Please find all the latest news from the Diocese of Bristol

#ChristmasMeans 2014

First published 1st December 2014

The Church's successful twitter campaign,#ChristmasMeans will be running again this yeargiving congregations and individuals across thecountry a chance to show what Christmas meansto them, with image, videos and 140 characterreflections.To get the bal

Helping people deal with debt

First published 27th November 2014

A rising number of Church of England parishes are providing help to people with problem debt, a new survey has found.

Buckets in the rain?

First published 26th November 2014

It was very recently reported that cathedral congregations are on the up and that mid-week services have doubled in a decade.

Bristol vicar goes over the top

First published 19th November 2014

Bristol vicar, Rev Canon Nick Hay proved his dedication to tackling poverty when he not only abseiled 100ft down the Avon Gorge on Saturday 15 November, but also sang the nursery rhyme The Wheels on the Bus as he went down.

One Ministry

First published 17th November 2014

The mix between stipendiary, self-supporting and other forms of ordained ministry is changing, as the Church responds to fresh challenges and an evolving world.

The changing patterns of ministry

First published 17th November 2014

Earlier this year, the Diocese of Bristol appointed Rev Charles Sutton as Bishops Adviser for Self-Supporting Ministry.

Bible for Life

First published 16th November 2014

When the main messages are clear, then the application of scripture - what we should do and how we should live - is a good deal easier to understand.

Disciples on the front line

First published 16th November 2014

Your Kingdom come, on this bit of earth at this point in time...Revd Jo Vickery reports on a recent event for church leaders in Bristol, exploring how we can be disciples in the 'whole of life'.

Mentoring is not a one-way street

First published 13th November 2014

Paul has helped me a lot. If it weren't for him, Id be back in prison now.

MentorMe: helping rebuild lives

First published 13th November 2014

MentorMe is a Christian organisation based in Bristol, supporting ex-offenders.

Yes, I have cancer

First published 13th November 2014

This is a video ofDoreen Bull from Shirehampton, recorded from her hospital bed for her friends at St Mary's Church. Doreen has suggested we include it here to allowher message to reach a wider audience.Yes, I have cancer. So what? I've said it. It d

Giving something back

First published 13th November 2014

Its easy to make assumptions but until you meet someone whos been inside, its unlikely you have any real understanding of just how difficult it is to get your life together when youre released from prison.As part of ourPrisons Weekfocus, we spoke tot

Edward Colston, slavery and moral ambiguities

First published 11th November 2014

On Monday I spoke at the annual Charter Day service in Bristol Cathedral to a gathering of young aspiring people.

Christian Concepts Unpacked

First published 11th November 2014

The Christian Concepts Unpacked resources have been developed to support the teaching of Christianity in schools under three main themes: 'Prophecy', 'Salvation' and 'Trinity'.

'Reconciliation in action' - Archbishop of Canterbury on church schools

First published 10th November 2014

Archbishop Justin Welby recently addressed a conference of church school leaders and Chairs of governing bodies in the Diocese of Birmingham.

To be continued…

First published 3rd November 2014

With my track record if I make another 12 years Ill have done well. It annoys me I wanted to do a parachute jump on my 80th birthday. There is a song by Rumer that starts, Is there a place where all I have lost will be returned to me? I get that. I w

KS2 RE - Christianity in Action

First published 3rd November 2014

This award winning resource is a creative, innovative way of opening up and applying Christian belief and teaching. The entry follows fictional 18-year-old Jim on his gap-year journey to Uganda.

Prioritising God in my life

First published 28th October 2014

Around the time I was 18 or 19 I became very sick with anorexia and depression. At my lowest moments I felt very angry with God. My memory is quite hazy of this time, but I do remember searching out churches trying to find answersI think I have alway

What we reap, we will sow…

First published 21st October 2014

The Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, a contemporary of mine at Ridley Hall, made the national news recently by seeking to define some reality for his diocese.

Young people celebrate faith in Christ

First published 20th October 2014

On Thursday 27 November young people from across the Diocese of Bristol are invited to say YES and celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ.

