Heart of the Community Gift Day – May 2016

The Heart of the Community project is integral to the vision of St Michael’s Church. Every part of the project will resource, enable and advance our work as a Christian heart at the centre of the community. Last year, we celebrated the opening of our new church and community centre. But the Heart of the Community project is not about community buildings.

It’s about building community, locally, regionally and — through our tithed giving — internationally.

We have pledged to:
– Preserve, protect and increase the use of our historic church building
– Refurbish the Old School Rooms
– Complete the new centre, and
– Give a tenth of money gifted by church members to support building and development projects undertaken by our mission partners.
We have raised £2.73m through the generous and sacrificial giving by church members. We need £4.04m to repay the loans and complete the project.
As we use the new premises and see the church grow, we give thanks for what God is doing and pray to see His Kingdom come in this place.
Sunday 22nd May is our Heart of the Community project Gift Day. Please pray and seek the Lord about how we can give to His service and leave a lasting legacy of God’s love for future generations.
Thank you for your continued support, faith and generosity.

Simon Jones, Team Rector

Gift Day Leaflet and Response Form

Heart of the Community Spring Update



Heart of the Community


A word was shared by one of the attendees at the Heart of the Community Prayer Breakfast last Friday:


The realisation that “this could all go wrong” drove us to pray with a special sense of urgency.

Now the building work has been paused, we don’t have that sense of risk. But the unfinished balcony in the St Michael’s Centre reminds us that the work is not complete. More importantly, the work of building the Kingdom of God is not complete.


We have said all along that “the project” was not just about buildings, so let our prayers be guided by these thoughts…


We have a large and growing mission field on our doorstep.

We are surrounded by people who need Jesus.

We are surrounded by churches that need help to capture their vision – and to grow.

We cannot relax.

We cannot be complacent.

We cannot stop here.


Thank God for a period of rest – especially for those who carried the brunt of the project so far.

But, as we head into the autumn period,  it’s time to recover our sense of urgency…


Pray that the unfinished “resources” of the Heart of the Community project (Church building, Old School Rooms refurb, St Michael’s Centre, 10% tithe) will become necessary.

Pray that we will fulfil our calling completely. Pray as those who are prepared to take risks for God.  If we don’t do it, who will?



Buy a Brick at school


This term St Michael’s Primary School are getting behind Buy a Brick and will be supporting us by asking pupils and their parents to get involved by buying bricks and helping to raise funds. The main hall in the new church and community centre will be a wonderful resource for the school, providing space for the whole school community to meet together, and to host events for all parents and families. If you are a parent/carer with a child at the school, look out for the buy a brick stand by the cake stall on Friday 14 March. 

New Buy a Brick appeal launched

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.)

All the details, and a link to the Buy a Brick online giving page, can be found on the new Buy a Brick section of this website.

Remember – this project isn’t about a community building, it’s about building a community.

Local media splash as building begins

We marked the start of building work on the new church and community centre this week by inviting local media to a celebratory photo opportunity in the sunshine.

On Tuesday morning a gang of junior builders from St Michael’s Pre-school and Nursery put on their hard hats and high-vis jackets to watch the action at the site, and pose for the cameras.

The professionals from Bray and Slaughter – our appointed building contractors – were extremely hospitable, and choreographed a splendid photo-call complete with diggers and rubble. The story was covered by BBC Bristol, the Bristol Post and others. We were on the front page of the Bristol Observer and more detailed coverage is planned for the forthcoming edition of Little Stoke Matters too.

Once the photographers had finished snapping and the little ones were safely back at Pre-school and Nursery, work continued apace on the site, in preparation for the first stages of construction in the months ahead. What a scoop.

Heart of the Community is go

Building work started this week on the first phase of the Heart of the Community project. Praise God! 

The story so far

The project is part of the vision of St Michael’s – Living to Make a Difference. Our desire is to share what God has given us with others in the local area and the wider region as part of our ongoing commitment to serve the community in which God has placed us. It is the way that we believe God has called our growing church to meet the needs of our growing community.

Some have been dreaming and praying about this for over 20 years. Others have been working towards it for the last 5 years. Many more have got involved recently. We’ve seen God’s guiding hand and miraculous provision each step of the way: from acquiring the land in the first place, to being granted planning permission at the first attempt, to the incredible generosity of the congregation in giving or pledging over £2m last May.

The phases

Over the next 12 months, Bristol-based contractor Bray and Slaughter will be building the full shell of the new church and community centre on the derelict site of the Old Barns. This first phase also includes provision of church toilets and some useable space in the new centre.

The next phases of the HOTC project will be the complete fit-out of the church and community centre, including a 600 seat auditorium; the refurbishment of the church; and upgrading the Old School Rooms. We have also committed to give 10% of the money given and raised by the congregation to similar building projects overseas and the Mission Action Group have already given £20,000 for a church and community centre in Moldova and a girl’s dormitory in India.

Please pray with thanksgiving for 

God’s continuing favour

The safety of all involved

Minimum disruption to our neighbours

A quick completion of the shell

The remaining funds (another £1m by Autumn 2014, £5.5m in total)

Play your part

Everyone is invited to play their part. Visit the website for the most up to date details of the project and to find out ways to get involved in giving, fundraising and praying. Watch out for more opportunities in the Autumn!


Half night of prayer for the Heart of the Community

Come and join the church family at prayer this Friday evening. This is a time to pray specifically for the Heart of the Community project – lifting Jesus’ name high in Stoke Gifford through a new multi purpose church and community centre, refurbishing the church and the Old School Rooms, and supporting equivalent projects in the UK and the rest of the world.


Friday 14 June

The church building

We will start in the church and there will be a refreshment break over in the Old School Rooms half way through.  We are going to pray and worship in church and on the site of the new building. We will finish at midnight. A great opportunity to bless and be blessed together! Come for all of it if you can, but if not, come for as much as you can manage.

More details on the half night of prayer facebook page.