The Priory Rooms news 2015-09-01T20:01:00Q The Priory Rooms news feed running on finetune cms site_dscpn Meet - Starlight 2015-09-01T20:01:00Q Starlight is one of the 89 individually decorated owls on display in Birmingham for the Big Hoot Trail this summer. The beautiful, hand-crafted mosaic owl was created by internationally renowned artist Caroline Jariwala. Caroline, who lives in Bearwood and a member of Edgbaston Quaker Meeting House, designed the owl with a group of young people from residential care in Birmingham. Through mosaic depicting children holding hands the owl raises awareness for the need for more foster and adoptive parents in Birmingham. Starlight, named by the children, is a star attraction on The Big Hoot, standing outside the Pavilions shopping centre in the High Street.

Starlight_Caroline-Jariwall-e1436915244226.jpgThe group of ten young people, aged 11-17 years old, are from Camborne House and Clissold Street children’s homes. Their creative design was recently commended at the High Sheriff Awards. The group were nominated by the Lord Mayor’s office for the Young Person’s Inspiring Others category and won!

Caroline is a highly prolific artist who has been working in the field of fine art since 1986. She is enjoys being part of school and community projects which help others explore emotion and memories. Most of Caroline’s artwork is inspired by her Gujarati Indian heritage, a fusion of Hindu symbolism and Quaker spirituality, developed through investigating themes of ritual, custom and culture.

“I move between two cultures; this has enabled me to develop my own personal faith journey. My work is meditative, exploring a range of emotion and experience.

I define myself as picassiette mosaic artist. Picassiette is a French slang term meaning “stolen from plate.” It is as though I am freeing the crockery pattern from a cup or serving dish to give new life.

The mosaic speaks to people’s conditions. It works on many levels. People are reminded of crockery from their childhood, there is a positive reminiscence connected to their own story.”

Caroline-Jariwala.jpgCaroline has been delighted to be part of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s fundraiser and how The Big Hoot trail has brought the community together, introduced art to a wide audience and raise awareness of great causes. Starlight will be auctioned with the other owls on The Big Hoot in October to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Caroline is currently exhibiting with two Quaker women artists at Inside Out-Outside In, Internal and External Human Landscapes at St Martin in the Fields Crypt Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London from Tuesday 11 August to Sunday 6 September 2015.

In addition, Caroline runs one day mosaic workshops at her home studio in Bearwood. She is also an Associate Tutor at Woodbrooke, and will be running a 4-day mosaic course in August 2016. A solo exhibition of mosaic works inspired by the patterns in flora and fauna is planned at Winterbourne Gardens, Birmingham, in Sept 2016.

Caroline’s website is:

Caroline Facebook page is:

Opening The Doors To Our Heritage 2015-08-29T11:05:00Q Bull Street Quaker Meeting House is once again taking part in Heritage Open Days on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September from 1.00pm-5.00pm. You are invited to come through the doors and discover the history!

mtg_bullstreet2.jpgBull Street Quaker Meeting is part of Central England Quakers who own The Priory Rooms, also located at the same building. This September they warmly welcome you to explore the Meeting House during the Heritage Open Days.

Heritage Open Days is a nationwide event opening the doors of sites that are not normally open for the public. Bull Street Quakers are delighted to take part, for the public to learn more about Quaker convictions, beliefs and practices past and present. Refreshments are also available on both afternoons.

The current Bull Street Quaker Meeting House was built in 1933 on a city centre site occupied by Quakers since 1702 with many of the old gravestones retained. Throughout the two Heritage Open Days volunteers from the Bull Street Quaker Meeting will provide informative show-rounds, illustrate Quaker history, introduce modern practices, share their memories of the building and answer any questions.

Heritage Open Days was established by the Civic Trust (no longer in operation) in 1994 as England's contribution to the European Heritage Days. It began with 700 sites, that are not normally open for the public, being opened free of charge in September for four consecutive days.

The event is now managed by Heritage Open Days National Partnership, participation has now doubled and the list of sites being opened more wonderful and varied each year. It celebrates the historical venues and attractions within local districts that make these areas unique and participants aim to encourage discovery and a sense of pride to bring communities together.

Come through the doors to meet our heritage!

Heritage Open Days

Harvesting Volunteers 2015-08-22T14:15:00Q Northfield Eco-centre, one of Central England Quakers' projects, are launching Urban Harvest 2015 on Thursday 10th September and they would like volunteers to help harvest as much fruit and veg as possible.

urban_harvest-logo.jpgNorthfield Eco-centre offers practical and inspiring ideas and advice on how to green up your lifestyle, home or business whatever the size and budget. They run a wide range of services, activities and events across a variety of themes.

Their annual Urban Harvest gathers unwanted fruit and vegetables in the area, and redistributes some to local charities and schools, some to a local community cafe and turns the rest into juice and preserves. The project saves tonnes of urban fruit going to waste when people are either unable to pick it, can't deal with the quantity or simply don't know what to do with it!

To make sure they can pick as much fruit as possible, Northfield Eco-centre need lots of volunteers! The harvest starts on Thursday 10th September and Friday 11th September and every Thursday and Friday thereafter until Friday 23rd October 2015. There will also be one Saturday harvest on 19th September.

