Vicar’s Review 3
Associate Vicar’s Review 5
From the Senior Churchwarden 7
From the Junior Churchwarden 8
Electoral Roll 9
PCC Annual Review 10
Financial Report for Year to December 2016 12
Accounts Summary - Simplified 13
Resources Committee 15
Stewardship Sub-committee 16
Church Lands Charity 17
Diocesan Synod 18
Deanery Synod 19
Development Project 20
Neighbourhood Development Forum 21
ADMINISTRATION and SUPPORT
Operations Manager 22
From the Parish Administrator 24
Health and Safety Sub-committee 25
BUILDING and FABRIC
Fabric Committee 26
The Vestment Team 30
The Canynges Society 32
WORSHIP and CHURCH GROUPS
Readers, Intercessions and Offertory 33
Guild of Ringers 35
Tea and Coffee 37
Flower Arrangers 37
Doors Open Day 43
Discipleship Committee 45
Seekers: Escape from the Pew! 46
Vocations Group 47
Bible Reading Fellowship 48
EDUCATION and YOUNG PEOPLE
Sunday School 49
From the Education Officer 51
Primary School 52
St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School 53
OUR CHURCH COMMUNITY
Social Committee 55
Christian Meditation 55
Christmas Puddings 56
Journey into Science 57
Lunch & Social Club 59
Church Magazine 60
Mothers’ Union 61
Pot Luck Lunches 62
OUTREACH and SOCIAL ACTION
Social Action Committee 63
From the Community Development Worker 64
Christmas Day Lunch 65
The Arc Cafe 67
Food Banks 68
Parish Christmas Cards 69
January Night Shelter 69
From the Director of Music 38
Friends of the Music at St Mary Redcliffe 39
elcome to A Year at Redcliffe 2017, our annual review of life at St Mary
This booklet includes updates from the many groups, committees and
organisations associated with the church, and reflects the diverse and
fascinating life of this community and the magnificent building we call home. We hope you
find it enjoyable as well as informative.
If you’d like to keep up to date with everything that’s happening at the Church, why not sign
up to receive our e-newsletter by visiting http://bit.ly/smrnewsletter
St Mary Redcliffe Church
St Mary Redcliffe is steeped in history and the people are rightly
proud of that heritage but they are equally clear about where they’re
going. People blossom in front of you when they talk about their
faith, and are passionate about the networks of groups they are
involved with far beyond the church. The church is focussed on
things that really matter, on issues that affect the poor and
marginalised, whilst those things that often clamour for attention
are given their proper place amongst competing priorities. There is
a real sense of working together towards a clear goal amongst the
different elements of a complex church. More than that, the church
is actively seeking out and working with other faith and community
groups to tackle all kinds of social, economic and environmental
problems, some around the corner and others around the world. Congregations are growing in
number and in commitment to the purpose of the church, and it is evident that individuals and
groups way beyond the bounds of the church understand why St Mary Redcliffe exists, what it stands
for and are grateful for its positive impact upon their lives.
or those who have been at SMR for the last four years you may be aware that I always start
these annual letters with our vision statement. It seems right to return to these words on
a regular basis and to check that they still have ‘life’ within them and that are actions are
aligned to those words. From your perspective, can you see these words coming to life
within SMR? For those who have been here for four years we also know that we are spending a lot
of time (and quite a lot of money) on three enormous projects: each one is big enough in its own
right, but to keep our eyes on all three at the same time is, to say the least, ambitious. The main
event of the year was the architecture competition that we ran and, as I am sure you know, we
appointed the local firm Purcell to work with us on our development plans.
Those of us who are seeking to check the balance between potential building projects with growing
better disciples, developing pastoral care, offering vocation conversations and increasing our
engagement in the parish, to say nothing of maintaining the fabric of our built (and non-built)
heritage and sustaining the liturgical life of the church know that this balance is deeply important.
It is important for this generation, as we want to nurture those who come to church and those who
live in the parish; and it is important for the next generation who will live and work and worship
in and around SMR. We regularly ‘take stock’ of where we are, of how things are balanced, of how
well we are keeping our eyes on the kingdom of God as articulated in our vision statement; and we
are always ready to give account for our decisions and to talk through any questions or concerns
Comings & Goings
In the autumn we bade farewell to Pat Terry in her role as Parish Administrator. Many of you will
know that she is still working in the parish office, but on reduced hours and changed
responsibilities. Pat has been leading the work in the parish office for a dozen years, got to know
every nook and cranny of SMR life and was central to the way the office ran. Pat’s decision to take
this change in role enabled us to appoint an Operations Manager. The need for this new role came
out of conversations I had with my SMR colleagues. When Peter Rignall started working for us at
the end of October, the plan was that he would be supported five days a week, with Pat working
one day and Ros Houseago working the other four day as she has for the last decade. Sadly, Ros
went off sick in August and, as I write in March 2017, has only recently come back to work on a
phased return programme. We were pleased to appoint Anne-Marie Rogers on a temporary basis
in the autumn but she leaves us at the beginning of April. So Pete did not get five days of well
known, fully grounded, up to speed support. Instead he has found himself with one day of well
known, fully grounded, up to speed support and, on the other days, having learn for himself and
to teach Anne-Marie how SMR functions! I bring this to your attention partly because I know a
few things have slipped through the net, for which we apologise, but mainly to ask for your
continued forbearance as we seek to resolve this situation and to ask you let us know of things you
think have been missed.
Revd Dan Tyndall
It is a huge privilege and pleasure to work alongside a
large number of skilled and dedicated staff and
volunteers. A lot of my work is supporting them in
making things happen, which is exactly as it should be –
an important part of the calling of clergy is to help enable
others in their service of God. You will be able to read
elsewhere in this report about a lot of the work I have been
involved in during 2016 as I have encouraged, supported
and overseen others. I line-manage two staff members –
Sarah Yates in her education work, and Hannah Current
in the community. I also support Becky Macron in her
very gifted leadership of our flourishing Sunday School. I chair the Social Action Committee and
am a member of the Discipleship Committee.
Faithspace, our partnership mission project with the Methodist Church.
I support Sarah James in her leadership of
Highlights of the year that you will be able to read more about elsewhere include joining the girls’
choir on their trip to Center Parcs, the Lent Appeal with Changing Tunes, the Queen’s Birthday
Garden Party, working with the Discipleship Committee to prepare five children for baptism and
nine children and two parents for admission to Holy Communion at our patronal festival, and
seeing new connections and partnerships made at the monthly Redcliffe Workers’ Lunches
organised by Hannah Current.
But there are some highlights that perhaps won’t be mentioned elsewhere. One of the biggest
steps of faith I took in 2016 was to say yes to our church being part of the Bristol Churches Winter
Night Shelter. Although the shelter didn’t open until January 2017, most of the planning took
place over 2016. Having volunteered in a similar project in my previous parish I was convinced
that this was something SMR should be part of. So, in consultation with Dan, with no idea of how
much support the church would offer, we said yes. Thankfully it wasn’t long before Keith
Donoghue was on board as the co-ordinator so once again I found myself in a supportive role, but
I was hugely impressed at the generous response this project has drawn from our wider church
Another project that properly began in 2016, but will bear fruit in 2017, is the Parish Weekend. It
was, again, a step of faith to start planning this, but before the end of the year we achieved a critical
mass of participants. If the weather is anything near as lovely as it was on our site visit in July, it
will be a perfect spot for a weekend of discipleship, worship and getting to know one another better.
Over the course of 2016, at the invitation of the Diocese, I attended training in work consultancy
(a discipline on a spectrum with coaching and mentoring!). This has had benefits for my own
management of a diverse and complex workload here, and my line-management of staff and
volunteers, as well as enabling me to offer support to clergy colleagues in other parishes.
I had the pleasure of supervising two people training for ministry on placement with us over the
summer. James Taylor was an ordinand from Trinity College who spent a month with us, and
Mark Mitchell a trainee Licensed Lay Minister. For both of them, our tradition and style of
worship was beyond their usual experience, and it is always fruitful to be reflecting on what is so
natural for me with others who have a different perspective.
In October, I led an evening session on prayer, using various creative approaches and encouraging
people to experiment with different styles. To start off Advent I led a quiet day in our Lady Chapel,
drawing on the images in the beautiful stained glass to inspire advent themes. It was a very peaceful
and prayerful start to the season.
In December I was invited to teach a GCSE RE session to 200 students from SMRT – definitely a
first for me! The session was on ‘the church and its role within the community’ and I was very
proud to present to them what our church does. The students were attentive and I hope had some
useful case studies to include in their exam work.
Once again it has been an amazingly diverse year, and I am hugely blessed by, and grateful to, all
those I have worked with to make so much happen in the service of God and our neighbours.
Revd Kat Campion-Spall
Collecting the articles for this edition of “A Year at
Redcliffe” has been like completing a jigsaw puzzle. It
has given me great pleasure to see the picture of St Mary
Redcliffe emerging and to appreciate just how much effort is put
in by so many to make our church welcoming, effective and
dynamic. I am most grateful to Adam King who so readily
agreed to create this booklet to tell our story.
As others have described more fully this year has been very
interesting. The Development Project, with its highs and lows,
the exciting introduction of Communion after Baptism and before Confirmation, taking part in
the Bristol January Night Shelter Scheme and initial preparation for the Parish Weekend in July
2017 have been highlights for me. I continue to be appreciative of the input, both monetary and
in expertise, made by the Church Lands Charity (the Vestry), the Canynges Society, Temple
Ecclesiastical Charity and the Colston Society.
As my tenure draws to a close several people have asked whether I have enjoyed the Churchwarden
role. My reply has been that some of it has been wonderful, bits were painful and most of it like life
itself, just a question of keeping going. I shall particularly miss the meeting and greeting of
individual members of the congregation, new and old, and learning more about the work of our
different organisations. I shall be glad to have finished with so many meetings, particularly in the
evenings, so many duties at services and struggling to understand some of the terminology relating
to fabric and finance. It will also be good to have additional free time to spend with friends, to do
much-needed de-cluttering at home and to see some more of the world.
I will be continuing with some of the occasional jobs that I have taken on as Churchwarden and I
remain a member of the Pastoral Team. I have recently also become a member of the Treefest
Committee. In November I shall put on a Sidesman’s badge again after a very long gap and I will
also continue to help with counting large collections.
My photo was chosen because, metaphorically, I want to raise a glass to say “Thank you” to
everyone for all the help and cooperation from which I have benefitted during the past four years
and for the affirmation I have received, often from unexpected sources.
There are many good things happening at SMR:
numbers at Sunday school have been growing strongly
and thought will need to be given to transition to the
main service, attendance at services is increasing and having
new members of the congregation assisting as worship leaders
will greatly strengthen the team. Treefest and the Lent Appeal
have been well supported, the Night Shelter scheme offered a
warm bed and a meal to those without homes in January. The
Seekers group offers good company and moments of serious
discussion; a parish weekend away is planned. Church music is of a very high standard, the Vestry
works hard to ensure that the fabric is well maintained and the PCC is functioning well with both
good discursive debates and business decisions. There is much to be grateful for and many thanks
to all those, both staff and volunteers, who make this possible; this collective input enables the
church at St Mary Redcliffe to be both a beacon and a sanctuary.
The development project has taken a temporary step back with an initial rejection on the resilient
bid for work leading to a full Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Personally I see this as an opportunity to
re-examine plans, to temper them to better reflect what might be possible and to reconsider the
needs at St Mary Redcliffe. It is increasingly likely that developments around the Church at
Redcliffe Way, Redcliffe Quay and along Prewett Street will move ahead, so not to be part of this
would be a huge lost opportunity. Dan bears the brunt of this work, and its nature means that there
are, and will be, setbacks. Please rally around to offer ongoing support and ensure that the much
needed improvements to the facilities at SMR can go ahead.
Church life ebbs and flows, but overall the trend is positive. With our Lord’s guidance let us work
together to continue to make good progress in the year ahead.
The Electoral Roll is required as it governs who can vote at the APCM. It also is the church's
only official register of members. The rules that govern the Electoral Roll are the Church
Representation Rules which can be found online in book form. As well as laying out exactly
how the Electoral Roll is formed, updated and displayed it also deals with the PCC, Deanery Synod,
Diocesan Synod, General Synod – all important but very soporific stuff.
Under these rules the Electoral Roll was created anew in 2007 and then every six years after that
(2013, 2019, etc). In between years we just update the roll. 2017 is therefore the 4th year of this
cycle and an in between year so we’ve displayed the roll and asked for updates, of which there have
been various. Two points to particularly note:
Couples getting married are not required to be on the Electoral Roll – their qualifying
connection is checked in a different way. This change came in almost two years ago.
The Parish Share (the amount we as a church pay to the Diocese so it can continue its
important work of supporting local churches) is not connected to the Electoral Roll.
