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.
“The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”Luke 24:20-21
‘We had hoped…’
Those words (by some of Jesus’ followers walking away from Jerusalem) so eloquently sum up what they must have been feeling after his crucifixion. All hope seemed lost. They had started to believe he really might be the promised Messiah, but now…
Many of us face – and possibly still live through – dashed hopes: the death of a friend or relative, the clear end to a pandemic, the longing for a career or position that is now closed.
How does Easter story speak to these situations? After all, despite the disciples worries – Jesus was alive.
There is nothing wrong with expressing ‘we had hoped’. We need to grieve over lost dreams and crushed hopes. There are strong biblical precedents for lamenting and taking time to process our emotions.
Jesus’ message, when he appeared to his ‘hopeless’ friends on the road, was more than ‘boo…I’m alive’! Jesus opened their eyes to a much wider and more glorious reality; that pain and hurt will, in the end, be defeated by ‘hope’.
As we ponder Jesus’ sufferings and resurrection in the coming days, let us take comfort in the amazing truth that hopes which seem defeated are in reality just deferred.
This Easter, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 15:13).
This honour is a recognition of Si’s work as Rector and Area Dean, as well as leader of the Heart of the Community Project.
Si was installed alongside 5 others from across the Diocese, and all were well supported within the congregation.
Si said “A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone at St Michael’s who came to the Cathedral on Sunday. I felt very loved and supported by you all. It was a privilege to be installed as a Canon at Bristol Cathedral and an on-going joy to lead St Michael’s.”
On Saturday 2nd August we are joining with the Stoke Gifford Royal British Legion to host a community event on the Green, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. We’ll be raising money jointly for the RBL Poppy Appeal and the Heart of the Community project.
Bradley Stoke Radio will be in attendance, along with Westerleigh Brass Band and Mini Massive Sax Flextet, and there will be lots of other things to see and do. The OSR Coffee Shop will be open serving tea, coffee, cold drinks and cakes – and on the other side of the Green the Beaufort Arms will be putting on a barbecue.
Children are invited to wear fancy dress, for a little parade and a chance to win a prize. Please do come along and support this community event!
Rebuilding of the north wall is nearing completion. The steel frame of the new building is now complete, and work on the roof has begun. Internal and external walls on the ground floor are now about 50% complete. Corridors and rooms are taking shape, and work has begun reconstructing the internal arches. We anticipate the shell of the building will be finished by the end of July.
Savings of about £20,000 have been made on the cost of the north wall, and further savings are expected to be made as disruption costs are minimised by a smooth continuation from phase 1 to 2.
Following the DCC decision at their last meeting an application is being pursued for Heritage Lottery Funding via the ‘Grants for Places of Worship’ programme. We will be bidding for a grant of around £225,000 which will cover most of the work which needs doing in, and to, the church building.
We have recently awarded just under £15,000 to our mission partners working with Family Impact, to build a classroom block at a rural school in Zimbabwe. The current classrooms are mud huts with no desks or seats. The new classroom block, containing two classrooms to accommodate 80 children, will be built of bricks, made by the local community. There are plans to build three other similar classroom blocks so that the entire school can be re-housed.
Events for the diary
Phoenix Trading – Coffee and Cards
Saturday 26 April
Sue Woodhead Marsh is hosting an open home during the morning on 26 April. This will be an opportunity to drop in, drink coffee (or tea), eat cake, meet people and browse some high quality, good value, greetings cards and stationery. All proceeds to go to the Heart of the Community. (For more info please contact Sue on 07525 929085)
Saturday 10 May
Back by popular demand. More details to follow.
Colour and Style evening
Tuesday 10 June
If you are interested in the finding out more about personal image, and how to choose colours and clothing that will flatter and enhance your look, then pop this date in your diary. All proceeds from the evening will go to Heart of the Community. More details to follow.
Saturday 13 September
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be visiting the new Church and Community Centre to bless the project.
St Michael’s Church is inviting everyone to play a part in the Heart of the Community project with our new Buy a Brick appeal.
The idea is that church members encourage everyone to buy a brick or two for the new church and community centre. Each brick represents a £10 gift, with a small certificate presented to everyone who donates.
Our target is to raise £50,000 for the project – which means selling 5,000 bricks.
We are currently recruiting volunteers to take a turn helping to run one of our three Buy a Brick display stands at local events and meeting places over the next few weeks. You could sell bricks at your own Christmas event too. Please contact Sue Woodhead if you’d like to help. (Hard hats will be provided.)
To mark 150 years of serving the communitySt Michael’s Church and St Michael’s Primary School are hosting an open-air service of celebration followed by a family fun day.
It’s 150 years since the Old School Rooms – back then a new Victorian village school – first opened. The celebration service is taking place in front of the Old School Rooms on the village green. It will feature songs and stories from pupils past and present, Victorian hymns and a prize for those who come in Victorian dress!
Sunday 23rd June
Stoke Gifford Village Green
Bring your own picnic lunch and stay on afterwards for games, a photo exhibition by the school, an opportunity to watch the Heart of the Community project DVD, and the last chance to visit the site of the Old Barns before the diggers arrive in early July!
The whole community is invited, but pupils of St Michael’s School, past and present, are especially welcome.