The Church of Scientology opened a new $5 million dollar headquarters in Birmingham, United Kingdom on Saturday.
Birmingham, called a “City of a Thousand Trades,” has been dubbed as enjoying a recent renaissance by the Financial Times. The city is seeing economic success in their manufacturing, automotive, and retail industries. In 2015, business leaders noted the need to attract more industry leaders to the area and applauded HSBC’s announcement to relocate their headquarters to Birmingham.
Upon opening the church and cutting the ribbon, David Miscavige, Scientology ecclesiastical leader said: “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.”
A band of dignitaries also graced the event, including: Mr. Yann Lovelock BEM, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths; Dr. Paul Baiden-Adams, Director of Multi-Cultural Support Aid Services, UK; Ms. Diana Coad, National Drug Prevention Alliance Representative; and Ms. Decima Francis MBE, Founder, From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation.
In 2007, the Church of Scientology acquired the Pitmaston House in the Mosely suburbs. The Birmingham facility was built in 1930 and is now a restored 45,000 square foot facility. Residents were initially concerned about converting the historic property on speculation that traffic in the area would increase.
Yann Lovelock, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths, commented: “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.”
The church has been working with the Birmingham community for more than 20 years, through its literacy programs, anti-drug initiatives, and human rights and morals education. In the past year, Scientologists have distributed anti-drug literature called The Truth About Drugs, reaching more than 140,000 people since the inception of the program. The group also distributed The Way to Happiness materials and copies of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
The Church of Scientology has restored several historic sites and facilities over the years into “Ideal Organizations,” places for Scientologists to practice their faith.