My story so far

First published 16th October 2014

I planned everything, wrote my suicide note, but felt that I should pray one more time - this time not to be helped, but to make my peace with GodI grew up in a family that was agnostic and I always had a wonder in my heart around the existence of Go

The challenge to go ‘One Step Beyond'

First published 16th October 2014

On Saturday 11 October two hundred leaders and volunteers gathered to be nurtured and challenged at 'One Step Beyond - the triennial Youth and Children's Work conference hosted by the dioceses of Bristol and Bath & Wells.

Ugandan visit strengthens Swindon link

First published 15th October 2014

Read the latest news of the Luwero Diocesan team in Swindon.

Bishop's Address - 20th September 2014

First published 15th October 2014

Anyone who was involved in any way with the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the past weekend, cannot but help to have been encouraged and inspired by his energy.

New lay ministers: catalysts for hope & transformation

First published 15th October 2014

We may find we have opportunities to share the good news of Christ which come out of the blue.

Bishop Lee backs Swindon's calls for climate justice

First published 15th October 2014

Swindoncampaigners are taking part in Christian Aids nationwideHunger For Justice action this month as they urge local MPs to act against the injustice of climate change.

Seeing God at work: looking back on Justin's visit

First published 15th October 2014

I will take from this weekend a huge amount of encouragement because I am seeing God at work. People learning to love and follow Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Justin in Swindon

First published 15th October 2014

During his tour of the Diocese of Bristol, the Archbishop spent the first half of Saturday in Swindon.

Fellowship and humility: reflections on Justin's visit to our prayer room

First published 15th October 2014

On the Friday night,Archbishop Justin was visibly moved by his visit to our Prayer Room at Hope Chapel, which was open for the duration of his tour of our diocese.

Conversations with sixth-formers

First published 15th October 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury began his three-day visit to the Diocese of Bristol with a Q&A session with sixth-form students at St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School in Bristol.

Ripples from the Archbishop's visit

First published 10th October 2014

The West Swindon and Lydiard Tregoze Church Partnership played host to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the morning of Saturday 13 September.

Church at the centre of the community in Pinehurst

First published 10th October 2014

Justin's visit has left a real buzz with those he met and it has increased people's awareness of the local church being active and a force for good in our neighbourhood.

Will Aid - an act of Christian stewardship

First published 10th October 2014

Could you help your family - and families across the world by making a will this November? Will Aid is a scheme supported by hundreds of solicitors across the South West which allows members of the public to make a will in exchange for a donation.

Reflections on the Malmesbury baptisms

First published 10th October 2014

I was proud to proclaim "This is my faith" in front of my wife, my friends from the Abbey, our baptismal group and ministers, the Archbishop and God!

Ian's reflections on reaffirmation and confirmation

First published 10th October 2014

Ian Dony was one of the candidates reaffirmed and confirmed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the wonderful baptism celebrations outside Malmesbury Abbey on 13 September 2014.Here are his reflections.Ians Re-affirmation and ConfirmationWhere do I st

Affirming ordinands in their callings

First published 9th October 2014

If there's one thing that is essential in ministry its knowing that you are in the hands of, and that you belong to, God Himself.

Prayers from a friend

First published 9th October 2014

I had been a Christian for over 25 years so I trusted God to stay with me, even if healing wasn't to be the plan for me.

Swindon examples - How do Christians care for others?

First published 8th October 2014

This unit of local RE asks the questions 'How do Christians care for others?' and examines the case studies of Swindon Foodbank and the Gateway Furniture project.

David John Banfield 1933-2014

First published 7th October 2014

David Banfield started life in the south-west and his life ended there following a distinguished career in the Church of England in a variety of different contexts.

A story about a nice bloke

First published 1st October 2014

To my horror, my wife had started going to church and had decided to become a Christian. I refused to talk to her about church or her faith because I thought she had been taken in by the "cult"I was raised a Catholic in a Roman Catholic family.