The numbers for last year (2016) were: 271 on the roll with 40 in the parish.
The numbers for this year (2017) are: 296 on the roll with 41 in the parish.
Date Total Residents
1990 507 61
1991 536 60
1992 565 58
1993 588 56
1994 608 50
1995 580 50
1996 309 39
1997 381 41
1998 380 40
1999 425 44
2000 426 42
2001 442 34
2002 260 35
2003 323 51
2004 335 52
2005 354 51
2006 376 54
2007 257 31
2008 286 33
2009 318 33
2010 337 32
2011 336 32
2012 358 53
2013 233 25
2014 243 24
2015 263 34
2016 271 40
2017 296 41
Total In Parish 3rd yr trend
1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
Electoral Roll Officer
The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary, Redcliffe.
Registered Charity No. 1134120
Another busy year for the PCC – 9 meetings held, 5 business meetings and 4 Discursive.
The PCC has welcomed a number of visitors to their meetings this year including:
Purcell: Niall Philips & Dan Tawkes the architects who provided an excellent
overview of the work they will be undertaking and their vision for the future of the
Sarah Yates – Education Officer: who provided an overview of the work she has been
undertaking with schools, designing bespoke visits to support the school curriculum.
The Project Board: provided an overview of work in progress, structure and workstreams
Blue Fin – SMR insurance providers – who came to discuss terrorism policies
All Day Breakfast – who provided an overview of their artist in residence proposals
An important part of the PCC is to vote on various proposals. The list is extensive, some of the
highlights are below:-
Foundation Governor at St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School
The PCC approved for Peter Farr to be re-appointed as Foundation Governor at SMRT School
The parish weekend proposal for 2017 was approved and will take place between 14-16 July. This
will include conference elements – as we will be at a critical point in the SMR development and we
will have a clearer idea about whether heritage funding has been secured.
Communion before Confirmation
2 adults and 10 children received their first communion, before confirmation during the Patronal
service on 17 July.
Purcell were appointed as the architects for the development and attended a meeting to provide an
overview of the work they will be undertaking and their vision for the future of the church. Regular
updates have also been provided to the PCC about the development. The Heritage Lottery
“resilient heritage” bid was unsuccessful, however work continues to progress with the
development project and the bid to secure HLF funding.
Leanne England had resigned as Children’s Champion due to family commitments. The PCC
approved the appointment of Rebecca Macron to take her place.
A number of people reached the point in the SMR safe recruitment procedure including DBS,
where they are able to take up duties with our children and young people. The PCC formally
acknowledged various excursions and visits that were undertaken by the young people of the
church; this was done for safeguarding and insurance purposes.
C1 Safeguarding course
PCC members and people working with children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable,
have attended the course.
The proposed 2017 PCC budget was been discussed, including the TreeFest income, fees for
weddings and funerals and the cost for the replacement FaithSpace window.
An increase of 1% for fees for weddings, funerals, burials, hire of the undercroft and tours of
Church, was agreed. Fees for the hire of the church are being investigated by the Operations
Manager and thus will remain the same for the time being.
Collections at Advent and Christmas
Until the new Policy for Giving is in place the PCC approved the following: for the collections at
Advent and Christmas: to donate 100% of the respective collections to The Children’s Society and
The Salvation Army, holding nothing back to cover expenses; and to retain the collections at our
Advent and Christmas carol services
The Area Dean can license people to lead worship locally. PCC agreed to investigate this further.
A group has met to discuss inclusive church a revised inclusivity statement. The PCC agreed to
adopt the revised statement. A small working party has now been established to take forward and
explore ways in which SMR can actively help people to feel welcome and included when they visit.
At the time of writing, PCC accounts to 31 December 2016 were available in draft form
only. The finalised accounts will be available for inspection and will be published on the
Charity Commission website after independent examination and approval by the
Underlying income and expenditure was in line with budget and with recent years.
The Resources Committee set an ambitious but realistic target for Voluntary Giving for the year,
slightly higher than last year, and the congregation just managed to exceed this figure.
Running costs were also slightly lower than last year.
St Mary Redcliffe continues to support the mission of the church in Bristol, which is our
contribution to the Parish Share. This funds Diocesan educational work and training of new clergy.
The Diocese has been under some financial pressure, and this year undertook an overall review of
its Parish Share policy. The good news for us is that St Mary Redcliffe is considered to be ‘pulling
its weight’ and has not been asked to increase its contribution for next year.
Reserves continue to be managed downwards in line with the PCC desire to ensure that maximum
resources are directed to our mission to the Parish. Our major exceptional items this year have
been PCC support for the Architecture Competition, and SMR support for the infrastructure of
The PCC continues to work with the Church Lands Charity (CLC) to simplify the relationship as
far as possible while meeting the objectives and legal obligations of both. This is quite complicated,
particularly as the charities have different financial years. These adjustments will be seen in the
accounts. One of the main adjustments is that money from the telephone mast will be coming
directly to the PCC, and in return the PCC has picked up some extra responsibilities around
funding work in the parish office. Another change that will be noted is that the Churchwarden’s
Subscription Accounts (money from collection boxes for exceptional items) is now shown in the
Overall this has been a healthy financial year. The clergy, PCC and CLC continue to work together
to strengthen the management structure to meet the challenges being presented by ongoing
Please note that this is an ‘abstract’ of the accounts, intended to highlight some of the key points.
It is not an official statement. For this please refer instead to the published formal Annual Report
and Financial Statements as filed with the Charity Commission.
St Mary Redcliffe
Simplified Accounts Presentation 2016 2015
Planned Giving 81,061 73,176
Collections (open plate) at all
services 19,042 17,123
Static box collections 12,942 15,381
Other 23,659 26,392
Temple Ecclesiastical Grant excluded
from this figure
Telephone Mast Income 8,972 0 PCC/CLC interactions being updated
Investment Income 2,820 4,083
Church Fees (Net) 11,060 15,172
Vestry Grants 13,000 16,500 PCC/CLC interactions being updated
Church Centre Grant 0 5,000
Linkage Events 0 2,057
Other 24,433 25,558
Diocesan Quota (Parish Share) 117,500 117,500
Office Costs 29,404 28,172
Charitable Giving 3,000 3,000
Salaries (Education Officer /
Redcliffe Care) 6,958 4,742
Other 44,604 50,786
Temple Ecclesiastical Grant excluded
from this figure
Reserves 2016 2015
Reserves Brought Forward 88,430 92,001
Total Income 196,989 200,442
Architecture Competition -10,000
Church Centre (FaithSpace) -11,691
Other -510 -187
Reserves (At Year End) 62,772 88,430
Shown in accounts as Transfer to
Shown in accounts as Transfer to
Account 22,910 0 Unrestricted Designated
Development Costs (Restricted
Canynge Society 40,000
Temple Ecclesiastical 15,000
St Mary Redcliffe CLC 60,000
St Mary Redcliffe PCC 10,000
(Expenditure) 64,186 35,577
The Resources Committee is one of the strategic committees of the PCC. Its remit is
primarily financial, although it is concerned with all the resources of the PCC.
Two of the committee’s main jobs are, under the guidance of the treasurer, to keep the
income and expenditure under regular review, and to set a budget for the following year.
Management Accounts are produced quarterly and reviewed against the annual budget to track
income and expenditure and to address variances and anomalies. Throughout the year,
expenditure has been broadly on track, with a Parish Share commitment of £117,500 being the
largest single item.
Income has been boosted by a generous response to the Stewardship Campaign, enabling us to
meet the ambitious target set in last year’s budget. The increase allowed the PCC to continue the
employment of Hannah Currant as a part time Community Worker during the year, without
An abridged summary of the annual accounts to 31 st December 2016 appears on the previous two
Tal Singh added the role of Planned Giving Recorder to his existing responsibilities as Gift Aid
Officer, bringing the two roles together for the first time in many years. I would like to thank John
Steeds, outgoing Recorder for his help and support.
The Stewardship Sub-committee ran a successful Supporting Redcliffe campaign in the early
Summer of 2016, focussing on the work on our Redcliffe Care worker, Hannah Currant,
and the architecture competition, resulting in an increase of approximately £7,000 pa in
regular giving commitments to the PCC and around the same figure in single donations. This was
considered a very positive outcome, but it was also recognised that the result could be even more
positive if some aspects of administration were improved. We became aware through various
comments that some follow-up work which had been intended was not completed owing to
limitations of information flow and the need for a consistent church database, and some givers
were not thanked because they were not identified to us as having given or increased their giving.
Let me therefore take this opportunity of thanking all who Supported Redcliffe last year, whether
or not you were thanked at the time. Your gifts were truly wonderful and most welcome.
We were also pleased to welcome our new Gift Aid Officer and Planned Giving Recorder, Talvir
Singh to the sub-committee during the year, and his contribution to better information will prove
invaluable in reducing our shortcomings in future.
Registered Charity No. 211109
Reflecting on this past year as Chair of the Vestry, I would like to thank the 15 dedicated
Trustees for their enormous support, many of who are regular worshippers at St Mary
Redcliffe, and others who worship elsewhere or bring their particular expertise and skill
to this long established charity. At the Easter Vestry, Andrew Morgan stepped down as Chair,
having led us so ably for the past two years, and Stuart Burnett retired as a Trustee after giving so
generously of his time and considerable expertise, and joined the Greater Vestry. I was appointed
Chair and Rob Tyley, Vice Chair.
The Vestry’s financial year starts on 6 th April and the first meeting is usually the Easter Vestry when
the Trustees meet to confirm internal appointments and its professional advisors.
During the year, three full Trustee meetings were held (normally it’s four), and the Vicar and
Churchwarden are invited to attend. The Vestry Clerk attends full meetings and records the
minutes. Each meeting has particular focus; in July, the annual accounts were approved, in
November the emphasis is on the Fabric and other expenditure, in January the emphasis is on
income and in March the budget is set for the coming year. There are a number of committees,
and each Trustee serves on at least one committee or sub-committee. The Finance & General
Purposes Committee and Investment Committee are Trustees only, and within these there are subcommittees.
Insurance, Personnel and Fabric committees are joint committees with the PCC. In
addition there have been additional meetings with the PCC to deal with cross funding, and as Chair
I am invited to attend the regular Development Project Board meetings. The role is fairly time
consuming, but attending the meetings assists in seeing the overall picture.
A small group of Trustees is currently reviewing our working document “The Way we Operate”
and we are working towards a formal constitution with the assistance of our specialist charity
lawyer. A much smaller operating manual will then be envisaged.
Trusteeship and succession planning is another priority in the coming year, to ensure the charity
can continue its valuable work within its objects and continue to support St Mary Redcliffe in the
The Church of England, it is said, is Canonically Led and Synodically Governed. There are
four levels of synods, or councils: 1. The General Synod - the national governing body of
the Church, which meets three times a year, for about three days per meeting, in London
and York. 2. The Diocesan Synod. There are 42 dioceses in the Church of England, and each
diocese has a synod. The synod meets three times per year, (for a Saturday morning or occasionally,
for a day-long meeting), and is re-elected or appointed every three years.
Both of the above types of synod have three houses: bishops, clergy and laity. There are several
deaneries in a diocese: ours has seven in it, and each deanery has a synod as well, which meets three
or four times per year, usually in an evening.
At the most local level, each Anglican church has a Parochial Church Council (PCC).
The diocesan synod agrees the budget for the diocese, so that it can spend its money each year. It
also receives reports from the diocese, about education and parish share, (the money which
churches donate to the diocese for services received), for example. It agrees to diocesan strategies:
the current one is entitled Creating Connections - connecting with God, our communities and
each other, by growing leaders, making disciples and engaging with younger generations. Anything
which the diocese wants to do has to be voted for by a majority at Diocesan Synod. The executive
committee of the Diocesan Synod is the Bishop's Council.
Synods are very interesting, and I feel privileged to be involved with the diocesan one, but, although
efforts have begun to be made to address the matter, we still need to increase diversity on all synods,
and encourage people to socially integrate better in committee circles - that is to say, getting people
to talk to those whom they do not know, so please do get involved.
NB membership of any synod includes membership of the synod(s) below it, and of the Church
Diocesan Synod Representative
New Area Dean
2016 was the year the outgoing Area Dean, Revd Gwyn Owen, Vicar of Stockwood, stepped
down and was replaced by Revd Canon Nick Hay, from St Paul’s Bedminster. This
inevitably led to a period of reflection on the direction of the Deanery, added to by the
changing relationship between Deaneries and the Diocese as the latter prepared for the possibility
of succession and opening opportunities for alternative future management styles. 2016 was
therefore a year of transition and thoughtfulness.
