About Me

I’m Andrew Smith a Christian living in Birmingham and working for the Bishop of Birmingham as his Director of Interfaith Relations – however this is a personal site, consequently the views are my personal opinions.

Biography:

Born 13th September 1966
Nationality: British

I grew up in Crowborough in East Sussex where I attended local primary and Secondary Schools and then went to Lewes 6th Form College. As a family we worshipped at All Saints Church where my Christian faith was formed and nurtured. I moved to Birmingham in 1988 where I have lived ever since. During that time I have got married to Sarah and we have two sons, Jack and Matthew. From 1993-2006 we worshipped at St Boniface Church, Quinton. We are now active members of St. Christopher’s Church, Springfield.

 

Employment:

1986-87 Assistant Stage Manager, Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells

1987 Redcoat, Butlins, Bognor Regis

1987-88 Sales Assistant, Camera Gear, Tunbridge Wells

1988- 1993 Youth worker for CPAS and St Matthew’s Church Nechells, Birmingham.

1994-2004 Schools Worker for Scripture Union England and Wales

2004-2011 Director of Youth Encounter for Scripture Union England and Wales

2011-Present. Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham.

The Feast: In 2006 I, along with some friends from Birmingham, set up the charity The Feast. This was done to develop the Christian-Muslim youth work I had pioneered as part of the Youth Encounter project for Scripture Union. The Feast now works in four areas in the UK: Birmingham, Bradford and Keighley, Luton and Tower Hamlets in London as well as Beirut in Lebanon.

The Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre: As part of my role for the Bishop of Birmingham I helped to set up the Faithful Neighbourhoods Centre which Provides a space where people of all faiths and none can meet one another; Resources People living in a diverse society and supports people as they discover ways of working together to improve and strengthen their local areas. Through this we were able to facilitate ‘The Birmingham Conversations’ an interfaith dialogue group that tackles some of the difficult real life issues facing groups of different faiths in our city.

 

Qualifications:
2001: Masters of Applied Theology, Westminster College, Oxford. Thesis Title: The Role of Young People in Christian-Muslim Dialogue: With Reference to the Faith and Young People Conference September 2000, Birmingham.

2006: Doctor of Theology, Queens Theological Foundation, awarded by the University of Birmingham. Thesis Title: Faith, Friendship and Pedagogy: Equipping Christian Teenagers for a Relevant Engagement with Muslim Peers

 

Books and Articles:

The Role of Young People in Christian Muslim Dialogue in The Journal of Youth Ministry 2.2: 89-96.  2004

A Reflection on Inter-faith Work in Mission-Shaped Youth . Sudworth, T 2007. Church House Publishing

Young at Heart: Youth and Children’s Work in Distinctly Welcoming. Sudworth, R 2007. Scripture Union

My Friend Imran: Christian-Muslim Friendship 2009. Grove Booklets

Promoting Christian / Muslim Dialogue Between Young People of Faith in Youth Work and Islam. Eds Belton, B and Hamid, S 2011 Sense Publishers

Working with Muslim and Christian Young People in Between Naivety and Hostility. Eds Bell, S and Chapman, C 2011 Authentic Media

Everyone Can Know: Assemblies for Multi-faith Schools 1999 Scripture Union

Top Tips on Welcoming Children of Other Faiths 2007. Scripture Union

Inclusive Youth Work in Christian Youth Work in Theory and Practice. Eds Nash, S and Whitehead, J 2014 SCM Press

Assembly Line 1993 CPAS

Much Ado About Something: The Best of the Pathfinder Sketches 1994. CPAS

Much Ado About Something Else: More of The Best of Pathfinder Sketches 1996 CPAS

Peas in a Pod: Living as a Christian at Primary School. 1996. Scripture Union

 

Other Information

Governor of Marlborough Junior School, Small Heath, Birmingham 1994-2001 (Chair 1995-2001)

Christian Youth Specialist on the National Christian-Muslim Forum 2006-2011. I led the initiative to produce the Ethical Guidelines for Witness produced by the forum

Installed as Honorary Lay Canon at St. Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham. July 2015

Member of the Advisory Forum for KAICIID (King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue). April 2016

Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion. April 2016

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