Seeds of faith

First published 29th September 2014

Prayer for me is simply talking to God, and because of that it can happen anytime, anywhere and with anyoneI was just as surprised as my family and loved ones when I came to faith earlier this year. Yet looking back over my life I can see how the see

Clergy kids weekend

First published 26th September 2014

Over the weekend of 19-21 September, 30 young people from clergy families in the dioceses of Bristol and Bath & Wells travelled to the Devon coast for the 12th Life to the Max.

Standing Room Only: videos available for download

First published 13th September 2014

We invited 1,000 people to join us in Bristol Cathedral for an event unlike any other.Setup with very subtle neon pink and blue lighting, Bristol Cathedral proved to be the perfect venue for this exceptional evening.

Our prayer for the Archbishop

First published 11th September 2014

Please join us in prayer for the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to the Diocese of Bristol this weekend, Friday 12 to Sunday 14 September 2014.

Body Prayer Movements

First published 10th September 2014

A great way to engage a class at the same time as stilling the pupils.

Bishop Lee in the hot seat

First published 4th September 2014

Bishop Lee will chair his first Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) meeting at the start of October, leading on the Dioceses work in schools and with young people in churches.

A spotlight on faith in our communities

First published 3rd September 2014

People across Bristol, Swindon and the West country are looking forward to the weekend of Friday 12 to Sunday 14 September.

Videos from the Archbishop's Visit

First published 3rd September 2014

To help all churches join in and build on the excitement surrounding the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to our diocese, video footage will be available shortly after his time with us.

An 'audacious' community project

First published 3rd September 2014

Members of St Michael's Church, Stoke Gifford have been taking a look at their new church and community centre ahead of its dedication next month.

Thanksgiving for Frenchay Hospital

First published 3rd September 2014

There was a special service of Thanksgiving for Frenchay Hospital at St John the Baptist in Frenchay in July.

Cross Tree Centre, Wraxall

First published 3rd September 2014

Situated in a beautiful location overlooking the valley, the Cross Tree Centre at All Saints Church Wraxall is available for hire and is an attractive and ideal venue for a parish away day, quiet day or meeting.

Foundation Governor: case study

First published 1st September 2014

Sally Sibley has been a Foundation Governor at St. Barnabas Church of England Primary School near Bristol for two years and explains the positive impact she makes to the development of the school and the education of its children.

Second chances

First published 28th August 2014

There seemed to be scepticism about God everywhere and when I went to university I decided that my beliefs where largely inherited and decided to drop church, prayers and Bible reading.God has been a major part of my life since childhood.Sometimes he

A lifelong adventure

First published 18th August 2014

I didnt know what was happening. I shed tears of joy; I did not know if I was coming or goingThe progress of my faith in Christ has been a gradual journey over many years.The seeds were sown when I was a small lad of about eight or nine years old. I

One step at a time

First published 12th August 2014

Hospital became my second home and I began to question if my trust in God was one I could justifyI was brought up in a Christian family but did not myself go to church or want want to have anything to do with Christianity. That was until I went to ch

Take delight in the Lord

First published 10th August 2014

Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heartI am amazed at what God has done in my life since I took the verse from Psalm 37:4 literally.I began to practice it by spending a day just doing what it says, delighting myself wi

Restore to me the joy

First published 6th August 2014

...knew I was forgiven and felt a wave of peace flow through me.I had just left my secondhusband and thinking how I could ever feel good about myself again.A friend loaned me a bible and I read Psalm 51 and knew I was forgiven and felt a wave of peac

Called to service

First published 5th August 2014

It felt amazing that I could do something, not for myself, but in the service of ChristWell, I believe that I have always had faith in God but it really became apparent when I was 13 and felt that I wanted to turn to Christ as Lord and have a relatio

Bishop's Letter: Into the looking glass

First published 31st July 2014

Bishop Mike asks if we apply the ways we learn best, to the ways we could seek to spread the Gospel message.

Teaching the Trinity

First published 29th July 2014

A collection of thirty ideas for teaching at Key Stages 1 and 2 about the distinctive Christian understanding of God.

