them today. Based on Natalie’s successful monthly podcast series, these informal chats offer a new glimpse of some of the many heroines in our Scriptures.

Natalie is the diocesan Advisor for Parish Evangelisation.

Climate Changes Everything. A Discussion

The Round Table discussion on Friday evening brings together a panel of scholars and activists to address the theme: Climate Changes Everything: Resources to Respond.

The discussion will the chaired by David McLoughlin, Emeritus Fellow in Christian Thought at Newman University. Dr Richard Goode, from the Newman Research Centre for the Bible, will reflect on the Biblical resources, Bishop David Evans will speak from the Western philosophical Tradition, and other specialists will address the issues of activism and ethical engagement.

Afterwards there will be a wine and drinks reception and an opportunity to share further.

Adoption and the Bible

In a Saturday workshop, Nigel Langford, Director of Domestic Mission at Bible Society, shares why he decided to adopt a child and the journey he travelled in making a new family. Nigel reflects on the significance of adoption in the Scriptures and what it invites us all to do in our wider relationships.

Navigating Trauma project

Saturday. Supporting communities through trauma. Nigel Langford, Director of Domestic Mission at Bible Society, presents a new Bible-based initiative that uses the Scriptures to accompany participants in their journey through the effects of trauma towards a place of peace. It's designed to help churches, faith groups and chaplains support their communities through the impact of trauma.

The God who Sings: Evening Concert

Saturday evening with Mick Perrier and the well known St Mary’s Anglican Church Choir, Moseley, who undertake an annual residency deputising for Cathedral Choirs around the country.

The organist this evening is John Pryer who has the distinction of having served as Assistant Organist at both St Philip's and St Chad's Cathedrals as well as Birmingham Oratory. 

Event programme

Download the festival brochure

The display at Carrs Lane Church Centre, open every day of the festival includes:

  • 6 interactive Tents
  • Little Bits of God Artwork
  • Flower Displays
  • Healing Tree and Prayer Leaves

The display at St Michael’s Church, open every day of the festival includes:

  • Flower displays
  • St Jerome Relic
  • Refreshments

Other events and activities

Thursday 23 September

10am-4pm General admission to the events all welcome but school groups need to book places.

12noon-1pm Women in Scripture Conversations – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

1:10pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

6pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

Friday 24 September

10am-4pm General admission to the events all welcome but school groups need to book places.

12noon-1pm Women in Scripture Conversations – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

1:10pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

6pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

7pm Evening Lecture: Climate Changes Everything, with wine reception – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required.

Saturday 25 September

10am-4pm General admission for all: no booking required

10am–10.45am Adoption and the Bible workshop – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

11.15-12noon Navigating trauma project – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

12noon-1pm Women in Scripture Conversations – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

1:10pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

2pm–2.45pm Adoption and the Bible workshop – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

3.15pm-4pm Navigating Trauma Project – Carrs Lane Centre: all welcome, booking required

6pm Mass – St Michael’s Church. All welcome, no booking required

7-9pm Evening Concert with Wine Reception: all welcome, booking required

Featuring:

George Dyson – Magnificat

Elgar – Ave Verum
Organ improvisations on choir plainsong Magnificat

Richard Shephard – And I saw a New Heaven
Arcadelt: Ave Maria
Charles Wood – O Thou the Central Orb.

Booking

All events are free, but if you wish to give a donation to the Archdiocese to support this and future festivals you can do so via our donate page (choose Archdiocese of Birmingham as the recipient).

Donate

General admission does not need booking, but you will need to book for the special events below:

Book school visits Thursday and Friday

Book Women in Scripture conversations

Book Climate Changes Everything lecture

Book Adoption and the Bible Workshop

Book Navigating Trauma Project

Book Saturday Evening Concert