Volunteering for the Urban Harvest is a great opportunity for people looking for employment to develop skills, confidence and gain a reference. It also helps builds communities, bringing people together over a common cause.

To get involved call Jackie on 0121 448 0119.

Northfield Eco-centre

Something Good! 2015-08-14T18:55:00Q This September join The Peace Hub, in Birmingham city centre, for a gentle art workshop celebrating the Birmingham Cathedrals 300th anniversary.


The workshop on Wednesday 2nd September 12.00pm-2.00pm is from Something Good, a multi-faith arts programme. It is being led by writer Mandy Ross who will work with participants on the theme “Exploring Light and Dark in Different Faith Traditions.” Together you will share words and thoughts on light and dark cut-outs. The final collection will be used to form part of the artistic celebrations at the Birmingham Cathedral this autumn.

People from any faith tradition, or no particular faith tradition, are welcome to join this free workshop. Simply turn up for 12pm on the day. For more information contact or 0121 238 2869.

The Peace Hub is located on 41 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF adjacent to The Priory Rooms. The Priory Rooms’ profits enable Central England Quakers to deliver a variety of projects, campaigns and workshops at The Peace Hub, Quaker Peace and Justice Centre. For further details about the work The Priory Rooms profits support visit our webpage

Macmillan Morning Is Brewing 2015-08-12T18:58:00Q On Wednesday 23rd September The Priory Rooms will be taking part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.

macmillans-coffee-morning-at-tpr.jpgCome along to our venue between 9.00am and 5.00pm where there will be a variety of fair-trade teas, coffee and juice along with freshly made cakes available in our Atrium. Each item will cost just £1 and guests can network, read the newspaper or simply relax outside in our terraced gardens.

MacMillan Cancer Support provides medical, emotional, practical and financial support and push for a better cancer care system. Each coffee morning held across the country will help raise life-saving funds for MacMillan's on-going hard-work. Last year everyone who participated fundraised an incredible £25,102,796!

macmillans-logo.pngSo come along on Wednesday 23rd September, bring a friend, enjoy the cakes and help fundraise for MacMillan Cancer Support to make this year the best yet!

We look forward to seeing you here.

MacMillan Cancer Support

Beth Shortlisted For Young Professionals Awards 2015-08-08T09:46:00Q Congratulations to The Priory Rooms' Business Development Manager Beth Sadler who has been shortlisted for an award at the Future Faces First Annual Awards Ceremony.

Beth-Shortlisted-for-award.JPGFuture Faces, part of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, develop the skills, knowledge and experience of young ambitious professionals to create the future business leaders. The Future Faces judging panel have selected eighteen finalists for five award categories. Beth is one of three shortlisted for the award of the Future Face of Leisure and Hospitality. The panel has been chaired by the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce's Group Director of Membership and Business Services Russell Jeans and a representative from each of Future Faces' five patrons.

Beth will attend the gala ceremony at Edgbaston Stadium on Friday 11th September. It will be a special evening highlighting the outstanding talent emerging in Birmingham and the contribution they are making to their sector. Beth was recognised by the panel for her contribution to The Priory Rooms. Since joining the business in 2010 Beth has worked closely with the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Future Faces to promote The Priory Rooms services.

Beth, delighted with the nomination, commented, _"Thank you to the judging panel for shortlisting me! I am over-whelmed, especially in light of the high calibre of candidates. The Chamber and Future have been incredibly supportive of my ambitions for The Priory Rooms and created many opportunities.

I am so proud to work for The Priory Rooms and this definitely contributes to my success. Without the team's support and my love of everything we do, I would not have been nominated for this award!"_

Good Luck Beth!

Meet the Three Candidates

Find out more about the Future Faces First Annual Awards Ceremony

Putting You In The Spotlight! 2015-08-03T19:47:00Q The Priory Rooms are installing a £20,000 lighting refurbishment in the Main Meeting House this August. It will make the large, unique, city centre conference space even more A-Main-Zing! Enjoy superb atmosphere and flexibility in the stunning 1930’s venue. The spotlight will shine brightly on your event and guests will leave feeling illuminated.

Book now for our extraordinary special offer price!

TPR-Main-Cabaret-1.jpgThe state-of-the-art lighting upgrades will showcase the Main Meeting House perfectly for your large conferences. It will also complement the £20,000 Audio Visual upgrade put in place last year. The room, which seats 200 people theatre style, had installed a new two speaker PA system, choice of microphones and a high-spec projector and screen. Each of these are controlled by a dedicated iPad, so facilitators can co-ordinate the entire event at a touch of a button. An impressive stage area was also built which transformed the room into a show-stopping venue!

The new lighting system will be added to the iPad to create bespoke event mood lighting. Organisers can set bright welcoming lights as delegates take their seats. Close the black out blinds during the projector presentations. Switch on the stage spotlights to focus on key speakers. Then finish with the up-lights beaming on the beautiful high ceilings for a striking visual. The Main Meeting House will definitely put you in the spotlight!

