The new Church of Scientology in the heart of Birmingham serves as an impetus for initiatives toward cultural reform.
As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the United Kingdom’s city of Birmingham was home to more patents than any city in the world. Its role as leader in manufacturing innovation has made it known internationally as “The Workplace of the World.”
That workaday attitude—which parallels the work ethic of Scientologists who have launched and supported humanitarian and social betterment outreach campaigns in the region for two decades—was evident again in late October as members gathered to dedicate their new ideal Church home in the ward of Moseley and Kings Heath on Moor Green Lane in Birmingham.
So it was and in the spirit of the day, Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, proclaimed: “When that inaugural ribbon falls, so a curtain rises … and so it becomes every Scientologist’s responsibility to uplift England’s Salt of the Earth, thereby turning an industrial revolution into a spiritual revolution.”
While some 1,200 members and guests turned their attention to the magnificent restoration of a facility that will serve spiritual needs of a large congregation of parishioners, they were also clearly focused on a “workplace” that is addressing needs within the local community, on par with the Church’s expansive social programs.
Around the world, even people who don’t know Birmingham know of the things that have come from here. From artists to industry, from airplanes to football, from Shakespeare to streetlights, Birmingham has lit the way both industrially and culturally for hundreds of years. Even oxygen—the very air we breathe—was first recognized here.
Birmingham’s cultural significance reaches far beyond its borders. With an extensive history that permeates its culture, Birmingham is not just the U.K.’s second largest city, it is the most ethnically diverse hub in the country, and growing.
In alignment with that spirit of partnership, and following on from so many cities that opened their doors to new Churches of Scientology in the past year, Birmingham is far from an overnight success story. In fact, the Church has 20 years of experience working hand-in-hand with communities and volunteers, connecting with individuals and groups on literacy programs, drug prevention initiatives, human rights awareness and morals education.
As point of fact, in 2017 local volunteers and parishioners helped distribute thousands of the Truth About Drugs booklets, bringing the total to more than 140,000. Thousands more have received education in the moral codes expressed in The Way to Happiness, and from campaigns to increase awareness of basic human rights as outlined by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The new Church of Scientology Birmingham was originally built in 1930 and stands on a six-acre estate in the cosmopolitan ward of Moseley. The facility is recognized as a heritage site by Historic England and was faithfully restored with its traditional Birmingham red brick, Portland stone facings, oak doors and exquisite British marble readied for service to communities across the country’s Midlands.
Mr. Yann Lovelock BEM, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths, was among those offering welcome at the dedication. His address focused on what the day foretold as a harbinger of improved lives for the citizens of his city.
“What we’re all welcoming today is the opening of a resource that contributes to the good of Birmingham,” he said, “[one] that contributes to better awareness of who we are individually and what we can add to the general welfare. This center is a huge commitment on your part and I, for one, in welcoming you as spiritual partners, look forward to your efforts in making not just our city but the world a better place.”
Diana Coad, representative of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, addressed the fight against drug addiction in Birmingham, noting that she has observed firsthand the lifesaving effects of Narconon, the drug rehabilitation technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.
“When you help someone successfully fight drugs, you aren’t saving just one person, because their parents, brothers, sisters and children’s lives have also been destroyed,” she said. “In fact, for every individual you salvage, you are helping hundreds more, and I can’t stand any longer seeing governments, hospitals and doctors fail themselves, fail addicts and fail their families. So, you are breaking down the walls between past and present, between failure and success, and thereby giving British families a future.”
Community leaders step to the stage to share their praise and promise of collaboration.
Making Dreams Come True
“Take one young man whose dream was to be a pilot—but he couldn’t study. There he stood at the edge of the chasm, his dream on the other side and nothing but hope in between. So I taught him about Study Technology and the ‘gradient’ and he applied it, and he started to learn: altitude, wind direction, landing speed. Now that boy can fly, because with L. Ron Hubbard’s Study Technology your dreams can come true.”
Building a Better World
“What we’re all welcoming today is the opening of a resource that contributes to the good of Birmingham; that contributes to better awareness of who we are individually and what we can add to the general welfare. This center is a huge commitment on your part and I, for one, in welcoming you as spiritual partners, look forward to your efforts in making not just our city but the world a better place.”
Empowering the Heart and Soul
“The Church of Scientology and the teachings of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard remind me of Shakespeare’s sonnets, meaning: ‘That which is beautifully crafted—lifts the human spirit.’ And Mr. Hubbard had that intellect, that heart and that soul. He knew he needed to help others see beyond the physical form they are housed in, to who they really are. Well, the fact is, L. Ron Hubbard empowers every human being—so they can raise their soul up beyond the sky.”
Providing Hope for the Future
“When you help someone successfully fight drugs, you aren’t saving just one person, because their parents, brothers, sisters and children’s lives have also been destroyed. In fact, for every individual you salvage, you are helping hundreds more. So, you are breaking down the walls between past and present, between failure and success, and thereby giving British families a future.”