Celebrating Faith at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Birmingham Museums Trust recently opened the Faith in Birmingham gallery. It features some of the city’s most important collections, loans from the local community and from the collections of the British Museum.

Hijazi Qur'an 7th century Cadbury Research Library

The Birmingham Quran, on loan from the University of Birmingham, is a fragment of a 7th century Qur’an manuscript, one of the oldest surviving in the world. CREDIT: © University of Birmingham (Cadbury Research Library MS 1572a)


A Sikh Temple token from Amritsar on loan from the British Museum. CREDIT: © The Trustees of the British Museum


Birmingham is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe. Over 70% of the population follows a religion, which is a higher percentage than most other cities in the UK. They include the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish faiths.

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Faith in Birmingham Gallery. CREDIT: © Birmingham Museums Trust

The museum worked with members of these faith communities to create the gallery which focuses on ‘Faith and History’, ‘Faith and Community’, ‘Faith and Life’s Journey’ and ‘Spiritual Life’. It also highlights Birmingham’s long history of interfaith dialogue. The aim was to explore the religious significance of collections, providing the opportunity for people of faith to express their beliefs using a combination of historic and contemporary objects.

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Members of Birmingham’s Buddhist community in front of the Sultanganj Buddha. CREDIT: © Birmingham Museums Trust

To date Faith in Birmingham has received over 20,000 visitors and we look forward to showing it to the ITP participants who visit Birmingham in summer 2016. 

Adam Jaffer

Curator of World Cultures