So what’s the big idea? Back to Church Sunday is an opportunity to reconnect with a local Church. Churches up and down the country will be opening their doors to the local community on Sunday 29th September.
Posts Tagged ‘church’
St Michael’s Church in Stoke Gifford, which dates back to the 14th Century, is launching a £5.8m project to build a new multi-purpose church and community centre.
The Heart of the Community project is raising funds to refurbish St Michael’s Church and the former village school – known as the Old School Rooms – at The Green, Stoke Gifford, and build a 600 seat auditorium with meeting rooms and other facilities on the site of The Barns in North Road.
The project, which has been described as “audacious” by the Bishop of Bristol, the Right Reverend Mike Hill, is also setting aside a tenth of the project costs to fund similar building projects overseas.
While the number of people in England and Wales recording their religion as “Christian” dropped by 13% between 2001 and 2011, St Michael’s congregation has grown by 70% over the last 10 years. The congregation is now over 300 – and growing – and is too large to fit in the church, forcing the main 10.30am service to start in two separate venues.
Up to 1,000 people a week use the community rooms provided by the church, the Old School Rooms coffee shop serves hundreds of hot meals, snacks and drinks each week and the pre-school and nursery – based in the Old Vicarage – is over subscribed.
The church building – a familiar sight locally as well as to passengers passing through Parkway Station – has a Norman font and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Records suggest there may well have been an earlier Saxon church on the site.
The Rev. Simon Jones, Rector of St Michael’s said: “St Michael’s has a very long history of serving the local community. We are an ancient church but our aim is to meet the needs of people today.
“There is a real shortage of community facilities in Stoke Gifford. The Heart of the Community project is about continuing to make a difference to the lives of local people every day of the week.”
With more than 3,000 homes due to be built in the parish over the next decade, there will be a pressing need for local amenities, particularly where the wider community can join together.
The new centre will provide up-to-date conference facilities for schools, charities and local businesses as well as rooms to hire for wedding receptions and other celebrations. It will also serve as a resource for the wider region, within easy access of the M4 and M5 motorways and next door to Bristol Parkway Station.
The congregation’s commitment to the project is clear – a gift day last summer raised £2 million in one-off donations and regular pledges over the next five years. The church plans to raise the rest of the money from fundraising events, grants and the generosity of individual and corporate donors.
Bishop Hill, the project’s patron said: “I think God loves audacity. I think He loves people to think up projects which mean their only hope of achieving them would be to trust in Him. And I think that’s what this project is all about.”
We were delighted to receive an invite to the inauguration of a new ministry at Holy Trinity Church on 5 September. It has been 2 years and 9 months since the last minister, Rev Paul Peterson and his family moved on to Downend, which was a year after Rev George Nuttal retired.
The loss of both ministers has been quite a blow for the church, but the lay ministry team, along with the church members, have done an admirable job of running everything in the interim, including the brilliant 3-day holiday club in the summer headed up by Roger Smale and Phil Strange. The pirate themed club was attended by over 100 children again this year, and all made possible by the dedicated team of 30 volunteers, 20 of whom were young leaders!
The car park was overrun and the church packed to capacity to welcome Rev William MacDougall (Bill) to the parish. With visiting dignatories Bishop Mike, Area Dean Rev Simon Jones (St Michaels, Stoke Gifford) amongst others, as well as members from the local congregation and also members from Christ the King it was a busy evening.
Following a lovely service that included some of my favourite worship songs, the formalities completed, everyone was invited to stay for coffee and enjoy a tempting selection of home made cakes whilst chatting to friends and being able to extend a warm welcome to Rev Bill and his wife Izzie in person. It was also great to see Rev Paul Peterson back at Holy Trinity for the evening.
We will be including an interview with the new minister in our next issue of Bradley Stoke Matters – out soon!
Photo shows Rev Bill MacDougall, with Bishop Mike and Area Dean Simon Jones.
On Your Marks …. Get Set …. GO!
It’s time to get on your marks for the BOING Holiday Club. From 1-3pm Monday 20th to Friday 24th August Bradley Stoke Evangelical Church will be holding the BOING Olympics. From 1pm each day there will be a programme of Olympic themed games, crafts, competitions, quizzes, songs and stories.
The Holiday Club is for any children currently in year 2 through to year 6. Parents are welcome to join in from 2.45pm from drinks and cake.
Decathlon! From 7pm on Thursday evening 23rd August there will be an event for the whole family. This will be an opportunity to test your Olympic dreams and compete in 10 games for a prestigious prize. There will also be an opportunity to see and hear about some of the things the children have been doing.
On Friday from 3pm there will be a special award ceremony for the children to which again everyone is welcome to celebrate their achievements.
Best of all …. IT’S FREE!!!
There are some spaces still available so hurry and call Tim on 0117 9314716 or 07515 930363 to book yours!