This was particularly evident at Nick’s first Synod as Area Dean which was devoted mainly to
considering “What are our hopes and dreams for the church in South Bristol?” Discussion in small
groups ranged over ways the parishes could work together, the need for support in growing
younger people, confidence in God and his word, the Holy Spirit, evangelism courses, waiting and
prayer and the need to concentrate resources on the right targets to avoid becoming too thinly
spread. St Francis fed back about its Christian Aid prayer walk (which it will repeat this year). St
Augustine’s talked about The Bridge, its prayer and counselling service for those in and beyond its
parish. Nick talked about his vision for the Deanery, starting with his own testimony about how
he came to Faith as a young man and the ongoing need to reach younger people who are missing
from many congregations.
This emphasis on young people continued at the October Synod, which concentrated on
Children’s work, with input from Dan Jones, Diocesan Youth and Children’s Adviser. He spoke of
the priority of engaging younger generations as congregations aged and became increasingly
detached from the concerns of the young. In the discussion that followed concern was expressed
that many churches are too small to do much on their own and there is a need to pool resources to
pray and work together across the Deanery. Many points were raised and there is clearly a lot of
scope for improvement in this area if people could maintain the necessary momentum.
2017 is the year of Deanery elections, so if you believe God might be calling you to serve him at
Deanery level, this is your chance to put it to the test.
Deanery Synod Representative
This has been another eventful year with significant progress being made in our
preparations for a large-scale development of the church’s facilities.
During the first part of 2016, the church was involved in planning the final stages of our
competition to appoint a team of architects with whom to work. As reported in last year’s update,
the church received around 50 applications from teams of architects around the world, a number
that was eventually whittled down to five high quality proposals. The church was very lucky to
attract a highly experienced and knowledgeable competition Jury drawn from the fields of heritage
and the arts, that took part in an intensive and rigorous selection resulting in the appointment of
Purcell architects, the most local of the various shortlisted teams, with offices on King Street.
Purcell was chosen because its team produced an innovative and original scheme which clearly
responded to the church’s stated aim of becoming a beacon for the community, answering the
needs of local people, visitors to the church and members of the congregation.
Since the competition, Purcell has been working with the church to develop the brief for the
proposed new buildings, taking into account practical issues such as the positioning of facilities
and relationship between the various aspects of church life. Purcell have also been helping the
church to prepare for a Round 1 Bid to the Heritage Lottery for a major Heritage Grant that, it was
initially envisaged, would be submitted in November 2017.
A decision was taken to delay this bid due to the fact that, in the autumn, the church was alerted
to the launch of a new HLF funding scheme called Resilient Heritage, which provides grants of
£3,000-£250,000 to help organisations to strengthen and build the capacity of staff and volunteers
to better manage heritage in the long term. It was agreed that, if it was to receive Resilient Heritage
funding, the church could undergo a period of organisational analysis and strengthening that
would help it to better prepare for the planned major bid to the HLF. Accordingly, Purcell helped
the church to draw up a programme containing a number of work streams, which it was felt would
fulfil HLF objectives and put the church in a much stronger position in the long run.
Unfortunately, the church was unsuccessful in its bid and will be speaking to the HLF during the
next month to discuss the reasons why. Luckily, due to generous support from various charities
associated with the church, such as The Vestry, The Canynges Society and Temple Ecclesiastical
Charity, not to mention financial support from the PCC, the church is able to carry out most of
the work identified by Purcell, despite the decision from the HLF.
Accordingly, in recent weeks the church has undergone a tendering process to appoint consultants
to carry out, amongst other things, a heritage asset review, a heritage interpretation strategy and a
community consultation on behalf of the church. These pieces of work will help to clarify thinking
about key issues such as the overall scale of the project and whether the church should attempt to
rehouse William Hogarth’s altarpiece as part of the scheme. It is intended that this work will be
carried out during the next six months in time for a likely November 2017 bid for major grant
Meanwhile, Redcliffe Neighbourhood Development Forum received a recent boost from
news that Bristol City Council has appointed a consultant to begin work to find
potential development partners for the areas around Redcliffe Way, meaning that the
wider redevelopment of the area around the church is now more likely to take place than ever
before. The Forum is currently working on a new version of its Neighbourhood Plan, based on
feedback from last year’s public consultation and will continue working to ensure that the
principles embedded in the plan – such as affordable housing, high quality architecture and the
provision of green spaces - are taken account of when the development process begins.
The Operations Manager’s role is still very much in its infancy having been in place since
the end of October 2016. The role is developing and evolving as the months progress trying
to adapt and move with immediate operational demands at the same time planning to
achieve longer term effective efficiencies within the organisation.
The immediate demands of maintaining an effective Parish Office have at times diverted attention
away from bringing in efficiencies in other areas of our operation. But coming out of this process
has been the opportunity to consider how we work, the structure we work within, the standards
we apply and the roles and responsibilities needed to help us achieve our mission.
I’m confident the role of Operations Manager is even now beginning to demonstrate some small
improvements if only in how we work together as a team, bridging gaps between teams working
hard to achieve for SMR, bringing them together using resources to accomplish even more and
brining in approaches that both support and positivity challenge the way we work.
Examples of this can be seen in our Christmas 2016 review evening, planning for Treefest 2017,
repairs to the South Aisle roof, personal safety and security as a result of recent unfortunate
incidents in church.
At the moment the Operations Manager role is about the future, how we get from where we are
now to where we want to be in a year, three years, five years and beyond. Looking at how we meet
our obligations with confidence and, make informed and effective decisions. How we exploit
opportunities to the fullest extent with integrity and for the benefit of SMR. How we develop, equip
and build teams of people that enjoy, are confident, respected for their contribution to SMR and
eager to bring about improvements and growth.
Some of these areas are:
Organisational strategy – how we get from here to there, what we focus on and how we
measure our success
Legislative and policy compliance -
o Health and Safety policies, process and training
o Employment policies
Financial effectiveness and growth – Better use of how we make and manage money
o Improved ordering and payment processes
o Procurement and contract management
o Donations and Giving strategy including developing relationships to raise funds
o Defining our retail, hospitality and event offers to help to bring in more money
o Visitor experience improvement
Administrative efficiencies – process development and management, New Church
People development and engagement –
o Better and valuable communication,
o Training and development,
o Performance management
My time so far at SMR has been both interesting and fulfilling not least due to the passionate and
caring people that I’ve had the pleasure to work with and be amongst. I hope I can, in a small way,
continue to help the SMR community achieve and fulfil its potential as we move forward towards
our mission. I look forward to working with and meeting more of you in the coming year.
The Parish Office continues to be ever busy and at the heart of the SMR community. The
year under review has seen a number of changes in the Parish Office. In June it was agreed
that I would step down as Parish Administrator as the start of a phased retirement and that
a new position of Operations Manager would be created, in order to prepare for the planned
Development Project. It was agreed that I would take on a new role of Office Associate, working
on Mondays to cover the office in the absence of Ros, who works from Tuesday until Friday. Ros
unfortunately became ill at the end of July, and was away from the office for several months, but I
am very pleased to say that she is now back at her desk and we are all very glad to see her. My
thanks must go to Joy Huntington, Faithspace Administrator, who stepped into the breach and
made a very valuable contribution to the smooth running of the office during the absence of Ros.
Peter Rignall joined as Operations Manager at the end of October and has settled into his new role
very quickly. I am sure his involvement with SMR will be as much of a joy to him as it has been to
me over the past fourteen years. You never know what is coming your way next, so there is never
a dull moment nor time to be bored!
I have very much been supported in the last two years by Marion Durbur as Churchwarden and
this made my life a lot easier whilst Ros was away and for that I am truly grateful.
Thank you to everyone who sent me their good wishes for the future. I am looking forward to
making full use of my National Trust membership in the coming summer months (one of the items
I spent my monetary gift on).
formerly Parish Administrator, now Office Associate
The Health and Safety sub-committee of the PCC has met formally 4 times during the
2016/2017 term of the Council; there have also been a number of informal consultations
to consider specific matters relating to the safety of all who come to St Mary Redcliffe
Church, the Churchyards, the Parish Office, whether they be staff, volunteers, or visitors.
The following matters have been discussed and acted upon:-
The visibility of the North and South Choir Ambulatory steps
The implementation of a Stewards Emergency Action Plan
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for those who would need help
A Sunday School Emergency Evacuation Plan
The replacement of dangerously worn carpet in the clergy, vergers’, and churchwardens’
The re-positioning of alarms in the tower with new provision, and also the addition of
visual as well as aural alarms
Under current consideration is a Risk Assessment for the Tower – steps, ringing chamber, bell
chamber and above.
The sub-committee regularly reviews Accident, and Adverse Incident reports.
The Parish is very grateful to the Health and Safety Officer (Dr Carys Underdown), successively to
the Parish Administrator (Mrs. Pat Terry) and the Operations Manager (Mr. Peter Rignall) for
their help in these and other matters. Thanks, too, to the Council Members serving this year on
Fabric Report, 6th March, 2017
Completed Fabric Projects April 2016 - March 2017
Item no Item
Total Cost finished
Urgent now Urgent soon Desirable
Comments Ref.s Funding
15/17a Breeches Bible £150 £150 Jul-16 Restored by Bristol Bound (Rachel James)
15/17b New Breeches Bible Display Cabinet in £500 £425 Aug-16 Construction of a cabinet on the north
ambulatory sanctuary wall.
14/7a Lighting System Updating - Phase 1 Side £17,000 £23,000 Jul-16 1st phase Side Aisles & Lady Chapel. 13 Church Lands
12/22b VDU Screen notice system £2,000 £2,200 Aug-16 Display unit delivered & installed.
12/2a St John's Chapel - Windows
(conservation and isothermal glazing)
£5,500 £5,500 Jul-16 Further trial of less reflective glass
14/16a Update & Improve CCTV surveillance £5,000 £5,000 Sep-16 Some mods were made in 2014, more will
follow this year.
15/13 Refurbishment of the Lord Mayor's £5,000 £5,000 Oct-16 Bush & Berry refurbished and returned the
board. It will be rehung in March.
15/16 Wood Plaques in Lady Chapel £200 £20 Sep-16 Non reflective glazing was unsatisfactory.
Rehung but left as they are at present.
15/6 Ongoing Masonry repairs? £5,000 £5,000 Feb-17 Combined with 16/1 below. Architect has
16/1 Repoint south transept, Remove dry £10,000 £10,000 2017/18 Sally Strachey - Rope Access - started in
riser, repair stair windows.
grants & appeal
Church Lands &
Ist Lord D
Projects Currently in Hand
Item no Item
Comments Ref.s Funding
14/6 Lead Replacement Works in the South £80,000 List B
Aisle and repairs elsewhere.
15/5a Replacement of rainwater sump guards £1,000 not
and access hatch cheeks
14/18 Repairs to Textiles - copes, frontals etc. £5,000 Faculty
and siverware maintenance.
16/3 Replacement of 3 stopcocks, 2 on north £1,500 not
side & 1 in south churchyard
Mar-17 Preliminary site meeting held. Work should
has recently started.
Mar-17 NE lower roof currently being done.
2015-17 The textiles project has been authorised to
continue for at least the next year.
Feb-17 2 northern stop cocks have been replaced.
Standpipe on south side still to be done.
Church Lands &
Ist Lord D
Projects Planned for this Financial Year 2016/17
12/2a St John's Chapel - Windows
(conservation and isothermal glazing)
£75,000 Faculty &
South Porch & Priest's room rooflights & £5,000 Faculty
high roof vent work
Comments Ref.s Funding
Jun-17 Quote accepted. £1865 All Churches Grant
received January 2017.
2016/17 Quotations being sought.for repairs and
grants & appeal
Church Lands &
Ist Lord D
Next Financial Year 2017/18
Faculty Status Date
17/1 Quinquennial Inspection and £6,000 not required Sep-17 Last quinquennial was in late 2012.
17/4 Electrical system testing £2,500 not required Jul-17 In support of Qq
15/14a Bellframe and wall mounting £20,000 List B
refurbishment and painting
15/5b Replacement of rainwater sump
guards on LC & South lower roofs
14/18 Repairs to Textiles - copes, frontals £5,000 Faculty
etc. and siverware maintenance.
13/11b Welcome - Interpretative Signage £6,000 Faculty
2016/17 Quote from Taylors accepted.
Order sent to Taylors. Will start in
£3,000 not required Sep-17 As on High roof & north lower roof.
LC first & S when lead has been
2015-18 The textiles project has been
authorised to continue for at least
the next year.
Text has been produced and edited
- artwork and sign production in
14/7a Lighting System - Side Aisles £33,000 required Sep-17 Proposal expected in March from
downlighters & Emergency
Paul Albone of Brunel Industries.
14/7b New Lighting control panel in vestry £10,000 required Oct-17 Allowing better more flexible control
of new lighting. Included in P Albone
14/7c Lighting System Updating - to
reduce energy usage
£50,000 required 2017/18 3rd phase of program. High level
nave and chancel lights.
