Christian Aid Collective: The Prophetic Activist

Saturday 2 Feb 2019
at St Paul’s Church Clifton

The Christian Aid Collective will be bringing together dreamers, creators, world changers and do-gooders from in and around Bristol to build a network of like-minded people who want to campaign for change today. The Prophetic Activist is a one-day event for 18-30 year olds to arm you with the skills and knowledge to build innovative and effective campaigns, with your faith at the centre.

We will address theology of activism, campaigning theories and workshops to kick start your campaigning. We know that bringing about lasting change is difficult but together we can go far. Come along and build your skills, your faith and your local network to see what we can do together.

Get your ticket here: /the-prophetic-activist-sign- up

OneSound Concert

It was great to have OneSound visiting Vic this week-end. After a couple of days of fellowship and rehearsal, the group performed on Saturday evening and then lead our worship on Sunday morning.
Their new summer school at the start of August looks to be a great event for young Christians interested in getting involved with singing and performing worship music.

Iona Community Vacancies

Are you looking for an alternative, counter cultural and spiritually challenging way to live and work? Then consider joining the Resident Staff at the Iona Community’s centres on the island of Iona or at Camas, to share a common life and extend our ministry of hospitality to guests from all over the world.

The Iona Community are currently recruiting their Resident Staff for 2019 and have the following Vacancies:

Shop Manager – Iona
Musician – Iona
Administration Assistant – Iona
Operations Manager – Iona
Camas Environment Worker – 3 years
Camas Activities Worker – 3 years
Camas Activities Worker – 9 mths

The deadline for applications for all Iona posts  is Wednesday
14th November 2018. Interviews will be held in Glasgow between 26 and 28 November, with a follow up visit to Iona.

For more information please go to the Iona Community website or speak to Richard, our minister, who is an Iona Community member. He was warden at the Abbey on Iona for several years and is happy to speak to anyone wishing to explore living and working with the Community.


A Bristol Pilgrimage

In July, Richard, our minister, led a group of 15 pilgrims on the first ‘Bristol Pilgrimage’.

The idea was born after the Richard’s daughter returned from a year in Savannah, Georgia. He wanted to pick up the story from the failure of John and Charles Wesley’s time there.

With the encouragement of George Whitfield, John Wesley came to Bristol in the spring of 1739. In his own words, he ‘submitted to be more vile’ in adopting the practice of preaching outdoors. He preached to 1500 people at Hanham Mount, on the east side of Bristol which is where the pilgrims started their journey into the city centre.

They stayed overnight at Parkway Methodist Church, then set out from there on the second day to walk from the New Room to Pill. Their first stop was ‘the Nails’ on Corn Street. Here, the pilgrims reflected on the binding commitment Boaz made to marry Ruth.

“I’ve led a number of pilgrimages in the past, and my concern is always to see pilgrimage in the context of mission,” Richard says. “I always try to place a story from scripture alongside the story of the place through which we are walking, and allow the two to throw light on each other.”

The final seven miles of the pilgrimage lay along Bristol’s waterfront, out under the suspension bridge and along the Avon Gorge to the small village of Pill. It was from there that first Francis Ashbury, and later Thomas Coke, set sail to make Methodism into a world Church, and in ships probably not much bigger than John Cabot’s Matthew – a replica of which fired a salute to the memory of those early Methodists (and to today’s pilgrims) as it sailed past.

Hazel, a pilgrims who had come from Wrexham, commented: “What impressed me was the sense of fellowship amongst the group, especially around the meal table in the evening.”

Grains of Truth Exhibition

In June 2018 we hosted an exhibition of sculptures by Smith & Moore, Santiago Bell and Arun Weys. Here are photos from the exhibition and some of the comments left by visitors:

“Wonderful to see David Moore’s work once again – and a first opportunity to view Santiago Bell’s archive. They sit so well together.”

“What a range of work. Excellent – I like the bits of controversy. The venue is such a real treasure and links into the prayer of the Iona Community (of which I am a member) ‘seeking new ways to touch the hearts of all’ – including our own hearts – i.e. hearts of those within church who think they have it all taped.”

“Sculptures that move on, irrespective of faith or lack of it.”

“Inspiring and moving – and thanks for the lovely hospitality.”

“Astounding craftsmanship – conceptually brilliant too. Touches ones heart and spirit.”

“A wonderful and moving exhibition, especially the wood carvings. Politically challenging and religiously questioning.”

“Powerful visionary work, brave, bold, sensitive and deeply compassionate.”

“I liked the plain wood sculpture best – also the Tower of Babel.”

“Absolutely amazing. It made us think about things in a different way. It has a lot of interesting sculptures to look at. Thank you.”

“And the last will be first! Amazing – all of it. Thank you to everyone involved in putting this together and making this happen.”

“I loved having such skilled creative work in our church  – it grave great pleasure.”

“Magnificent work, touching and tragic. So glad I’ve seen it.”

“Wonderful, deeply spiritual and inspiring images despite the human pain.”

“Good to see such and open minded church.”

“So thought provoking and great skill and thought in the sculptures.”

“Intriguing, beautiful and poignant exhibition. Thought provoking, too. Thank you.”

“Fantastic exhibition. The wood is alive, figures and colours put forward the story. Pain loss, love etc.”

Knit ‘n’ Journey

For the past 6 weeks, about 15-20 people have joined Lyn and Biddy in a lenten knit-along. Each day there have been around 10 lines to knit with weekly lent-themed meditations to a  accompany them. By the end those who have managed to keep up should have a beautiful scarf to wear on Easter Sunday. The ups and downs of knitting – the unknown mystery pattern, the dropped stitches, the imperfections, the saving and redoing have all added to reflecting on the Lenten journey through the wilderness and the companionship of God. Thank you Lyn and Biddy!

Practising the Presence

“As far as I can see, a labyrinth is a complex maze-like path,” explained Kenneth, who had been doing his research. “Furthermore, if you are suggesting that it’s like the journey of life, then it would need dead ends and bifurcations.” Of course, he is right. Yet the labyrinth which is now on the floor at Victoria Methodist Church provides an opportunity of practicing the presence of the God who is always with us, indeed ‘in whom we live and move and have our being’.

Suffering to Sanctuary labyrinth

So, call in to the church. For the next 4 weeks (27 Jan – 24 Feb) we’re open Monday through Saturday 12-2pm, 5-7pm Wednesday evenings, and – of course – on Sundays around worship. And if you’re wondering what those amazing paintings are behind, the church is full of artwork, including 4 works from the Methodist Modern Art Collection. The whole exhibition is entitled ‘Identity as Resistance’ and includes work by an Iranian refugee, an Egytian photographer and local schools.

More from Richard’s blog ‘The bright field’ here.