A-Main-Zing Special Offer Now Available!

a_TPR-Main-Theatre-41.jpg To celebrate the Main Meeting House's refurbishment we are offering a 19.33% discount marking the year it was first opened.

Book your next event in the Main Meeting House before December 2015 to receive 19.33% discount off any date in 2015 and 2016!

Call our Bookings Team on 0121 236 2317.

Further information and pictures of the Main Meeting House are available here

Have a “Hoot” in Birmingham! 2015-07-30T19:31:00Q Be “wise owls” and explore Birmingham’s The Big Hoot Trail when you visit The Priory Rooms this summer. Take your colleagues out for a “flight” around the city centre on your lunch break and “ruffle their feathers” with this unusual team-building challenge. The innovative art project of giant owls has “landed” right by The Priory Rooms.

have-a-hoot.jpg So we are offering delicious packed lunches for your team to take away and discover the collection on their break.

The Priory Rooms will also donate £20 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital on your behalf!

Fun, unique and interactive, the Trail is a real “hoot”!

Wild in Art, has “swooped” in 89 colourful giant owls in Birmingham city centre and beyond for The Big Hoot Trail. Each has been beautifully decorated by artists; individually designed to showcase the varied and vibrant culture of Birmingham. A Trail map has been created, which alongside The Big Hoot App enables you to discover the owls, scan the QR code at each location and release special offers.

The Big Hoot Trail is the perfect team-building exercise whilst you are using The Priory Rooms meeting and conference rooms. We are providing guests with Trail maps and packed lunches for a “hooting” time. Enjoy an extended break from the boardroom with a map and delicious packed lunch for only £6+vat per person. Take in the city’s culture and atmosphere by eating lunch in one of the many beautiful public realms, such as Victoria Square and St Philips Cathedral. And don’t forget to take an “owlie” with the ones you come across to show The Priory Rooms team on your return. We can’t wait to see your best pose and find out how many you discovered!

The Big Hoot Trail is being displayed all summer. On the 15th October the owls will be sold at auction to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Auction day will soon be here, so don’t delay, book your packed lunch for next time you visit The Priory Rooms! You can download The Big Hoot App for free on the App Store and Google Play. Trail maps are available in our Atrium area. Remember to upload your pictures to the twitter page @thebighoot using the #thebighoot2015 and include @theprioryrooms.

The Priory Rooms wish Birmingham Children’s Hospital a very successful fundraiser. We look forward to hearing about our guests having a “hoot in Birmingham” on the trail.

Packed lunches are available by pre-ordering with the Conference Team. For £6+vat you will receive a sandwich, crisps, fruit, cake and drink. Minimum of 5 packed lunches to be ordered in conjunction with room hire. For further information about The Big Hoot Trail visit

Drop in, Pick Up and Grow! 2015-07-27T10:30:00Q The Peace Hub have announced their summer campaign is "Grub's Up! Making our Food Sustainable"; welcoming the public to pop in, grab a cuppa and find out how they can get involved. For the young green-fingered visitors there are free-seed planting activities all through the summer holidays!

Peacehub_grow.pngThe Peace Hub are campaigning that factory-farming is damaging the environment, increasing inequality and harming animals. Instead, by supporting small-scale, sustainable farming, there can be fair and affordable food for everyone.

Bring your young ones to the Peace Hub, on Bull Street, Birmingham city centre between 11am and 2.30pm throughout the summer holidays. They can learn about Grub's Up whilst playing the "count your chickens" game, they can write to your MP asking them to support a sustainable approach to food and they can take part in the seed-planting activities.

Children will get the chance to learn about where food comes from, and take home what they plant to watch it grow (while you enjoy a cuppa & a chat!) This simple activity doesn’t take long, so it’s an ideal way to take a break in the middle of a city centre shopping trip and keep the kids entertained at the same time.

Follow the Peace Hub's campaigns on their website

Staff HIT the NVQ Road 2015-07-24T17:30:00Q The Priory Rooms' Ann-Louise Rowlands, Conference Support Executive, and Tom Bennett, Hospitality Assistant, are about to start their NVQ journey with Hospitality Industry Training (HIT). As they "hit" the NVQ road, both are excited to enhance their skills and apply them to their roles at The Priory Rooms.

Ann-Louise is taking a Level 3 in Management, and Tom a Level 2 in Customer Service. Both have worked with The Priory Rooms for several years, progressing their careers along the way.

They were offered the NVQ courses by The Priory Rooms Centre Manager Andrew Callan, who during his six years in position has provided numerous training courses for staff. Andrew has seen substantial benefits for enabling the team to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence. Andrew felt the NVQs with HIT were an ideal opportunity for Ann-Louise and Tom to gain a credible industry qualification whilst applying the experience practically to the business.

HIT_Logo.jpgHIT is the leading specialist training provider for the UK's hospitality industry. Ann-Louise and Tom will work with HIT trainer-assessors, who bring local knowledge, valuable practical experience and an understanding of what learners need to forge life-enhancing skills. You can follow Ann-Louise and Tom on their NVQ journey with our regular updates!

Start Your Journey with HIT Training