Ist Lord D
17/2 Decorative Repairs to ceilings £10,000 not required 2017/18 After South lower roof re-leading Church Lands
17/3 Handrail for lectern steps. £2,500 not required 2017/18 Iron and brass to match pulpit steps
handrail - attached to wooden
15/6 Ongoing Masonry repairs £20,000 May be
16/4 New chest of drawers for textiles £6,000 Faculty
2017/18 To include highest priority items
identified in the quinquennial.
2017/18 To replace the rejected modified
Ist Lord D
16/2 Replacement and repair of rest of £10,000 required 2017/18 Replacement of doors in oak, as
high level external doors.
and when necessary (as per spec
from architect in 4
£184,000 May 2009)
Awaiting HLF bid later in 2017/18 ??
ROM Cost Faculty Status Date Comments
17/2 Facilities fit for the future / north £5,000,000 required 2015
side redevelopment ????
If and when City external
redevelopment plans progress
16/3a Cleaning of North and East faces of £100,000 required 2017/18 If there are north side
the Church - 1st yr of 2 year
redevelopment plans this work
15/12 West end Gate, Paving and steps £5,000 not required 2015/16 Preliminary Study of possible West
end remodelling (leads into HLF
12/7 Toilet for Disabled - planning, £5,000 not required 2015/16 Detailed designs will be drawn up
(&11/9) design and spec. for 2017 build?
when location is identified & funding
Toilet for Disabled £20,000 required 2015/16 Assuming detailed designs are
drawn up in previous year.
Ist Lord D
13/7 Planning of S Churchyard £10,000 not required 2014/15 Preliminary survey completed and Canynges &
Landscaping & Paving
Statement of Significance received. 10 Church Lands
14/1 South Churchyard Landscaping & £105,000 required 2015/16 Identified as in a poor state by the
DAC and the Quinquennial Church Lands
15/8 North Porch cleaning and £50,000 required 2017/18 Church Lands
15/9 Repairs to Chatterton roof medieval
16/2 Further Tiling and/or Paving repairs £5,000 may be
14/4 Display of ex situ north porch
£2,000 May be 2017/18 Specialist conservation joiner
2017/18 Recent history suggests this is
£1,000 may be 2014/15 Canynges Society may assist with
14/3 Lapidarium in south churchyard £1,000 may be 2014/15 Lapidarium is only a possible future
Ist Lord D
Fabric Projects - Longer Term 2018/19 onwards
13/9 Revise Conservation Plan £2,000 not required 2017/18 Architect advised in 2014 that
Part 1 Setting Part 2
apart from adding recent
survey reports, this can be left
until at least 2017. 10
16/3b Cleaning of North and East £50,000 required 2018/19 If there are redevelopment
faces of the Church - 2nd
plans this work would follow
phase of 2 year project?
16/2 Replacement and repair of £10,000 required 2017/18 Replacement of doors in oak,
rest of high level external
as and when necessary (as per
spec from architect in May
12/2b St John’s Chapel
in arches - if approved?
Projects on Hold
Awaiting other developments and
£40,000 required 2017/18 Canynges Soc. may assist
13/13 New Pricket Stand £3,000 not required Design yet to be agreed. Cadbury
13/12 Armoire conservation
study & restoration
12/6 Means to hide, disguise or £2,000 Faculty
camouflage waste bins
£5,000 not required? 2014/15 Hugh Harrison report Oct 2009
>>> PCC and staff to decide on
use and future location before
any restoration 7
12/18 Storage Screens (Movable
Wooden Screens for area in
N transept, NW corner)
2014/15 Included in S churchyard
faculty in 2011 which has now
Some design details and
revised quotation received Nov
12/22a Internal Notice Boards Triple £2,886 Faculty
Some design details and
revised quotation received Nov
2013 (for simplified version).
& PCC ?
13/17 Air curtain at undercroft door, £420 Rec'd AD's
or alternative solution?
14/8 Installation of Solar panels on
high roof. £720 spent on
15/14b Possible sound reduction
doors in belfry
£50,000 Faculty &
16/4 Modification of Lady Chapel £3,000 Faculty
Altar to provide 8 drawers for Rejected
2013/14 Quote received from Roland
2015/16 New tariffs for LPW give 12 yr
pay back so viable. Revised
quote £47000 rec'd.
£10,000 The weatherproofing in 2014
has reduced the sound
Public Notices have been
displayed. DAC not
favourable! Applied to the
Chancellor. Faculty refused.
Fabric References (Revised 2016)
01 St Mary Redcliffe Conservation Plan
Part One – The Setting Part Two – The Church
02 Ex situ carvings from the North Porch and other displaced stone fragments, etc
Michael Drury Architects
03 Condition Survey – medieval glass in St John’s Chapel Stephen Clare, Holy Well
Glass Limited, April 2009
04 Replacement & Remedial Work to External High Roof Doors Michael Drury, May-09
05 Independent Condition Survey – roof timbers
Ridout Associates, Environmental Monitoring and Research
06 Outline Report on the Southern Churchyard
Michael Drury, St Anne’s Gate Architects
07 Armoire Report
Hugh Harrison, Consultant in Conservation of Joinery and Polychromed Timber
08 Topography Report for the South Churchyard (& Footpaths) Jul-10
09 Floodlighting Report - South Churchyard
Paul Covell, Theatre and Lighting Consultant
10 Quinquennial Report 2012
11 Structural Report, Spire Report and Electrical Report for Qq All included in the
Qq as Appendices I, II and III.
12 Report on the medieval glass in St John’s Chapel after light cleaning Holy Well Glass Limited,
13 St Mary Redcliffe Church - Lighting Survey
Mike Ludgow - Lighting Services
14 Energy Audit for St Mary Redcliffe Church
Matt Fulford - Inspired Efficiency
15 Yeoman's (Lord Mayor's) Sword Board
Bush & Berry Conservation
16 Bell Frame Inspection Report 2016 Nov-16
We continue to meet on Monday
mornings and work in the Lady
Chapel, it is a lovely, peaceful place
to work, it provides us with good light for most
of the year but this year we were forced to buy
an additional light to use during the very dark
The team remains the same and we have enjoyed
a lot of fun as well as progressing with the repair
and conservation of the vestments.
One of our major objectives this year has been to inspect and repair the altar frontals. A major
problem has been the way in which the super frontals fit, if they do not fit properly it causes
considerable wear on the delicate fabrics. We have found that by simply adding a little tape and
some curtain rings we are able to improve the look, fit and the wear of the super frontals. We are
currently working on the super frontal and frontal that will be used in the Lady Chapel for Easter.
Another objective has been to complete the survey and conservation of the copes. Many of the
copes have been professionally conserved because there was so much damage to them, however,
Julie and Pauline have also done considerable work netting damage and improving the fit to those
less damaged. There is just one left to do.
We have done a preliminary survey of the banners and found that considerable work is necessary
on some of them, this we hope to put into our schedule for next year.
The problem of storage is still with us and we are investigating the possibilities of finding some
space in the Ambulatory so that we can remove the stoles from the damp atmosphere of the
Bernice has been very busy transferring our records so that we have a digital record of everything,
this should mean that there will be easier access for more people and also that the record will be
permanently safe, telling the story of the work that we have done, where the items are stored and
any previous work done on the item. It is important to remember all these details because, although
we are very familiar with all the vestments and maybe even take them for granted they are a
nationally important collection and form a very important part of our heritage.
It is nearly five years since the completion of the last quinquennial inspection and report and
over this period the church has completed a considerable number of projects of various sizes.
However the largest of these projects is the south aisle roof recovering and at the time of going
to print these works should be nearing completion. This section of roof was re-leaded last in the
1930s and the lead has performed well particularly given its exposure to the sun and shadows cast
by the flying buttresses. The patterns of warming and cooling put the lead under thermal stress
and in the last few years, multiple fatigue cracks had begun to appear in the lead. Periodically these
were temporarily patch repaired on a rolling basis but ultimately the leadwork needed to be
replaced. New sand cast lead has been sourced with the old lead melted down and recycled. The
slope of the roof has been subtly remodelled to introduce a mid-length step to mirror the same
detail that exists elsewhere and to meet current recommended lead bay sizes. Localised timber
repairs have been undertaken where timber decay was found and new access hatches have been
installed to provide access into the roof voids where all the wiring is located.
The relighting of all of the aisles was completed in early summer last year and 116 new fittings have
now been installed. The fittings have had their bases fabricated to match the fittings they replace
both for ease of installation and to avoid drilling unnecessary new holes in the fragile medieval
stonework. Each fitting includes a 6W LED fitting and these have replaced 35W halogen bulbs.
This change will lead to a significant reduction in the energy needed to light the building but a
further benefit is the greater life expectancy of the bulbs thereby reducing the need for replacement.
Stonework repairs and localised repointing has been recently completed and this work has
included the removal of the dry riser from the outside of the south transept as the fire authority
will no longer consider using this apparatus. Roped access conservators continue to remove any
vegetation and to locally repoint the high level masonry. Meanwhile at the base of the tower, where
there is some of the earliest stonework in the building, repointing works have been necessary due
to the relentless water splashing from the gargoyles high up on the tower.
Further trials for the St John's Chapel window protective glazing have been completed and
consents for both Faculty and Planning Permission have now been secured. This summer will see
a focus on undertaking the quinquennial inspection and this represents an opportunity to reflect
and review all of the works carried out over the last five-year period. It is a privilege to continue to
be involved in the care of the fabric of this wonderful building.
Registered Charity No. 242231
The Society have made or agreed several grants this year, not only towards projects subject
to past Presidential appeals, but also aiding the Heritage Lottery bid. The 2015 appeal
focused on the replacement of the current lighting system that hadn’t been upgraded in
almost two decades. The incoming President has also made lighting the subject of his appeal so
within the next two years all the work should have been completed.
The 2016 appeal was for funds to bring parts of the church which have little if any public access
back into use. Thanks to the generosity of those who gave the target has been surpassed and it is to
be hoped that work will begin soon. Work continues finding the correct isothermal glazing to
protect the St John’s Chapel window and that should be completed this year. The restoration of
the Lord Mayor’s Sword Board has been completed and it is now back in situ. The Society have
also made a recent grant towards the South churchyard landscaping and paving.
Assessment of the conservation work needed on the North Porch that was subject to the 2014
appeal remains a priority and will be subject to more grants in coming years. The Society has been
asked to make a substantial grant towards the Heritage Lottery bid and this has been approved.
The Society view the bid as essential for the continuing restoration of the Church. In December,
the Society held a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the Church. It was
supported by over a hundred people and was a great success. Mathew Laws is the incoming
President for 2017.
On every Sunday throughout the year lay people read the lessons at the 9.30 am Sung
Eucharist Service and 6.30 pm Evensong as well as a smaller number who prepare and
lead intercessions. Over the year this means that about 80 people read lessons, 15 prepare
and lead the intercessions and approximately 80 people, individuals, families and church groups
form the offertory procession. Recently a significant number of people have been added to the
offertory procession list and children from the Sunday School will be reading regularly at the 9.30
service in the months to come.
A rota is prepared twice a year, the first from Advent until Easter and the second from after Easter
until the Sunday before Advent. Even if someone is listed at the beginning of the rota it is likely
that there will be six weeks’ notice and for many people it will be several months more. The rota
is emailed or put in the pigeon holes for collection for those without email. In order that people
know what they will be reading in advance they receive a copy of the reading by email/post (midweek)
and people who intercede receive a copy of the pew leaflet by email on Friday. A practice
with microphones can be arranged.
We welcome new people to the rota so If you would like to read, prepare and lead intercessions or
be involved in the offertory procession please do be in touch; you can call me on 01275 543890.
The team of servers here at Redcliffe, essentially exist to provide support to the clergy and
congregation with their worship. It is very pleasing to start by saying we have increased
our number to 26 this year having recruited 1 new member. All the more pleasing is that
in the very near future we are adding a further 6 new young members from the Sunday School to
our team and I look forward to welcoming and training them.
Our social gatherings this year have included a Fish & Chip supper at the Salt & Malt at Chew
Valley Lake and a tour of the Wills Memorial Building, where amongst other things, we were
invited to ring the Great George bell - a task superbly executed by Ben from the choir.
If you feel you may be interested in serving and would like to know more please either speak to
any existing server (those strange looking characters dressed all in white) after any of our services
or contact me on 0117 9099862 or email@example.com
We have a team of 20 lay administrants who assist in worship at the two communion
services each Sunday with some undertaking duties as Deacon and Sub Deacon at the
9.30 am Sung Eucharist Service. Duties are organised on a rota basis, each rota
covering a two month period. A small number of administrants assist at the Thursday service for
wholeness and healing.
