“Building Community in Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke”

paulhinckley-webBradley Stoke Matters was delighted to be invited along to the launch celebration of the new Parish of Bradley Stoke, held at Bradley Stoke Community School at the end of February.  It was lovely to see so many familiar faces across the Church families of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, as well as St Michael’s Stoke Gifford and St Chad’s in Patchway.

Bradley Stoke Matters has written several articles over the years regarding the new Parish of Bradley Stoke, which finally came into being in October 2015 after some years of anticipation and many months of consultation, prayer and planning.

John Ford from Christ the King was part of the original congregation when it was ‘planted’ from St Michael’s 27 years ago as the new church for Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke.  It first met at the Little Stoke Community Centre and had many “lovely people who supported each other”; Steve Smith and his wife Liz were the cement that started to build Christ the King before the physical building was built.

David Head from Holy Trinity Church recalled how the church first started in the vicar’s house when it was planted by St Chad’s in Patchway some 25 years ago.  It quickly grew too big and moved to the ‘blue hut’, a portacabin, which was its temporary home for four years before the current school and building were completed.

The churches of Christ the King and Holy Trinity now make up the Parish of Bradley Stoke (previously they were in separate parishes of Stoke Gifford and Patchway), bishop-mike-webwith Paul Hinckley as the vicar in charge of the Parish.  Paul spoke of the good news of the new partnership between the two local churches and emphasised how this coming together evolved from a position of strength and should not be perceived as both churches failing in anyway – to the contrary both are very busy and the buildings are in frequent use by the community throughout the week!  Both churches are currently working together in 2017 on a combined visit to Uganda.

Paul commented “This partnership is Good News and can only help in the building of community in Bradley Stoke & Little Stoke.  Whilst the two churches will maintain their own identities, the partnership will enable us to share resources as we share common objectives in the neighbourhood we live in and the community we serve”.

Bishop Mike Hill gave an inspirational address and said that the new partnership was “an opportunity for both church families to make a difference”.

roger-webMusic groups for both churches combined to accompany the worship songs whilst prayers for a healthy partnership and community life concluded the celebration, whereby we retired to the foyer for refreshments and an amazing array of cakes!

Thank you to Chris Dobson from the Diocese of Bristol for sharing his photos with me, enabling me to enjoy the service.

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