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Home > Home Articles > Features > A Big Vision for a Good Bristol 2020

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A Big Vision for a Good Bristol 2020


written by Together for Bristol, see here
and approved by the senior Church Leaders of Churches Together in Greater Bristol.
To read the full version of the Big Vision for a Good Bristol: Click Here
 
 

A Big Vision for a Good Bristol 2020 (“The Post” December 31st 2020)



This is an article written in a Bristol newspaper (The Post) at the end of 2020, which describes the fantastic changes which have taken place in the Bristol region over the previous five years or so (2016 to the end of 2020) as a result of the Christian community working together for the good of Bristol.

Something remarkable has happened across Bristol in these last five years or so, which has helped to transform the Christian community and Bristol society and to “make goodness fashionable” again.

Under the banner, Together for Bristol (T4B), a “unity for mission movement” has reached maturity as a “network of networks”, using a visionary, relational approach, with light structures.

Church leaders and Christian leaders from the prayer networks and spheres of society (Sport, Health, Education and Young People, Family, Politics and Social Action, Arts, Media and Business and Workplace) have regularly gathered together, building relationships and unity. The facilitators of the different spheres of life have formed core teams and had several wider gatherings, including conferences for hundreds of people (1) .
They have also improved communication across the Christian community, including through websites and other social media (2).

They have worked together and have engaged with people of goodwill: to see people becoming followers of Jesus and every aspect of society in the region changed for good, including through more just policies from the council and others.

Everyday Christians, from all denominations, streams, class and ethnic backgrounds, have been praying in scores of small groups in churches, homes and workplaces across the Bristol region. Many Christian Workplace Groups have been set up (3), in schools (4), businesses, the BBC and hospitals (5). Nearly every church is linking with a local school (6).

Churches have become more city-focussed. They have worked together to establish Foodbanks (7), Street Pastors and debt advice centres(8). Christians have led the way. They have set up networks to work together strategically, to help ex-offenders and addicts (9) They are also leading three big investment funds for social enterprise (10).

They have had dozens of gatherings in open spaces (such as Parties in the Park) (11) to engage with their local communities. Churches have helped to bring sports coaching to schools, especially in South Bristol. Over a couple of hundred children a year have made a commitment to Jesus at holiday sport camps (12). These and other activities, such as parenting courses (13), have helped local churches connect with a much broader cross section of society.

The whole Church had a whole year of mission (14) to engage with people across the whole region.

They developed a learning hub to help change the mind-set of the Christian community, to release everyday Christians to be witnesses in ALL aspects of life (15).

The Christian community has learnt more about how to share their faith with people in word and deed in every aspect of life. Thousands of people have found that Jesus loves them. Their individual lives and families have been transformed as they learn to live God's ways in every area of their lives and this has affected the whole region for good...”

Notes: These are just a few examples of the wonderful work done by the Christian community in the last five years (2016 to 2020), working together for the good of the Bristol region.
  1. Such as “Love Work” and Global Aware Bristol.
  2. Such as the Bristol Networks and Together for Bristol websites.
  3. In collaboration with Transform Work UK and local churches
  4. With Pray for Schools and Prayer Space in Schools
  5. Such as Southmead
  6. With activities such as Open the Book, with a thousand volunteers across the region.
  7. Linked to the 5K Partnership
  8. Christians Against Poverty
  9. Such as Vision for the Vulnerable (engaging with vulnerable women), Sixty One (with ex-offenders), the Addiction Network and the Homeless Forum.
  10. Such as the Resonance Fund.
  11. Plus Family Fun Days, as part of the Noise, and Keep Sunday Special
  12. Partnered with World Sport Ministries
  13. Plus “Parent Buddies” linked to the National Parenting Initiative
  14. Linked with Hope 2018
  15. With the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, to engage significantly with about 50 churches in the Bristol region by 2020