Sunday ringing has been well supported once again and we were pleased to be able to ring for
almost all Sunday and special services. Once a month, the Sunday morning ringing is
organised to include the most able ringers from both our guild and other city towers, in
order to give the best Bristol ringers a chance to ring together.
Our Thursday night practices continue to be busy. We ring from 7pm to 9pm each week and have
rung Avon Delight Maximus, Newgate Surprise Maximus, Bristol Surprise Maximus, Spliced
Surprise Maximus and Erin Cinques in the past year to name but a few of our methods.
Peal and Quarter Peals
In total twenty one quarter peals, each lasting about an hour, have been rung on the bells. These
give guild members a chance to ring for a longer, unbroken period of time and so help to improve
their overall standard of ringing. Five full peals, each lasting about four hours, have also been rung
on the bells this year.
The Redcliffe band represented the Bristol branch of the Gloucester and Bristol in the six bell
striking competition held in the Cheltenham branch and were placed first!
Redcliffe were placed third in the Bristol six bell striking competition held at Pip ’n’ Jay. Bristol
also entered a team in the National Twelve Bell Striking Competition; six members of the team of
twelve were Redcliffe ringers. The final was held at Aston, Birmingham. This competition is the
most prestigious in the ringing community and the team from Bristol were placed second.
Redcliffe Ringing Outing
A very successful outing was held in September to the Hereford area and we had the privilege of
ringing at Hereford Cathedral and Malvern Priory as well as 3 other churches in that area.
Once again, the doors open event was a big day for the ringers. The tower was packed with visitors
all day long. Visits to look at the bells, chiming and ringing demonstrations were all very well
received. Approximately 350 people visited the bell chamber.
Twenty-seven of our ringers enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Lansdown pub in Clifton.
At present we have 34 sidesmen, assisted by the Vestry, to cover all services, baptisms,
weddings, funerals and concerts throughout the year.
The church is widely used for many events, thus putting the resources of the sidesmen to
a level which is becoming hard to maintain. We are constantly in need of more volunteers,
especially men, who we are finding it difficult to attract! Training sessions will be given, plus
ongoing support. Duties are organised on a rota basis for the whole year but we are flexible if only
certain services can be covered.
The role of a sidesman is very rewarding and enjoyable, welcoming people attending an event or
visiting the church. Training is also given in first aid, fire drill and evacuation exercises. Several
social events for sidesmen are also held.
If you feel you could assist us in this role please wither contact Graham Marsh or Jean Langley
(Head Sidesmen) or any of the existing sidesmen so that we can continue to preserve this service
to the church.
Graham Marsh & Jean Langley
Serving of tea and coffee after the 9.30 Eucharist continues to go from strength to strength.
We are self-sufficient, even making a small profit thanks to donations made in our little
dishes each week. It is also good to see everyone talking and getting to know each other. We
have an excellent team who are willing and helpful, not only on Sundays but also on other
We provided refreshments for the Queen’s Birthday Party, but had to retreat from the south
churchyard into church because the weather was against us. Pop-up cafés during Lent 2016 and
Treefest were most successful. We are grateful to all those who help in any way especially the
occasional cake-makers who produce extra treats for us to enjoy some Sundays.
The flower arranging team had a very busy 2016. In addition to the usual Redcliffe “special
days” – Christmas, Easter etc., we were asked to arrange flowers for six weddings, one of
which gave us special joy because it was for Andy (one of our Vergers) and Charlotte. Pew
ends were very popular and we were very pleased to have Liz Scott and Anita Herod to help on
these occasions. We had our usual happy band of posy arrangers and herb strippers for Rush
Sunday – what would we do without you all! Also it was good to have Jane Lomas and Sarah
Tyndall with us for Harvest. There is one thing we must not forget, a big “Thank you” for the
donations made by the congregation.
St Mary Redcliffe needs little embellishment, the flowers just add something extra. Hopefully 2017
will be less busy although we do get a rest during Lent and Advent!
Wendy Roberts and Mildred Ford
Here are some of the musical highlights from April 2016 to April 2017:
Singing from the Nave roof for May Day (which was on a Sunday)
Girls CD recording sessions at ‘Real World Studios’ and at SMR
3 RSCM Gold Awards, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze achieved by our choristers.
A memorable Evensong in Bath Abbey in October sung by the boys/adults
An excellent long weekend at Hereford Cathedral with girls/adults.
Two Advent Carol services, sung by the separate choirs.
Treefest with daily musical offerings
Raising over £1200 for British Red Cross at Carols at Lunchtime
Carol singing at Tyntesfield in aid of National Trust and choir funds.
Weekend at Longleats Centerparcs with our Boys Choir in January 2017
Tuesday evening Compline sung by the boys in November and Lent
Newe Vialles Concert and Evensong accompanied by the Viol Consort
There have been up to 20 boys, 20 girls and 18 adults singing in our choirs during this year,
as well as 16-20 members of the Redcliffe Occasional Choir. I would like to take this
opportunity to thank the Organists, choristers and their families and the Church Lands
Charity (Vestry) for their support of the music at the church. It has been an exciting year with lots
of different events in addition to our regular Sunday services.
Recruitment to all the choirs remains a priority – we have spaces for more boys, girls and adults.
During the year we said farewell to boy choristers: Henry James, Miles King, Jack Marsh, Simon
Watson, Ivan Luc and Charlie Wills; to girl choristers Eve Taylor, Lily Butler, Emily Rodman and
adults: Bill Barwell, Fergus Cullen and Stanley Wilshire. We thank them all for their valuable
contribution to the music-making. We also welcomed Keith Donoghue, Gareth Craddock and
Adam Lloyd to the back rows along with six new boys, and four new girls.
Director of Music & Organist
Registered Charity No. 1077720
Weekly lunchtime recitals on the restored Harrison & Harrison organ continued during
term time. As well as our own music staff, visiting organists from far and wide
provided a great variety of programmes and styles, demonstrating the huge versatility
of the instrument. We have a regular band of supporters, but it would be great to see more people.
Volunteers to help serve tea and coffee are particularly welcome.
Recitals start at 1.15pm on Thursdays and admission is free, with a retiring collection.
The Friends of the Music provides ongoing financial support for SMR choirs, including the cost of
specialist vocal training for boys and girls.
A range of CDs featuring the church organ and choirs, and an excellent booklet about the history
of Redcliffe’s organs are available from the church shop.
ell, we have had a bit of a change over the past twelve months!
It was a great honour to be asked to become Head Steward in the Spring of last
year. I was a little nervous to take over the great job Cecile Gillard had done over
previous years but with her help and a bunch of very keen stewards to work with
I learned to “step up to the mark”!
With the help of Dan we started with homemade cakes, tea and coffee. We all got a chance to say
“Hi” and I introduced myself properly. Within weeks we were preparing for Doors Open Day
which was a very proud day for all the stewards! We went on to have the best Treefest ever,
followed by Christmas – a very busy time of year and a great celebration of the birth of Christ. All
stewards made this a very happy time for visitors and parishioners alike.
Now that Easter is upon us and the stewards are all back after a well-deserved winter break, with
their help the back of church is full of smiles and chat again, along with the most wonderful warm
feeling. Easter at St. Mary Redcliffe will be amazing.
I have always believed that stewards are the front line of SMR where visitors meet the type of people
who help keep this church alive and kicking. I am very proud to be part of a great bunch of loving
people and I can’t wait for next year. With the help of our beautiful stewards St. Mary Redcliffe
will always be a warm, loving and wonderful place to visit whether you’re a tourist or a parishioner.
016 has proved to be a rewarding but challenging year of change for the vergers’
department. Andy has consolidated his popular position as head steward, while obtaining
a new pair of gnashers which make him look somewhat like a Hollywood celebrity. Carys
Underdown continues to make great strides keeping us all safe in her role as health and
safety officer. Sally Trivett our church cleaner continues to make the church sparkle and
shine. While polishing the brasses, clearing up candle wax and the less savoury tasks that
sometimes are deposited around the place.
Last Christmas also saw the arrival of our new operations manager Peter Rignall. Peter and I have
spent quite a bit of time orientating him into the ways of St Mary Redcliffe both in terms of how
the church runs from day to day and also, how the acts of worship and services we deliver here fit
We have welcomed and dealt with a myriad of people over the year from the less pleasant aspects
of threats to safety and security to supporting those in need, recently helping a migrant worker
return to his family in Transylvania.
We have seen a change in the community in and around the church, finding an increase in dealing
with and supporting those with drug-related issues and the results of their activity, while seeing a
drop in the number of those with drinking problems.
Over the year, we have welcomed and supported more than 30 evening events from exhibitions
and seminars, through Treefest to choirs, orchestras and the major event that was the Salvation
Army concert at Christmas.
We continue to try to explore how we can improve on all aspects of our responsibilities not only
within acts of worship but also in our welcome to visitors and how we support and provide the
best experience to those hiring and using SMR as a venue for concerts and events.
We recognise the opportunities we have as a team to help SMR make a difference not only in the
coming year but five/ten years ahead as both the building and the community changes. We look
forward to working with you all to help us improve and achieve in these exciting and changing
Over the past year the PCC has had a number of discussions on the subject of Inclusivity -
specifically wondering how welcoming St Mary Redcliffe feels to people who for one
reason or another may identify themselves as part of various different kinds of minority
We have developed the following statement on Inclusivity to appear on our website and elsewhere:
The current generation of SMR is a diverse community: old and young, rich and poor, diverse in our
relationships and family circumstances; Bristol-born and migrants to the city; Redcliffe through-andthrough
and newcomers to the church. We are diverse in our ethnic backgrounds and cultural
identities, in our levels of physical and mental health and ability, and in our understanding of gender
and expression of sexuality identity. As a diverse community we do not share a single understanding
on theological debates, but at the heart of our faith we believe that every person is made in the likeness
of God and reflects the image of God. We do our very best to welcome and include each and every
person in the name of God who made us and loves us for who we are.
We have also formed a working group to consider the questions: What happens when someone
comes into SMR for the first time, do we make them feel welcome? How can we actively explore
what it means to welcome and include, are there ways we could do this better? How do we know
we are doing our very best, in the context of the above statement?
Anyone who would like to contribute to this process is very welcome to email me on
PCC Inclusivity Working Group
Words can hardly do justice to the busyness, excitement and sheer joy of the day, or to
the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of the amazing volunteer team. Thank you
to everyone who visited, we were delighted to welcome you. Thank you also to
everyone who helped these most welcome guests explore, enjoy, reflect and wonder in this holy
Experiencing what it’s like to chime a bell.
Some prospective new bellringers, perhaps?
Gareth explains to a tower tour group how
bells are rung.
A family enjoying brass rubbing, courtesy of our
Sunday School team.
(We use models of brasses, to avoid any damage
to the precious original historic brasses.)
Around 2400 – 2500 people visited the church, about 1000 of them went to the Chatterton Room
(above the north porch) which is a record for visitor numbers to that part of the church on a Doors
41 volunteers worked their proverbial socks off, to give our visitors an unforgettable day out. All
of you were brilliant however special merit mention for the small team of bellringers, who worked
non-stop all day (please tell the rest of us where you get your energy and stamina from - ringing?),
and for the two furthest travelled volunteers, Cora Scott (Bridgwater) and Michael Doble
Bristol Doors Open Day 2017: Saturday 9th September is the date for your diary
A celebration of the city’s history architecture and culture, with unique opportunities to discover
hidden treasures and, in some cases, visit places that are not usually open for public access. Events
take place across the city from Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 September 2017.
Andy Carruthers/Cecile Gillard
This was the third year of Treefest, which can now claim to
be a regular event in the church calendar, and indeed in
the calendar of the city of Bristol. Treefest 2016 was even
more successful than in 2015, raising £6,000 for charity, and
attracting nearly 5,000 visitors.
Our chosen charity this year was Mothers for Mothers, a local
charity which provides support for mothers who suffer from postnatal
depression. They also won the competition for the best tree.
Half of the money raised was allocated to St Mary Redcliffe’s own
outreach projects, such as Faithspace and Redcliffe Care.
Sponsorship was generously provided once again by Hollis
Morgan, and also by Smith & Williamson.
We had slightly fewer exhibitors this year, but there was no reduction in creativity or innovation:
the displays were eye-catching and colourful. The music programmes organized by Andrew Kirk
go from strength to strength and our thanks go to him for persuading some excellent musicians to
perform during Treefest. The café in church serving refreshments raised £1200: our thanks go to
Christine Bush and her team for manning this. The event is a real team effort, and our thanks go
to all of those who participated so enthusiastically to make it such a success: all who provided and
decorated a tree; the stewards who gave willingly of their time to man the doors and welcome
visitors; the team in the ARC café; the Parish Office; the vergers, the choir, and all who made it all
It was decided that the Education Committee should be re-named the Discipleship Committee
to reflect the fact that our concern is for the development of Discipleship throughout the
whole age-range within the congregation. Each meeting begins with updates from individual
committee members about the Sunday School, our Choirs, Safeguarding, Seekers: Escape from the
Pew! and the Vocations Group.
