Forest Church

At Forest Church, we explore God’s creation, sing songs, hear bible stories, play games and have lots of fun along the way – whatever the weather!

Meet at the entrance to the woods on Long Down Avenue (opposite Bushy Leas)

Next dates:

The next events for Forest Church are:

Easter 2022

We have lots going on this Easter.

In 2020 and 2021 all our Easter services and celebrations were online only. We are so pleased that this year we can meet in person, as well as continuing to live-stream each service.


Easter Services

Maundy Thursday 14 April

Communion Service 7.30pm in church. Live stream link here

Good Friday 15 April

All-age Service 11am in the centre Live stream link here

Reflective Service 12pm in church,   This service concludes with communion at 1.45pm.  Stay for all the service or come and go on the quarter-hour. Live stream link here

Easter Sunday 17 April

The Nine o’clock – communion service in church –  Live stream link here

The Ten-thirty – communion in the centre–  Live stream link here

The Six-thirty – in the centre – service will also be Live stream link here

Themes and Readings

Easter Trail

Head to our special Easter Trail page for more info!

Easter Message

“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).

God bless,


Rector St Michael’s Stoke Gifford

Speak Honestly: from Kintsugi Hope

Speak Honestly is a new interactive online chat show with honest chat, humour, film, questions, which is accessible for all, brought to you by Kintsugi Hope

Patrick is CEO and co-founder of Kintsugi Hope which came about following a series of personal trials and ill health affecting Patrick and his family. Prior to that, Patrick led urban youth charity, XLP which he also founded in 1996 and ran for 21 years.

Jess is Patrick’s PA and is Comms Coordinator at Kintsugi Hope. Jess seeks to advocate for justice issues and has a honest attitude in all she does.

Join Patrick and Jess as they “speak honestly” about anxiety, disappointment and perfectionism.

Speak Honestly About Anxiety 

Speak Honestly About Disappointment 

Speak Honestly About Perfectionism

Tickets are available online where they are asking for donations which can be as little as £1. 

What’s On: Week Beginning 23 September

This coming week there are lots of extra things happening at St Michael’s. This is as well as all the usual things too!

On Wednesday 25 September, the first proper session of the Alpha course starts – there’s still time to sign-up if you’d like to come along

Friday 27 September sees our monthly Heart of the Community Prayer Breakfast – everyone is welcome to come along at 6.30am in the Old School Rooms

At 2pm we have our monthly Film Friday in the Auditorium. Watch out for posters or ask us in the office for more details

Also on Friday 27 September, we welcome  The Great Western Chorus of Bristol. for their Barber Shop Bash. Tickets available here

Then on Saturday 28 September, it’s the turn of Bristol and West of England Male Voice Praise with their annual festival. Tickets and more info here

And for the full list of everything that’s happening, check out the Calendar

Philippa Hanna

Philippa Hanna

Known Tour 2019
Women’s event for all ages

Saturday 1 June 2019

Book now

St Michael’s Centre is excited to welcome award-winning singer-songwriter Philippa Hanna for a special evening especially for Women and girls, in support of Compassions Child Survival Intervention Program in Togo.

The ‘Known’ tour is a fabulous opportunity to bring together girls of all ages for an unforgettable event in support of an incredible cause. Philippa will be sharing her most well-loved songs alongside her honest and relatable stories with a sprinkling of humor.

Over a ten year career Philippa has toured with the likes of Leona Lewis, Lionel Richie, Little Mix and many more. She has played over 1000 shows in 25 countries, released 5 studio albums and visits as many as 150 churches a year. Her latest book ‘Amazing You’ aims to encourage and inspire others to overcome fear and fulfill their potential. Alongside her husband Joel, the pair share their trademark feel-good music, thoughtful songs and moving testimony in a show that is both inspiring and appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds.

It’s been a dream of mine to do a women’s event tour for some time. I love what happens when we bring the ladies in our lives into one place. You can share things with a group of girls that you normally wouldn’t, whilst making incredible memories! When Compassion told me about their Child Protection Intervention Program I knew it was the perfect cause to base this tour around. It is girls being girls, helping girls! And having a great night whilst we’re at it! – Philippa Hanna

Philippa will be joined by special guest Chloe Reynolds. Gloucester-based Christian singer songwriter Chloe Reynolds has forged a strong musical reputation since her debut, earning comparisons with Joni Mitchell, Alicia Keys and Lou Fellingham. Her music has been heard on BBC Radio 2, UCB, Premier Radio and more.