Excellent Christianity lesson plans

First published 25th July 2014

These lesson plans for KS1 and KS2 are from Christian Concepts Unpacked' which has been developed by Sailsbury Diocese.

Trying to be good

First published 24th July 2014

I could not believe in a vengeful God and it was only gradually that I came to know Jesus as a real person and friend.Death is something we all face. As an 8 year old, I faced my mother's death knocked off her bicycle by a car. We attended a modern

Bishop Lee arrives in Land's End

First published 21st July 2014

The Bishop of Swindon, the Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield successfully completed his epic bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 13 Truro to Land's End (43 miles)

First published 19th July 2014

At around 2pm Mike and I arrived at Land's End to a rapturous applause.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 12 Okehampton to Truro (72 miles)

First published 18th July 2014

Today as I followed the signage from Bodmin to St Austell I recalled my father-in-law's words about 'Cornish miles'.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 11 Glastonbury to Okehampton (84 miles)

First published 17th July 2014

Today's central character unfortunately has no name but was our rescuer when the signposting, the map and the Garmin SatNav conspired to confuse.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 10 Gloucester to Glastonbury (91 miles)

First published 16th July 2014

This was a day of the musketeers! Some 70 miles of the total were ridden in a relay of fellow cyclists from across the Diocese, with wonderful contributions from the stars of the Malmesbury Abbey kitchen.


First published 16th July 2014

...this basic conviction that I was here because I was a mistake ran very deep in my life.For most of my life my fundamental conviction about myself, deep down, was that I was an accident. I was adopted at a very young age. I knew I was an unplanned

Celebrating Margaret's 40 years of lay ministry

First published 16th July 2014

Sunday 22nd June was a day of celebration for Margaret Williams at Christ Church, Swindon, beginning with a special service to mark 40 years of lay ministry.

How to build a community centre

First published 16th July 2014

Our investment in the new centre embodies our mission to put across the Christian message of love and service in a very practical way.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 9 Church Stretton to Gloucester (73 miles)

First published 15th July 2014

No time to post yesterday evening as it was a day of transition.

The Vote on Women Bishops - About Time Too!

First published 14th July 2014

On Monday 14 July, the General Synod of the Church of England gave its final approval to legislation paving the way for women Bishops.

Table Talk works - hear from people who've used it

First published 14th July 2014

It takes the church out of an old church building and puts it out in the community where it needs to be - Talking about issues of faith outside of a church setting isn't always easy.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 8 Wigan to Church Stretton (82 miles)

First published 13th July 2014

Sabbath post - arrived safely and in good time.

Le Tour de Lee - Day 6 Moffat to Shap (76 miles)

First published 11th July 2014

As the days go on, the Tour de Lee is beginning to resemble its more illustrious cousin in two interesting ways.

A Friend's Scheme for a Parish Church

First published 11th July 2014

Have you ever wondered how to set up a 'Friend's Scheme'for your parish church?

Le Tour de Lee - Day 5 Uphall to Moffat (60 miles)

First published 10th July 2014

Today's narrative has to centre around Simon...On our journey we have seen a number of other cyclists coming in the opposite direction.

Aligning actions and lifestyle

First published 10th July 2014

I knew I had changed when I next met with the man I had been committing adultery with.It seems to me that before I was baptised I was quite narrow and self interested and had few outside interests or concerns unless there was some benefit to me.I had

Le Tour de Lee - Day 4 Perth to Uphall, near Edinburgh (47 miles)

First published 9th July 2014

Having seen two bikes on the roof rack some of you may be wondering when Mike has had the chance to ride his. After all, acting as my 'Director Sportif', domestique and general factotum has been a full time occupation!

Reflections on my calling

First published 9th July 2014

Am I doing something because I think it will be good for me and I want to do it, or because I know deep within myself that God is calling me?

Le Tour de Lee Day 3 - Aviemore to Perth (91 miles)

First published 8th July 2014

We have been well looked after by the staff in the Hotels and Guest Houses we have stayed in, with the breakfasts a key feature.