These are followed by forward-planning for the major festivals, Patronal, Harvest, Advent,
Christmas and Easter. Having learned about clergy plans for these, ideas are then shared about
appropriate activities for the involvement of our groups.
After our policy on Communion after Baptism and before Confirmation had been approved by
Bishop Mike, 5 baptisms took place then 1 adult and 9 children were admitted to Communion
during our Patronal Festival Eucharist on 17th July. (1 adult and 1 child were also admitted on
Members of the Committee were among those who attended a Prayer session on Monday 10th
October during which Kat Campion-Spall gave guidance, ideas and encouragement for our prayer
An Advent Eve Quiet Day was also led by Kat Campion-Spall in the Lady Chapel on Saturday 26th
November and members of the Committee were among the attendees who were given the
opportunity to experience many practical ways to enrich our prayer lives.
A Discipleship Committee tree which told the story of Zaccheus (who became one of Jesus’
disciples) was designed and constructed by Becky Macron for exhibition at Treefest.
The Christingles Service was held on 17th December 2016 and a Family Carol Service at which
there were 800+ in the congregation (ranging from tiny babies to very elderly relatives) took place
on Christmas Eve afternoon.
It has given me great pleasure to chair this committee because it is concerned with several of our
current growth areas. The enthusiasm of all the members is infectious and we get through full
agendas at each meeting with decision-making happening easily and practically.
Seekers: Escape from the Pew! is a faith group set up by myself and Revd Dan Tyndall to help
bring the congregation together to explore faith in a social setting. 2016 has been a fantastic
year to build on the foundations of the group and cover a wider range of topics. We meet
one Thursday every month, usually at the Vicarage to discuss a variety of topics suggested by the
group at the beginning of the year.
We began the year looking at the topic of Hope, which is quite a fitting topic for the beginning of
the year as we are often in a mindset of reflection around this time, thinking about the year gone
by and what we hope to achieve in the coming year. I encouraged everyone to write a new year’s
resolution letter to themselves with a religious and secular goal they would like to achieve in 2016.
I gave the letters back later in the year so the writer may be able to reflect on how far they have
come with their goals.
We have gone on to explore a variety of topics such as, “the Holy Spirit”, “women of the Gospels”
and “how we assess the value of something”. We even took a wonderful trip to Folly Farm to enjoy
the lovely scenery while discussing Christian charity. To top it off we finished the year with a good
old fashioned, Christmas themed Pub Quiz.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported the group, whether it was by joining in the group
discussions or taking on the task of running a session. Each person has bought valuable insight
and perspective to the group. What I love about Seekers is that it has given everyone opportunity,
to not only explore their faith but also build relationships with others in the congregation and build
a stronger community.
It has been a wonderful year to not only learn about my faith but to have a brilliant opportunity to
learn about others experiences with the Christianity and understand what they believe and why.
This sharing of faith experiences is what helps us to grow spiritually and build our relationship
with God as well as each other.
So if you haven't already tried it, why not give Seekers a go in 2017? We would love to welcome
you and learn from your experiences. You may also be pleasantly surprised what you learn about
your faith! God Bless everyone and here's to another great year in 2017!
The group has continued to meet (usually at the Vicarage, sometimes at the pub) regularly,
if not frequently. Some members are seriously contemplating the possibility of being called
into an ordained ministry within the Church of England; others are exploring a vocation
to lay ministry within St Mary Redcliffe; and still others are just exploring.
One of the more “public” manifestations of the group this year was the eight (!) people who
responded to Dan’s invitation to preach the sermon at evensong on Sundays after Easter. Another
has been members of the group serving as deacon or sub deacon on Sunday mornings, and another
the commissioning of four members as worship leaders, to serve alongside Denise, Alison and
Bryan, who were also commissioned among a total of some forty folk from across the Deanery at
a wonderful service held at SMR this February.
In September the Revd Helen Collins, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, came to speak, and less
public developments have included the attendance of more than one member of the group at
diocesan information evenings and on the “Am I Called to Be Ordained?” course, as well as
ongoing one-to-one conversations.
But one of the purposes of the group is to encourage others who may feel they, or someone they
know, might be being called in some way. As Dan said in the Vocations Group Preaching Series
“However, I feel certain that there are other people in the SMR community with a similar calling on
their lives. Again, for some it might be to ordained ministry, whilst for others it will be a pathway to
a lay role within the church.
“If this initiative stirs something with you please do let me know.
“More than that, if this initiative makes you wonder whether another member of our church might
have a vocation please do talk with them and with me!”
Since the sad loss of Archdeacon David Banfield whose wisdom was invaluable, we have lost
other members from demise or infirmity. We remain an enthusiastic group of about six and
would welcome new members. Please phone 0117 9264931 if interested.
Over the past year, life at Sunday School has been eventful and fun. Since September, we
have welcomed more families to our Sunday School community, bringing our total to 48
(with 89 children on our register). Ideally, we would benefit from a purpose-built church
hall to accommodate such numbers! However, I firmly believe that it is not so much “what we
have, but what we do with it” that is important. To this effect, we constantly reflect on our practice
and facilities to provide the best service for our children and families. We have reinstated our
fourth group, Sparks, to ensure that group sizes are manageable and have adapted our “layout” in
the Undercroft to suit the needs of our children, We strive to create a safe, positive and “enabling”
learning environment in which each member of our Sunday School family can grow in love and
Our statistics show that a lot of our children are aged 4 and under. As such, parents in this age
range are required to remain in sessions with their children which accounts for a significant
number of adults being present in Sunday School. Parents of
older children are encouraged to stay in church and many take
this opportunity to enjoy quiet worship. Others opt to stay with
their children. Ultimately, we are providing a service for the
people and it is my aim to ensure their needs and desires are met
and respected. What cannot be questioned is the commitment
and dedication of all the Sunday School families to our activities
and events, and to our church.
During a service, we are separated physically from the rest of the
congregation. However, we are all part of the same church
community and this physical separation does not impede our
endeavours to integrate with the rest of the church family. Since
joining Redcliffe, many of our families have taken big steps on their faith journeys – either through
baptism, confirmation or admittance to communion. More recently, Sunday School families have
taken on new roles within the church as servers and readers.
To date, Treefest has been the most popular Sunday School event. However, our recent “Prayer
Day” based on the themes from The Magic Faraway Tree has just overtaken this event. With a
record number of children in attendance (42), we explored different ways of communicating with
God through a variety of prayer activities. The Backpack Appeal 2016 and our fundraising events
for the Lent Project have also been met with huge enthusiasm. Along with the congregation, we
donated a record total of 88 backpacks to Mary’s Meals and our fundraising events have been
It is always great fun to organise special events. However, something “special” can only be “special”
if it remains unique: when there are always biscuits in the tin, biscuits are no longer fun.
frequency of “special” activities in the lead up to Christmas almost took this uniqueness away,
causing us to reflect on the organisation of our calendar. Although charity work is a fundamental
part of our discipleship, we must not overlook our main role as a Sunday School: to learn about
Jesus, so that he can “teach us all we know”, “to follow him along the way”, to “be our guide in all
we do” and “to help us all learn more” from him as outlined in the prayer the whole congregation
says before we leave the 9.30 Eucharist. Most of our sessions come from our lectionary-based
resources, Roots. However, we sometimes supplement these with other activities, and where
possible, we aim to weave outside events into our lessons, such as European Day of Languages.
What remains most important to us is that our lessons are fun, engaging and purposeful.
The people tasked with the important role of teaching our children are the Sunday School Leaders.
To meet the demands of our growing numbers, the Sunday School team has also expanded,
welcoming new leaders from our parents and congregation. It certainly is a pleasure to work with
such experienced and dedicated practitioners, and to draw on their talents and enthusiasm. I am
very grateful to the Sunday School team for their continuous efforts and support. Without them,
it certainly would not be such a success.
During the past year, we have introduced social events for families outside of Sunday School; our
first parents’ night out was just a small affair. However, the second meeting was well-attended and
we now hope to organise these on a regular basis. We are now looking for new ventures to provide
more opportunities for our families, such as a parent and toddler mornings and a family
“champing” (camping in church) night (to be held in the summer holidays).
The role of Sunday School Co-ordinator is certainly a busy role and there is always plenty to do.
However, it is a role that brings a lot of pleasure and fulfilment and I would not change it for the
Sunday School Co-ordinator
We are nearing the end of our third year of the Education Work at St Mary Redcliffe
Church. It has been another interesting twelve months which has seen our
relationships strengthening with local schools and other schools visiting for the first
For the first time this year we went into St Mary Redcliffe Primary School to run a Christmas art
workshop which made decorations for our Christmas tree at Treefest. Our tree was based on the
children’s story: Little Owl and The Star.
Because of the success of this venture we are planning more art workshops on the theme of
Pentecost which will lead to an exhibition in church in June and July.
Another first this year was to run a session for teachers from a village school in the Mendips on
one of their in-service training days. This has led to the school booking several trips already.
We have done many tours about the history of the church and its significance in Bristol. As well
as workshops, such as:
What are the elements of a church building?
The brasses in the church
We have also done many Religious Education workshops with themes such as:
Stories of Outcasts: The Ten Lepers, The Good Samarian
Why is a church building special for Christians?
Forgiveness – The Prodigal Son
Why is Christmas special for Christians? – Little Owl and the Star
The meaning of the Christmas story – Jesus’ Christmas Party
Why is Jesus important to Christians?
The Easter Story
The work could not be done without our wonderful volunteers who give their time to work with
the children. The work takes place in the church on Tuesdays, so if anyone would like to be
involved, please get in touch with Sarah in the Parish Office or email
The school’s playground has always been remarkable – space for a miniature United Nations
(440+ children from all corners of the world). In response to the national campaign to
encourage physical activity and creative outdoor play, there is now a spectacular range of
playground equipment - climbing walls, ropes, wooden boats, hopscotch squares and ball games –
and the school still offers diverse after-school clubs for sports and creative activities despite tight
budgets. Recent surveys confirm the children love coming to school and many are performing well
vis-à-vis Age Related Expected Attainment in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
Nevertheless, as many of you know, in Autumn 2016, Ofsted found that the “gap” between the
performance of Pupil Premium Children (disadvantaged children for whom extra funding is
awarded) and their peers, had not been sufficiently closed and so, combined with poor progress in
mathematics and some inconsistencies in the effectiveness of leadership and teaching, SMRP was
put into Special Measures again.
As a consequence, it will become an Academy under the aegis of DBAT, the Diocese of Bristol
Academies Trust. This move to DBAT has been positively accepted by the school staff and by
parents. At a public meeting many of the latter paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of
all staff at the school – justifiably - as they very quickly tweaked their teaching and assessment
methods to address the issues raised by Ofsted.
The subject reports submitted at the February governors’ meeting by the Geography Lead teacher
and the Religious Education and Collective Worship Lead teacher epitomise the essential moral,
social and academic ethos of the school. SMRP aims for an enriched curriculum (not one focusing
merely on the 3Rs) so Geography is a whole-school-living curriculum. E.g. a huge map in the lobby
marks all the countries from where the children originate. This helped the school earn its Bristol
Sanctuary Award for offering refuge to all comers.
As for Religious Education and Collective Worship, the school continues to develop a sensitive
approach towards Christian distinctiveness as many of the children are of other religions,
including Islam and Judaism. The most telling feedback comes from the children themselves who
say they appreciate Collective Worship for the quiet time it gives them for reflection and that “It’s
like being part of a big family.”
School and church have worked together successfully for over 400 years. Each year though,
there are new situations and priorities. We were delighted to be chosen as one of ‘Ten
Leading Schools’ on Spiritual Development in the country. A researcher spent some
significant time in the school and met students, staff, parents and carers, governors and members
of the community. We will publicise the book when it’s published there is a chapter on each school
and they all have something interesting to contribute. One aspect of school life that was highlighted
was our partnership with Ikoba, a Church of Uganda School near Masindi. It was the tenth
anniversary of our partnership and we celebrated with quite a lot of cake and a major fundraising
drive called @ikobaTENsmrt which raised money (over £10,000) for a new, level sports pitch and
the first brass band at the school. We also welcomed Headteacher Faith Kahuma back to Bristol.
We are enormously grateful for the hospitality and encouragement of the SMRC staff and stewards
when we worship in the church and that worship underpins our daily life. The Vergers provide for
our services back in school with great diligence and organisation. We really appreciate those
members of the church who give unstinting wisdom and energy to their role as school governors
and especially those like Pete Farr and Rachel James who chair committees. School admissions,
both to Y7 and to Y12, take up a lot of time and Rachel and Claire Alsop have given unstintingly.
