In response to the missional challenge Urban Expression agreed that we should start working in Bristol, and in autumn 2009 we started working on setting up two steering groups in the city – one to focus on the multicultural East of the city and the other to focus on the mainly white estates in the south.
Dynamic Partnerships in Bristol
The mission challenge in Bristol is very significant. However it seems that the Spirit is moving and in some senses we are running to keep up. Creative working relationships exist already between denominations, especially Anglican and Baptist with the exiting involvement of both the Baptist and Anglican colleges in the city: both of them are very involved in mission in Bristol and developing new ways of training people to be involved incarnational mission and church planting in some of the most challenging areas. The Baptist college has formed a partnership with UE locally so that we can bring together the strengths of the college with the church planting energy and expertise of UE.
We are praying for people of all kinds with a passion for Jesus and a heart for urban church planting to get involved. Opportunities exist in both white estates and multicultural urban areas to join teams and incarnational communities which are associated with UE. In south Bristol, on the Knowle West estate a small community started in Sept 09 and is a very exciting incarnational expression of church based around a weekly Sabbath meal and a journey of exploring and living out convictions such as simplicity, prayer, hospitality, attentiveness … In East Bristol there seems to be a steady trickle of people over the last few years moving to the area with a vision for living in incarnational community. Opportunities also exist for those wishing to be involved in bi-vocational approaches to ministry and mission or for those who are seeking accredited ministerial training but want to be able to do it ‘out of the box’.