Holy Trinity Church Kingswood celebrates 200th anniversary

First published 17th September 2021

Holy Trinity Church in Kingswood celebrated 200 years of worship this year with a traditional church fair and a celebration service attended by the Bishop of Bristol.

Over the celebratory weekend from 11–12 September, the church was presented with a new kneeler to commemorate its care for the local community during the pandemic.

The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, preached at a service of celebration and thanksgiving on Sunday 13 September. 

Revd Beverley Charles said: “The anniversary was an important celebration of Holy Trinity Church past and present. Memories were shared, old friends remembered and community renewed as we had fun together in ways that have not been possible for so long.”

Holy Trinity is the oldest parish church in Kingswood, having been consecrated on 11 September 1821. Until the early 19th century, Kingswood had no church of its own, and was served by the ancient parish of Bitton four miles away. A church was considered an urgent requirement by local anglicans, as the area only had Wesleyan, Whitfield Tabernacle and Moravian churches in operation. Holy Trinity was built within sight of these three churches and was given a tower to make it  more prominent than its neighbours. During the service, the Bishop of Bristol apologised to ecumenical colleagues for this historic declaration of superiority!

It was one of the first churches built from funds voted by Parliament to mark Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, and is therefore known as a ‘Waterloo Church’. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Gloucester on 9 June 1819, but there was then a dispute over the title of the site which meant that building did not begin in earnest until 1820. The completed church was consecrated the following year.

Images: (1) Rev Chris Evans, associate vicar; Bishop Viv; Revd Beverley Charles, priest in charge; Gill Godfrey, church warden; Eddie Simms, deputy warden, (2) the new kneeler. Credit: Martin Gainsborough

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