We enjoy our collaborations, for example the Lunch Club, Christmas party, Colston Day and the
fabulous Treefest. We’ve enjoyed getting to know about and being more involved in the over-55
activities. We will continue to seek new ways of being school and church as the year progresses
and as Joey Mitchell, our Chaplain, Hannah Currant and Kat Campion-Spall continue to bring
new ideas into the mix.
Finally, we thank Revd Dan Tyndall for his personal support and commitment to the school, our
occasions and our spiritual development.
Assistant Head Teacher
Safeguarding is changing and developing all the time, is a consideration in all that we do in
the church and is the responsibility of every member of the church’s community.
To quote our policy: “St Mary Redcliffe Church PCC is committed to promoting the wellbeing
of all those who visit, work and worship here. As part of this commitment we will ensure that we
have robust systems in place to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm. This
responsibility is shared by each member of the community and policies and procedures, whilst
essential, cannot alone protect children and adults who are at risk. All members of the community
need to be aware of potential risks to children, young people and vulnerable adults and know what
action to take should they have concerns”.
It is important for everyone to keep themselves well informed about safeguarding in the church
and this can be done by accessing the Diocese of Bristol website ‘Safeguarding’ section where all
Church of England and Diocesan policies and guidance can be found.
At St Mary Redcliffe we have a Safeguarding Committee which consists of the Incumbent,
Churchwarden, PCC Secretary, Safeguarding Officer, the four Children’s Champions, an Adult
Champion and a representative from the Lunch Club and it oversees the care and protection of
children, young people and adults who are vulnerable. Like all churches in the Diocese St Mary
Redcliffe has its own safer recruitment procedure which is in line with national Church of England
and Diocesan policies and guidance and, when the duties within a role meet the specified criteria,
an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is sought.
On behalf of the PCC the committee undertakes risk assessments for activities within the church
and has responsibility for checking the detailed arrangements, including risk assessments, for all
off-site visits by groups of children and young people.
The Safeguarding Committee has just undertaken the 2017 review of the St Mary Redcliffe
Safeguarding Policy and the updated policy was adopted by the PCC on 27 March 2017. The
policy, with links to specific national and diocesan policies and guidance, is available in the
Safeguarding section of the St Mary Redcliffe website.
The Social Committee organised the refreshments after the Rush Sunday Service and
provided most enjoyable lunches after our Patronal Festival and Harvest Festival Sung
The Christian Meditation Group met weekly on Tuesday evenings throughout the year in
the Faithspace Community Centre in Prewett Street. We thank Sarah James for her
continued support there.
Christian Meditation gives us the opportunity to 'be' in the presence of God's love in our own
word or mantra.
This we reach through a period of stillness and silence while simply repeating (silently) a
The group follows the teaching of John Main who was inspired by the work of
The Desert Fathers. He founded The World Community for Christian Meditation and there is a
lot of information on their website - www.christianmeditation.org.uk
Newcomers are always welcome. We meet every Tuesday at 6.30, and start our 30 minutes
meditation at 6.45.
If you would like to learn more about this spiritual journey just come to the
Faithspace Community Centre or speak to one of us - firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 9255763
Lewis and Joan Semple
About 13 years ago, in the heyday of the Fundraising Committee, a well-known member
of the SMR congregation pointed out to me that profit could be made from an unusual
venture. Dorothy Mills, bless her, had spied an article in the Three Crowns advertising a
family firm in the Lake District who made Christmas Puddings only for Fortnum & Masons and
Charities, refusing to make them for the Supermarket chains.
The Ultimate Plum Pudding Co. was duly contacted, sending samples of their ware for the PCC to
try, who pronounced the puddings delicious! It was subsequently discovered that if we designed
our own label we earned extra discount and if we ordered and paid, in September, we earned even
more discount. So, John Pickard designed the label, an order was dispatched in time for Doors
Open Day 2003 and the congregation encouraged to try these reputedly delicious Christmas
The following year there were numerous requests to repeat this venture, as the puddings were so
delicious and were microwaveable too. These puddings have now become a feature of the
Christmas season at St Mary Redcliffe and as usual this year, the customary sales table was present
near the north door on Doors Open Day. The Ultimate Plum Pudding Company have added an
individually sized pudding, to their range, identical in the attractive red wrapping and label, and
perfect for a souvenir of the visit to St Mary Redcliffe on Doors Open Day or as a gift at
All sizes of puddings sold out by mid-afternoon this year and a number of “regular customers”
were disappointed, having omitted to reserve their hoped-for purchase. To get maximum discount
and, therefore, increase the profit for SMR, the puddings have to be ordered in July so, if anyone
thinks that a pudding may be desired for Christmas 2017, please let me know by the end of June at
the latest. There is no obligation to purchase a reserved pudding as, if circumstances change, the
pudding can be sold on Doors Open Day.
Journey into Science began life in the late 1990s with the vision that a church like St Mary
Redcliffe standing at the heart of a city like Bristol should be as much a beacon for the public
appreciation, engagement, discussion, and pondering of the sciences as it is of the arts, most
notably at St Mary Redcliffe of music, and that all should illuminate our journey through God’s
Our Chaotic Pendulum – profound science?... kinetic art?... prompter for pondering? – has
meanings on many different levels. Devised by the late Professor Sir Brian Pippard FRS for his
inaugural lecture as Cavendish Professor of Physics in Cambridge, he helped bring it to our church
in 1997. He was so proud to have it here, the only functioning version on public display anywhere.
The chaotic pendulum continues to attract a lot of visitor interest and is also an important witness
that our church embraces a scientific understanding of the world. Again we thank Maurice
Scofield, Kumyul Albone, Rob Knight (who constructed the chaotic pendulum all those years ago)
and the vergers for all they have done in the year to keep the pendulum functioning so well. In
particular we thank Maurice who has supported us over many years but for whom advancing years
has meant he has had to step down.
Back in the late 1990s we also obtained a Royal Society and British Association Millennium Award
which kick-started a very active programme of science related activities, discussions, debates, talks,
drama with the wider public and with schools (I have our report from those days if anyone would
like to see it) and over the years we have done much, attracting audiences including people who
would not otherwise have entered our doors. We can learn much from that early experience.
Things have slackened off a little since then. However in the past year we have run an outstanding
event in St Mary Redcliffe with Christians in Science and the British Science Association, namely
the presentation to a capacity audience by Professor Keith Ward, Regius Professor Emeritus of
Theology at Oxford entitled “Why Stephen Hawking is nearer to God than he thinks”. Keith Ward
did not refer to conversations with Stephen Hawking, but rather to what he has written, pointing
out that much of his writing is in fact essentially theological rather than scientific. If you want to
make your own mind up, the sound recording of the event is available on the St Mary Redcliffe
In the past year we were also involved in a panel discussion organised by the British Science
Association “Science and Religion, Exploring the Spectrum- Why does the clash between science
and religion persist in science and the media?” Last November we had a very interesting open
discussion with an ethnically mixed listening audience at the Trinity Centre in Lawrence Hill
where much light was shed - just the kind of thing we need to do more of. Another link is with the
Society of Ordained Scientists and in early April we are hosting their Southern Chapter again at
Mary Redcliffe, where one of our members, Revd Dr Geoff Turnock will be discussing the topic of
Gene Editing. As well as being a forum for discussion, SOSc is also a Fellowship, and not everyone
is ordained… I for example am an Associate Member. If anyone in SMR is interested in knowing
more, please let me know.
Journey into Science has huge potential, particularly as St Mary Redcliffe is developing its new
vision at the heart of the community, and this is just the time when we need new blood and new
ideas. If you would like to be involved (or even are thinking about it), please let me know. There
is no need to be a scientist… just interested in moving the vision forward.
We will not be so alone in the future. It transpires that at least one very active church in London
is thinking of collaborating along these lines too.
We meet on Wednesdays between 12 noon and 2 p.m. in the Faithspace Centre in
Prewett Street. A hot meal (cooked by the local Hilton Hotel) is followed by
entertainment. Friendship and companionship are the basis of the Club and we do
our best to give a listening ear and any advice asked for.
Entertainment varies, including slide shows and talks (often provided by members of SMR
congregation for which we are very grateful), musical entertainment, Bingo, quizzes etc.
Each week 4 students from SMRT School come to help. They collect monies, sell raffle tickets,
serve at table etc. They are always popular with our members, spending time talking with them,
calling Bingo numbers and generally getting involved, even by dancing and exercising. It is good
to see the interaction between young and old and I believe this to be advantageous to both age
Easter and Christmas are times for celebration and we have Jenny Martin to thank on these
occasions. Our tables at Easter are decorated with Spring flowers, Hot Cross Buns and Easter eggs.
At Christmas once again Jenny excels with festive table decorations, crackers, sweets and presents
– everything to make for a special Christmas lunch. This is a free meal, funded by a grant from the
John James Charity.
Throughout the year we receive help from our local ASDA store. Mrs. Brenda Wright (ASDA
Community Champion) is a regular welcome visitor, often bringing goodies. She will also help
with entertaining and arrange special events e.g. strawberry cream teas. At Christmas we enjoy
tins of sweets, mince pies and cream and raffle prizes together with a gift for everyone. We thank
Brenda and ASDA for their continued support.
One of the most significant aspects of the Club are the people working in the kitchen. With Jenny
Martin as our mainstay our priority is to obtain the highest rating of Food Hygiene and we have
passed all the necessary tests. Unfortunately we do not see some of our kitchen helpers face-to-face
as they are so busy for the 2 hours that we are open, but without their hard work we could not
Our club is run solely by dedicated volunteers and I would like to thank everyone involved because
we could not manage without them. Please ask yourself if you feel able to join us for an hour or so
each week (mainly term time). I can assure you that you will make new friends and enjoy helping
others. We really do need you.
n the past year the magazine has evolved into a more compact publication with fewer pages.
News of so many developments, events, reflections and community initiatives are generated
by SMR that very few contributions are brought in from outside (even the Bishops hardly
get a word in edgeways). Priority is given to items which directly relate to life in and around
SMR, are generally written by SMR people and are, we hope, specifically useful to the SMR
congregation. The mag is directed to a niche market.
New trends: What goes on at Sunday School (Becky Macron) is becoming more prominent – often
running to 2pp including pics. The same goes for local Redcliffe news: (1) SMR Development
Updates (Rhys Williams) and (2) Redcliffe neighbourhood activities (Redcliffe Gardening Club,
Play Out, Peco Story Telling, Redcliffe Voice newsletter). Another fairly recent addition is Seekers
Escape from the Pew - Nadine Aujla.
The March 2017 (Lent) issue is fairly representative of the magazine’s contents over the past year:
- The items cited above, Reflection by one of the Vicars, Soundbites by Andrew Kirk (who
invariably submits a perfect page at least a week or so ahead), PCC report (and periodically Synod),
listings for imminent church festivals, (e.g. Christmas, Lent, Easter, Treefest), night shelter
reflections (Keith Donoghue) adverts for new positions (this issue – Church Charity), celebration
of feats (this issue – Betty Morris), World War 1 Voices (Lester Clements), Parishioner to
Parishioner and finally the Lectionary, Diary etc. which have no by-line but are faithfully produced
by Carys Underdown, Pat Terry, Ros Houseago, and in an emergency, Pete Rignall and Anne-
Marie Rogers. This month – poetry and prayers were missing - our loss. And then at the 23rd hour
an unmissable piece from Seekers …. So last minute cutting and pasting. That’s usually when the
So much for evolutionary changes and trends since 2012. If revolutionary change is required, so
probably is a new editor. Any offers?
In 2016 we celebrated 140 years of Mothers’ Union. “All things are possible through prayer”
was Mary Sumner’s vision and it all started in her living room. Now there are nearly four
million members around the world. Our MU Prayer Diary helps us to understand all the
needs and the work which the Mothers’ Union does.
We continue to supply tea, coffee, biscuits etc., to the Friends of Parents at Bristol Children’s
Hospital and we also make a donation towards the cost of the daffodils for Mothering Sunday at
We had a variety of speakers in 2016 which included John Pickard’s “My garden through the
seasons”, Liz Mitchell on being a dancer at the Olympic Ceremony in London and part two of his
talk by the Revd Davis Hardy, Chaplain to the Railways.
In addition we held three services of Holy Communion during our meetings presided over by the
Revd Kat Campion-Spall which was welcomed by members and we will continue this practice in
The Annual Dinner took place in the Undercroft, provided by Pat Jones and her helpers, and the
lovely meal was enjoyed by all those present.
Our branch meets in the Faithspace Centre on the second Wednesday of each month (with the
exception of January).
A copy of the 2017 programme is on the Mothers’ Union notice board in church.
MU Branch Leader
Ladies Who Lunch are the envy of some,
but you could join us, so why not come
to the Pot Luck Lunches held every month?
