Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • People like us?

    We are waiting to see what happens. Recently there’s been a film crew hanging around the area filming people and putting a series together called ‘People Like Us’, soon to be on BBC3. Understandably, many of us have been extremely wary, experience has shown that this sort of thing doesn’t often end well. Benefit Street in particular and reality TV in general doesn’t have a glorious reputation for building people and communities up.

    I am prepared to apologise profusely if this isn’t the case, but the only time people usually show interest in what would be stereotyped as ‘deprived communities’, is either to patronise it or to make fun of it. We’ll see if People Like Us manages to break the mould.

    In the meantime, here’s my take on people like us in Chelmsley Wood. It’s a cliché but there is good and bad here, and despite our reputation, the good far outweighs the bad. I’ve lived here 20 years and am proud to call it home. There are good hearted, kind people here, there is strength of character, and there is honour. It is indicative of the community that groups like the BNP repeatedly fail to get a toehold here, despite their efforts and despite the media promoting us as an area where it would be rife.

    We have just finished a project on the community’s story ( which tracks some of the stories of the people here from the very beginnings in the 60s through to today, bringing in the stories of some of the immigrant community here. At the celebration last week we had 6 countries represented on the menu as people brought their ‘home’ food. There was retired white working class bloke who came up to me at the end, and completely unprompted said, “This is us, this is our community, and this is what people who come in from the outside don’t get. It’s always us and them, but this is us.” To look at him you’d think he’d be the anitimmigrant brigade, but he, like most people here, has grasped what community is about.

    Whatever People Like Us portrays us as, the truth is we have something special here, a community that works together, respects one another and believes in just getting on with life. TV documentaries come and go, communities remain, and I’m proud to be part of this one in Chelmsley Wood.




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Welcome to the blog

Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

Because we try to be properly Baptist, these views aren't necessarily the views of everyone who is part of the church family here.

We're not even sure they're Neil's.

Either way, we try not to fall out over it.

You can also follow Neil's personal and irrelevant twitter.

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