Happy Christmas everyone!
God is doing so many exciting things across the Bristol region!
Here are a few examples of the Christian community working together across the Bristol region in the last few months, with Praise for what has happened in 2018 and Prayer for 2019.
Please pass these on to all your contacts to encourage them and for prayer!
We thank God for:
1. The old Bristol Networks website and its faithful editing since 2011 by Adam Hudson. Funding for it comes to an end. If you want to contribute to an appeal to help pay Adam for some final work over the new few months, please find out how here. Many thanks!
2. Hope 2018 with 1400 volunteers from 93 churches working on 173 projects in 25 communities across Bristol over a week...remarkable!
3. The Bristol Churches City Fund, which has reached its initial fundraising target and the first 5 projects have been awarded grants. Further fundraising will continue into 2019. The website has a film and tells us how to donate.
4. The Bristol Churches Winter Night Shelter, with over 400 volunteers from about 60 churches, which ran from January until the end of March (see here). To get involved in 2019, see here
5. The 3 prayer breakfasts, with Mayor Marvin, with between 50 and 100 church leaders, who are also gathering in small groups to build friendships and help “stitch the city together” across North and South, and different ethnic backgrounds. Keyboard 2020 has had regular lunches involving a small group of black church leaders, with 3 of Together4Bristol's (T4B) new partners coming from networks of black-led churches.
6. The Christian community's increased involvement in the the Mayor's City Office, including the Feeding Bristol initiative, with breakfast clubs at the 20 to 30 schools in Bristol with the highest proportion of children on free school meals (up to 75%). Over 10,000 meals were provided over the summer holidays to children at risk of hunger.
7. Progress for 7 Offers from the Christian community which have been made to City Office. For example, CAP Money Matters courses are provided in 4 Children’s Centre hubs. And early intervention brings hope to struggling children in Education through TLG (Transforming Lives for Good). There are now 6 churches involved. For all the churches making contacts with local schools through Bristol Schools Connection. Pray for these all to spread in 2019.
8. The City Hall gathering on 5th May, called “Building Bristol as a City of Hope”, which gathered 200 key city leaders from business, public sector, charities and churches to raise awareness about how the Christian community is engaging with the City Office and to explore how we can work together even more.
9. The eleven churches involved in learning hubs with the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC) to become whole life discipleship churches. And the renewed engagement with Transform Work UK, encouraging about 20 Christian Workplace groups across Bristol, with more being formed.
10. The October Prayer conference attended by about 100 people, which told stories about how prayer and action have dramatically changed situations in Bristol recently and which focussed on the issue of student suicides, including the Clifton Suicide Prevention Group
11. The Bristol Housing Festival’s launch exhibition, the first event for the five-year festival, which over 6,000 people visited and which started to re-imagine affordable housing solutions for the city.
12. For six gatherings of Burn 24/7 Bristol worship gatherings over 2018, in places such as Lawrence Weson, Victoria Park and Lockleaze.
We pray for:
1. The completion of a new website which combines the old Bristol Networks, Christian Action Bristol and Together4Bristol websites. Plus a new website, called Building Bristol as a City of Hope, to help spread good news stories across the city.
2. The launch of the One Church, One Day: 24/7/365 prayer initiative to cover the city in continual prayer. For more information contact the Crawleys: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Bristol Noise , from 4 to 6 May, which shows God's love in practical ways, for example by doing community projects, having Family Fun Days and Senior Citizens Events.
4. The appointment of a Keyboard 2020 networker, to connect across over 30 black-led churches in the region, to help them be stronger together and to engage more with the rest of the Christian community, and to help everyone collaborate together on issues of social and racial justice.
5. Including the issues raised by the visit in July, of the replica slave ship, the Zong , which will be a catalyst for change, so that Bristol is no longer the most racially segregated of the ten core cities, according to the 2017 Runnymede Report .
6. For the Christian community's engagement with the Mayor and council to keep developing, for example through the various Offers to City Office mentioned in the Praise points above and through parenting and relationships courses (Family sphere) in Children's Centres and Home for Good , helping to foster and adopt vulnerable children, which starts in Bristol in the new year.
7. And through the church leaders' prayer breakfasts with the Mayor at St Stephen's Church. The next one is January 10th from 7am to 8.30am. If you are a church leader, contact Silas Crawley: email@example.com
8. The writing of an excellent Manifesto from the Christian community in time for the 2020 Mayoral election and of a longterm vision for Building Bristol as a City of Hope until 2035 or 2050.
9. For various conferences this year. Including the Kingdom Creatives' (Arts sphere) Outreach Gatherings at the Colston Hall and at the Cheltenham Christian Festival in the Spring and the Health Sphere's conference: "Hope and Wholeness: Re-envisioning hope & wellbeing in caring professions" in March.
Also Global Aware Bristol invite you to the Festival of Transformation taking place in Bristol City Hall on Saturday 9th February 2019: an event that brings together social and environmental justice issues, with God's heart and vision for change.
Please email us if you no longer wish to receive these prayer bulletins.
Derick Mulubwa, Prayer facilitator, Together4Bristol / Arise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Roger Allen, Enabler, Together4Bristol (email@example.com )