The occasional week is given the oomph
if it’s inconvenient, but that’s quite rare
as another venue is found somewhere.
Normally held at John and Sue’s,
Sharing food and the latest news.
Gentlemen are not excluded,
If well behaved, - may be included!
First Monday in the month we meet
Just to chat, relax and eat.
What we eat is oft substantial,
Or it may be light and circumstantial
to the offers in the shop,
Asda, Tesco, or the Co-op.
Sandwiches or fruit for two,
All are welcome – and that means you!
In 2016 the Social Action Committee has had a dual focus – continuing to support the excellent
social action already happening in and through SMR, and taking seriously our role as a
strategic sub-committee of the PCC by working towards a strategy for social action.
A highlight of the year was the Lent Appeal, in partnership with Changing Tunes. There was a
strong sense of faith in action, and of our whole church community engaging with the themes and
issues of Changing Tunes’ work with prisoners and ex-prisoners. There was a fantastic level of
involvement from members of the congregation in fundraising activities; we had a concert with a
scratch choir from the congregation, Changing Tunes staff and ex-prisoners, and elsewhere; a
special evening service with Bishop Mike; members of the congregation visited prisons; and the 40
days of Lent booklet enabled individuals to engage at home while our preaching and Lent Groups
aligned with the themes of the booklet. We also raised over £7,000 which was an impressive
In June was another highlight, the Queen’s birthday garden party. This was, despite the weather,
a wonderful event, involving local community groups running stalls and activities alongside
church members – there was a wonderful sense of partnership between church and community.
Other social action that continued in 2016 was October’s illumination of the church in support of
modern slavery charity Unseen, this time even brighter, thanks to Adam King, who also oversaw
the parish Christmas card delivery to every home in the parish. The Christmas Day Lunch was
once again co-ordinated and hosted by Chris and Lorraine Legg, with grateful thanks for their
dedication and hard work. Hannah Current’s work in the community, the Redcliffe Lunch Club
and our partnership with Faithspace continued, of which more elsewhere.
In 2016, the Committee recommended that the £3,000 from the PCC budget allocated to charitable
giving was shared between CMS (£1,000), USPG (£1,000), Oxfam REFUGEE CRISIS: Emergency
response (£500), Sisters of the Church (£250) and Julian Trust (£250).
Work in progress that will start to bear fruit in 2017 is the appointment of our artist(s) in residence,
and the development of a new youth worker post for the community.
While all this was going on we have also been trying to listen to God and draw out our strategic
priorities for Social Action, which has highlighted a strong focus on the parish. We hope to present
to the PCC in 2017 and feed in to wider strategic planning for the church.
Revd Kat Campion-Spall
Associate Vicar & Committee Chair
With a reduction in hours to one day a week, I have moved away from ‘on the ground’
delivery to working at a more strategic level, to support and advocate for the
communities of Redcliffe. This is a sample of some of the things achieved in 2016:
A community newsletter – (Redcliffe Voice). Ensuring that local residents have access to
information about what’s going on within the local area. Designed and edited by local volunteers,
and produced and delivered into 2000 local homes on a quarterly basis. A PDF version is also
available on the website.
A Redcliffe community workers’ lunch is held once a month for those working in the community
to share what’s going on, network and develop ideas together. This includes representatives from
the following organisations: SMR Church, SMRT School, Redcliffe Children’s Centre, The Police,
Faithspace, Growing Support, BCC community development Team, BCC Public Health Team,
Redcliffe House, phoenix place, BCC learning communities team, Playing Out, PeCo Theatre
Company and other parties or agencies wishing to engage with local groups and organisations.
I also identified and arranged for some training for local workers around signposting for mental
health provision from CASS.
Lunch Club, Film Club and the Gardening Group all continue to receive support.
I have also worked hard to ensure that the local community has a voice in the Church
Development programme, recruiting a panel of local residents to partake in the Architectural
competition, and hosting a public event for local residents and workers to find out more about the
Development, and advocating for the local community to be at the heart of all development
considerations and planning.
I have been involved in developing a proposal for a youth worker for the area, and contributed
towards fundraising efforts for a new post.
As a community development worker I provide an essential networking for agencies, projects and
people to link up within the community. She also advocates for more public health promotional
activity to take place, more youth work and more support from Community development where
available. Also responding to requests from local residents and action groups for support and input
PeCo Theatre Company successfully bid in partnership with SMR for some money from BAB
(Bristol Ageing Better) to deliver a series of workshops exploring the hidden histories of
Redcliffe, with older residents of the area which has run for the 1st quarter of this year (2017).
This list is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of the kind of things going on one day a week on behalf
of St Mary Redcliffe and Redcliffe Care.
Community Development Worker
Another very successful Christmas Day Lunch was hosted at Faithspace (the Prewett Street
Anglican-Methodist Church Centre) in 2016. Numbers increased significantly this year,
with more guests from the immediate neighbourhood of the Church, partly as a result of
outreach and increased visibility of Faithspace and partly through the activities of Hannah
Currant. We welcomed participation from Phoenix House, adjacent to the Church, some of whose
residents joined us for lunch, while others enjoyed "take-aways".
A total of 46 meals were served, and excellent seasonal food was once again provided by the
DoubleTree Hilton, supplemented by pre-lunch snacks and after-lunch cakes and biscuits
prepared by volunteers or purchased by Redcliffe Care. Pre-lunch transport was generously
provided by volunteers from the congregation and elsewhere, and a discounted taxi service was
provided by Bedminster Cabs to take guests home after the lunch. The whole event went smoothly
and was enjoyed by all the guests and volunteers, the latter including the Rev Henry Lewis and his
wife, plus one of our vergers.
Community Hub: This year we have more than doubled our bookings with 28 regulars.
New arrivals include: health Improvement, Maths/ English courses, Local Councillors’
Advice Surgeries, Community Arts, fundraising for Ladies Swimming and an American
Space for a home from home: Along with our neighbours, we have had good attendance for
seasonal parties. We now have Quarterly Messy Church for children and parents, next one April
2 nd 3.00pm. Faithspace Play for an hour after school 3.30-4.30pm. Starting: 30 th March and 6 th
April. For Parents/Carers and children up to ten, to meet friends, make snacks and play games.
We are keen to have new volunteers for all the above; Tea-Makers and friendly-faces always
needed, please let me know!
What we are all about: The homeless shelter ran through January, one night a week on a rota with
SMR and other churches across Bristol. Good home-cooked meals, better company and amazing
card games! Bed & breakfast provided. Our Tuesday Coffee morning and ‘Needles and Natter’
have grown with the same sense of hospitality, where people are known and belong. Those present
hold the doors open in true respect and charity and a Christian love that is palpable, for our guests
to come and simply be- That’s what we at Faithspace are all about. So we become that home from
home; care and acceptance found here in opportunities to meet Christ in the Stranger and make
him our guest!
What happens when we work together: There is a sense of things beginning to gel at Faithspace
as local people help with Messy Church, an active group is forming around a buzz of activity and
the Spirit feels ever present. Especial thanks to all those who pray and help make good things
happen here and to the Committee and both Churches for the emergency loan to mend the Chapel
window – it looks great!
So come and see what’s happening, make a difference locally, join in the excitement of God’s
The ARC Café is continuing to provide a welcome and much appreciated venue for visitors
and members of the church alike. It is pleasing to note that it will soon be achieving its
5th Anniversary since opening in July 2012.
Its continued success is due in no small measure to the efforts of its two stalwarts – Derek (Del)
and Steve Priest (an appropriate name for someone working in church surrounds). It is due to
their efforts together with Chloe Diamond, now working with ARA that various initiatives have
been established and achieved, namely:-
A donation of £1000 received form the “Friend of the ARC café” scheme
Links being forged with another charity – BDR (Bristol Drugs Project) who run cookery
courses to find new chefs
St. Monicas’s chefs worked voluntarily for a fund-raising event in April
Del has set uplinks with UWE students and is planning a Murder Mystery Night (one
Thursday – date TBA)
All in all, thanks to the staff, visitors, members of SMR and outside well-wishers, a very pleasing
summary of events in the ARC café. Long may it continue.
One final happy piece of news is that Steve was married on 30th March. Best wishes to him and
his bride, Lucy.
PCC ARC Café Co-ordinator
Regular collections of dry and tinned food and toiletries, donated by the congregation, have
continued throughout the year. These are delivered on alternate weeks to the Refresh
food-bank in Bedminster and to the Sisters of Charity in St Pauls. Both food-banks report
increased demand in 2016. They struggle to meet this demand, partly because routine donations
from some supermarkets have decreased during the year. The food-banks express their gratitude
for the continuing generous support of St Mary Redcliffe. We also provide extra gifts at Christmas
and Harvest for distribution by the Sisters of the Church.
Itook on the challenge of co-ordinating the delivery of Christmas cards to the parish last year
after many years’ sterling work by Martin Lee. Not living in the parish and not having grown
up in Bristol I found it to be quite a struggle to get my head round, so for 2016 I took on a
more ‘technical’ approach!
Using a parish boundary map and a handy online tool I obtained a list of postcodes within the
parish, and married it up with a detailed street map to produce a full plan of the area. Then I
obtained on behalf of the church a free licence to use the Royal Mail’s database of all 27 million
registered addresses in the UK (this comes supplied as a single downloadable text file of some
1.2GB). I filtered this down to only the postcodes within the parish, and removed the majority of
commercial addresses. This left 4,404 addresses to which we need to deliver cards! I then grouped
the addresses into 55 deliverable chunks and produced wrapper sheets for the card bundles.
Thanks to the time generously given by a veritable army of deliverers, we were able to spread a
Christmas message of peace and goodwill (as well as advertising our seasonal services) to the vast
majority of addresses in the parish. A returnable sheet with each bundle also enabled deliverers to
feed back to me any difficulties or successes they had with accessing secure buildings, which will
ensure we maximise the reach of the cards in 2017. Thank you to everyone who helped with this
important piece of outreach work.
Back to “normal”
Ilocked up “Faithspace” around nine on Saturday 3 rd February having bade farewell to our
eleven guests at the Bristol Churches Winter Night Shelter for the last time. I was on my way
home and returning to my normality, probably to return to my warm bed for a few hours
But, as I drove back to Westbury Park I realised that my personal understanding of “normal” had
changed irrevocably in the past four weeks. Here I was in my warm car while eleven men were
trudging through that same rain, waiting for the Central Library to open and hope that they would
be able to dry out a bit.
Seven churches across the City Centre had risen to the challenge of providing “night shelter”
accommodation but in truth, having been asked if I would “co-ordinate” Redcliffe’s response to
the request to provide accommodation for one day a week, I approached the task with considerable
apprehension. I suspect that I was not alone in feeling that although it was the right thing to do I
was uncertain how I would react. Soon, however, the mechanics of the provision set in and anxiety
was diverted by the preparation of food and blowing up of mattresses. In the event, on that first
evening, we had but one guest although to have saved even one person from what proved to be a
particularly cold night was, we were reminded, quite sufficient.
Over the following weeks we built up to receive eleven guests and, in those weeks, came to learn
something of their stories. In many cases they were of misfortune that could have befallen any one
of us and we understood ourselves to be in the company of people who had skills and qualifications
which they found it impractical to exercise or who were prevented from doing so by their being
without accommodation. What was most appreciated was the opportunity for conversation,
friendship and companionship so that energetic card games and fiercely competitive Scrabble
occupied the hours before sleep and any sense that time might have to be “filled” was quickly
In discussion between the volunteers we all agreed that the insights we had received not so much
into our guests’ but into our own responses to them had made the whole experience one that we
had greatly valued. We all appreciated the opportunity to meet and work with each other and
expressed our sadness that the scheme was not running for longer whilst understanding that its
initial success and willingness of people to volunteer their assistance was probably because if its
initial restricted scope.
So now our attention turns to what we can offer next year by building on the experience gained
over the four remarkable weeks. Each of us who has had the humbling comments of our guests’
gratitude left ringing in our ears will have nothing but determination to extend the time for which
hospitality is offered in 2018. The greatest joy would be the opportunity to accept the offer of one
guest to volunteer next year. Certainly, nothing will ever be normal again.
Registered Charity No. 1134120
12 Colston Parade, Bristol BS1 6RA – 0117 231 0060 – email@example.com
Revd Dan Tyndall
0117 231 0067
Revd Canon John Rogan
Revd Canon Michael Vooght
Revd Canon Neville Boundy
Revd Peter Dill
0117 231 0073
Community Development Worker
0117 231 0071
0117 231 0072
0117 231 0063
Revd Kat Campion-Spall
0117 231 0070
0117 942 2196
0117 966 2291
Matthew Buckmaster (head)
0117 231 0061
Director of Music and Organist
0117 231 0065
Claire and Graham Alsop
0117 231 0068