‘Known’ is the title of an upcoming single for Philippa and aims to spread the message that all people deserve to be loved, protected and ‘Known’.

Proceeds from the event go to Compassion‘s Mother and Child Intervention project in Togo

Paul Kerensa

One Man Show from Top Comedian Paul Kerensa

Friday 10 May 7.30pm

Back by popular demand following Carols and Comedians in December, Paul Kerensa brings us his one man show!

Writer for BBC1’s Miranda and Not Going Out, among countless others, Paul Kerensa’s the in-demand comic who plays comedy clubs and cathedrals.

He’s one of the few to have appeared both at London’s Comedy Store and on Radio 2’s Pause For Thought. A decade into his stand-up career, Paul’s one-man show has played to packed-out churches and other venues over the last few years, including festivals from Spring Harvest, Greenbelt and New Wine, to the Edinburgh Fringe and Montreal Comedy Festival. Most recently, he part of the writing team for TFI Friday, Top Gear, Royal Variety Performance and Buble at the BBC. Paul’s books include Amazon top 100 bestseller Hark! The Biography of Christmas and children’s book Noah’s Car Park Ark. Paul is a regular on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show.

‘If I was a joke thief, I would be shinning up Paul Kerensa’s drainpipe.’ Milton Jones
‘A comic wave that just keeps coming … As effortless a writer as he is a performer.’ The Stage
‘Paul Kerensa’s writing never fails to be uniquely funny and interesting. TV comedy is richer for Paul being a part of it.’ Miranda Hart

Book now

Who? Me? You Must be Joking!

Saturday 16 March 2019 7.30pm
Sunday 17 March 10.30am

Due to poor ticket sales, the planned performance on Saturday 16 March has been cancelled (any tickets purchased will be refunded).

However – we are delighted to have Saltmine Theatre Company and Michael Harvey with us during our 10.30am Celebration on Sunday 17 March. Entry to this is FREE, and all welcome!

A seriously funny look at why we don’t invite and how we might.
With Saltmine Theatre Company and Michael Harvey of the “National Weekend of Invitation”

John Archer

We’re delighted to welcome John Archer to St Michael’s Centre.

Thought by many to be the best Comedy Magician in the UK today, John Archer was the first man to fool Penn & Teller in their ITV show, hosted by Jonathan Ross.

He is a past winner of ‘The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year’ and has spent almost three decades entertaining audiences all over the World with regular tours to entertain British troops serving overseas.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see this world class entertainer right here in Stoke Gifford!

Join us on Friday 16 November at 7.30pm.  Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions)

Click below to book now!

Book now


Honesty Over Silence: The Tour

When was the last time you had an honest conversation?

Patrick Regan OBE asks the church to be braver.

Honesty over Silence the tour  seeks to open up conversations around topics that many find difficult.

-Trusting God when life is painful

-Dealing with anxiety and depression

-Learning to look after ourselves

-Developing our character

-Living with thankful hearts even in tough seasons.

We’ll examine the strength in letting go of the need to be in control, and look at how we can stop comparing ourselves to others. We’ll look at how to live authentically and honestly as we grow into the people God has created us to be .

Through a variety of talks, testimony and music, we’ll  learn, think and laugh together, and gain a better understanding of how to deal with life’s suffering and struggles.

Patrick Regan OBE is founder of the charity XLP,  and author of several books including “When Faith Gets Shaken” .

He has personally recognised through some painful and stressful events in his own life , the power of ‘Honesty over Silence’.

There is a growing concern in today’s society, of the increase in mental and emotional health issues, which prevent us from experiencing life to the full . Whether we have yet to struggle, suffer personally, or wish to support those who do – the evening is relevant for us all.

Through such an event, we might start to create a culture in our churches and communities where “it’s OK not to be OK”.

Book now

Faith in the Questions

A new one-act play by Nigel Forde, followed by conversation with leading scientists
A respected scientist and a christian, Job’s work is wrestling with the unpredictable as wellas predictable structure of the universe. Is God really in control?
When Job’s personal world is shaken to the core, how can he re-assemble the pieces of the puzzle, both professionally and spiritually?
Compared with the centuries long hand-in-hand relationship between religious faith and scientific enquiry, recent debate has, for many people, become mistrustful
and sharply adversarial.
Which side is God on? Or is this the wrong question to ask?
One of any number of good and provocative questions thrown out by Faith in the Questions, a combination of theatre and scientific discussion.

Tickets for all Faith In The Questions events are free.
You can book tickets through the Riding Lights Box Office call 01904 613000 or Online