In the last few years, a new momentum in favour of a specific midlands identity, distinct from that of the north and the south of England, has been evident. Pointers to this include such diverse factors as the growing interest in the ancient midlands Kingdom of Mercia and the establishment in 2016 of the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Alongside this, several developments in the Christian community have focused on the former kingdom of Mercia. Among these:
+ The ‘Community of St Chad‘ was launched to encourage 21st Century Christians to adopt simply rhythms of prayer and mission into daily life. For more, click here. +
+ The 92-mile Two Saints Way pilgrimage route linking Chester and Lichfield Cathedrals was inaugurated in 2012. An illustrated guidebook followed in 2015. Read more about the pilgrimage and guidebook here. +
+ In 2013, Robert Mountford published ‘The Mantle of Chad‘ to re-tell the story of Mercia’s most famous Christian pioneer and to address the relevance of Chad to the 21st Century. To purchase a copy of Robert’s 2013 book, follow this link. +
+ In 2015, the inter-denominational Mission:Mercia network was launched. During the last three years, the network has held a series of meetings and retreats, linking church leaders, business leaders, intercessors and houses of prayer across the midlands. The next Mission:Mercia gathering will take place on 18 October 2018 in Walsall. For more information, contact Robert Mountford at this address. +
+ In 2017, the Church of England’s Diocese of Lichfield launched a new strap-line, ‘Come follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad,’ thereby reaching directly back to the planting of the Gospel in 7th Century Mercia. +