Le Tour de Lee Day 2 - Brora to Aviemore (90 miles)

First published 7th July 2014

Three category 3 climbs, two category 4's and one category 5. This may all be meaningless to you but not to my legs!

Archbishop Justin visits the Diocese

First published 7th July 2014

I saw God at work, people learning to love and follow Jesus Christ, and loving their communities Archbishop Justin Welby Wow!

Grace, peace and trust

First published 7th July 2014

I had a Christian background but a few years later, God showed me that there was moreI was 11 years old. For some reason, unknown then (but known now), I wanted to read my Bible.At this age, I was sitting at the back of the class listening to the Eas

Le Tour de Lee Day 1 - John O'Groats to Brora (64 miles)

First published 6th July 2014

Mike Palmer and I were boarded in Brora overnight so we had to travel an hour and half to the off at John O Groats.

Le Tour de Lee Day -1 (getting closer)

First published 5th July 2014

As I write today we have just had our afternoon break in the lee of Ben Nevis. No time for a closer look, let alone climbing GBs highest mountain, as we are still 120 miles from our destination.

Le Tour de Lee: Day -2 (heading up north)

First published 4th July 2014

Having taken two hours yesterday to assemble and fit the roof bars and bike carriers, this morning Mike and I loaded the car and set off for the Grand Depart on Sunday.

Learning to Forgive

First published 3rd July 2014

I felt terribly guilty and anxious, and suddenly found myself unable to cope ... I had to learn to forgive others, and to forgive myself, and I think only by the grace of God was that possible.Share your story! is the message we keep being told at th

Creating Confidence - in action

First published 3rd July 2014

Thanks to Revd Steve Wilkinson, Priest in Charge of the Woodbridge Group in North Wiltshire for sharing this report on their Creating Confidence Sunday.

My first year in curacy

First published 1st July 2014

Revd John Monaghan was ordained as a priest at Bristol Cathedral on Sunday 29 June by the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill.

A journey of faith

First published 1st July 2014

I was not ashamed of it or frightened what others might think.It always was. It was like wallpaper. You see it every day, but you do not really notice of it. That piece at the edge which is peeling off - you hardly ever notice. You live with it.That

When one door closes, another opens

First published 27th June 2014

Every time I came out of church, tears fell from me. It was impossible to stop it; it was almost as if my heart was screaming out at me. I was inconsolable.I had worked long hours to give the children everything they wanted; I just did not show enoug

Spotlight on Property

First published 17th June 2014

"Healthy houses = happy clergy = healthy ministry. It's the part we can play in the mission of the Church." Sally Moody

A post-modern refrain

First published 17th June 2014

When I got together the courage to walk up the hill, and actually go to church, it was better than I could have imagined. Since I let Jesus into my life, and have asked God what he wants from me (rather than the other way round), everything has chang

Bishop Lee swaps robes for lycra

First published 17th June 2014

From Friday 4 July, Bishop Lee will be straddling the saddle of his bike for the next fortnight as he begins a mammoth cycle ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Airbus Supports Poppy Campaign

First published 16th June 2014

Staff at Airbus in Filton plant poppies on site A special service of dedication was held at Airbus at Filton, led by Revd Canons Elspeth Desmond and Brian Arman from St Peters Church in Filton.

We Have Our Lives

First published 16th June 2014

Bristol Cathedral remembers the First World War - and invites you to get involved Sombre the night is.

We're not afraid to use the 'E' word

First published 16th June 2014

As we gear up for Creating Confidence Sunday on 6 July and look ahead to the Archbishop's visit in September, we consider why we're no longer fearful of 'gossiping the gospel'.

Martin earns his green beret

First published 13th June 2014

Congratulations to Revd Martin Gainsborough who was awarded his green beret in May, following 13 months of gruelling training as a Commando with the Royal Marines Reserve Bristol.

Hearing God on the M4

First published 13th June 2014

If someone had asked me if I believed in God, I would have said probably not, but it was the last question anyone would ask anyway, it would have been so irrelevant to my life experience and the people I knew.My story began about 18 years ago when I

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