St Michael’s, Stoke Gifford is a lively, growing Anglican church on the northern edge of Bristol. We are a welcoming crowd of everyday people, living to make a difference by being a Christian heart at the centre of our communities. Everyone is welcome at St Michael’s.
We live to make a difference by Learning and Growing in our faith. We do this together. All of the ministries below are a reflection of the desire to learn and grow together. It’s the definition of Discipleship, and it’s central to our work through our small groups and courses, and in our commitment to prayer, care and sharing the resources we’ve been given.
We are called to share our faith in Jesus. The Church exists to spread the good news of Jesus’ love & life. We are committed to achieving this locally. We also make a difference well beyond our parish boundaries. We support and work with teams that fight poverty and spread the good news of Jesus locally, nationally and around the world.
Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Our attitude should be the same. Serving our communities is the heartbeat of life at St Michael’s. Our coffee shop, our meeting rooms and our professional pre-school and nursery are used by hundreds of local families, businesses, groups and individuals all year round. And the generosity of all those who volunteer is constantly bringing reality to our vision of living to make a difference by being a Christian heart at the centre of our communities.
Over six sessions, Parentalk: The Teenage Years looks at valuable principles that can be applied on a day-to-day basis with teenagers. It is ideal for people who have not taken part in any kind of parenting course before (as well as for those who have).
While Parentalk: The Teenage Years is based on Christian principles, it is designed for parents with or without a Christian faith.
The course is usually run once a year, meeting one evening a week for six evenings. If there is an upcoming course, the dates will show below
The course is free. Some people choose to make a voluntary donation towards the cost of refreshments and course materials.
A day course on Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality. Intentions for the day
Give a basic experiential introduction to what mindfulness is
Explore how mindfulness practice can engage with and support the spiritual journey with particular reference to the Christian contemplative tradition
Serve as a quiet day where participants go away feeling they have had space for deep reflection.
Share ways that mindfulness could be taken forward for those who choose to.
The programme for the day starts with a short introduction and then mixes guided mindfulness practices with reflecting on our experience and then linking them with our spiritual journey. There will be regular breaks throughout the day. Tea and coffee will be provided. Please bring a packed lunch with you. Course leader
Tim Stead is an accredited mindfulness teacher who trained with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He was a Church of England vicar for 23 years and now operates as a freelance mindfulness teacher, teaching eight week courses and leading retreats and quiet days. His books, Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality and See, Love, Be – mindfulness and the spiritual life are published by SPCK. He has also published a Grove Booklet: Mindfulness and prayer. www.timsteadmindfulness.org
Spaces are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment
Living in Love and Faith sets out to inspire people to think more deeply about what it means to be human and to live in love and faith with one another. It tackles the tough questions and the divisions among Christians about what it means to follow Jesus in a society in which understandings and practices of gender, sexuality and marriage continue to change. Our two recent sermon series “Living Well Together” and “God & Sexuality” have opened up the conversation and, we hope, laid some groundwork to us doing the course together as church family.
The course will run in-person in St Michael’s Centre on Wednesday evenings for 5 evening sessions, starting Wednesday 9 March. BOOKINGS CLOSE FRIDAY 4 MARCH.
Each of the 5 sessions explores one key topic, with an opening reflection about learning together, followed by teaching, time for discussion and Bible study and prayer. You can share or speak as much or as little as you like, as we all recognise that we may have very personal and deeply held views.
The Core Leadership team have already done the course and warmly commend it to you.
A 5 session course, in-person on Wednesday evenings ran in August and September 2021
Securely Single is a course especially for Christians who are single (whether they have always been single, or are divorced or widowed). The course material helps single Christians discuss and address the positives and negatives of the single life and encourages all to be content in every and any circumstance ( Philippians 4:11-13)
Over five sessions, we will look at various subjects including:
Who are you? Unveiling God’s promises.
Is singleness a gift?
What about intimacy and celibacy?
Moving on: Making the most of being single
There is an opportunity in every session to spend time studying the Bible, looking at passages such as Psalm 139, 1 Corinthians 7 and Isaiah 54.
Space is also provided for discussion and personal reflection and each week will conclude with prayer and a challenge to think about the one thing to take away from what has been discussed.
Life can be busy. So busy that it is difficult to find space and time to pray. And when we do find the time, our minds can be so cluttered with Twitter feeds, distractions and to-do lists that the prospect of spending time in silence seems daunting.
In our hyper-stimulated world, we long to ‘practice the presence of God’ but more often than not ‘practice the presence of distraction’.
To help us during Lent, Tom will be holding 4 evening sessions on zoom.
Is this for me? Whatever your spirituality or worshipping preference, chorus or choral, incense or stadium haze, hands clasped or hands aloft, the way of Jesus necessitates times of silence and solitude.
This is an opportunity to learn together, develop simple ways to help us remain in a place of stillness, and ultimately deepen our relationship with God during Lent and beyond.
The next events for Practising Silence are:
For the videos of the sessions Tom did online in 2020 click here
Care for the Family are offering a free resource for couples, called The Marriage Sessions.
They are passionate about supporting couples in their relationships and that’s why they’re streaming the resource, The Marriage Sessions free of charge!
The Marriage Sessions explores how couples can build a fantastic relationship. Whether you’re newlyweds or have been married for years, these sessions will help your marriage blossom during these uncertain times – and all you need is an hour a week.
Simply sign up, and starting 11 May you’ll receive a link each week to watch one of the sessions (at a time that suits you). Each of the four episodes includes a mix of real life stories, insight from leading relationship specialists and trusted wisdom from Rob Parsons. You’ll also receive bonus midweek content to help you unpack the session even further.
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, this course has been postponed. More information will be share on new dates when we have it
The Growing Leaders Course focuses on developing leaders across the life of the church, and provides practical resources for running a leadership development process. Now used by hundreds of churches across Britain and the Republic of Ireland, Growing Leaders has been a part of the development of thousands of leaders.
This year we are running the course for those who are a part of St Michael’s. It’s especially appropriate for (although not limited to) those who are emerging as leaders and not yet in a leadership role.
If you are a parent to primary school-aged children, then this forthcoming course is for you. Starting on Monday 10 June, it runs for six Monday evenings
Parentalk is a 6 session course for parents of children aged up to the early teenage years, giving the opportunity to talk about day-to-day challenges, as well as sharing the things that are going well.
The six sessions are:
-It’s not just me
-Love them and let them know
-It’s good to talk
-Boundaries and battles
-Parenting with elastic
-Creating a sense of belonging
Parentalk: The Primary Years is suitable for parents from all different backgrounds and structures.
The course starts on Monday 10 June at 7.30pm and takes place in the Old School Rooms