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Tributes to Rev Bob Mills (1944-2022)

As City Centre Chaplain, appointed in 1987, Bob Mills quickly developed a trademark: when working he wore a beige suit and clerical shirt. He deliberately dressed to occupy a position which was neither management nor shop floor. He was instantly recognisable. Affectionately known by some as ‘Beige Bob’ he was available to all who worked in the city.

“… seek the welfare of the city …” (Jeremiah 29:7), provided a key text for Bob. He worked closely with the Broadmead Board and developers as they revitalised the city centre in response to the competition from out-of-town shopping centres. When, after 10 years, the initial grant from Home Mission tapered off the shops and offices helped to cover the cost of the chaplaincy.

Bob was a counsellor to many individuals working in the city as they faced life’s challenges. With the help of Miss Kathleen Blewett he ‘remembered’ countless anniversaries with cards and a personal greeting.

Bob’s ministry was underpinned by prayer. He often walked the four miles from home to his office in Broadmead for exercise and to create time and space for reflection. In the church he arranged a small chapel area where he conducted lunchtime services on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It was my privilege, as the minister of Broadmead Baptist Church, to work alongside Bob from 1997 until he retired in 2009. Among the many things I learnt from him was the importance of recognising the Kingdom beyond the walls of the church.

by John Houseago

Bob came to College from the Horfield Church. He will be remembered by his fellow students for his boyish good looks, his beautiful bass singing voice,  his quiet presence and his pastoral compassion. He had pastorates at Yeovil, Castle Bromwich and Keynsham. Then, the ministry to the people of Bristol City Commercial Centre, linked with the Broadmead Church was an amazing creative work of pastoral care, touching hundreds of lives.  This was pioneering work, open and available to the city. It meant Bob having to face all manner of social and pastoral challenges. It was remarkable how quickly he gained the trust of the management, staff and customers of the big stores. He was the first minister I knew who carried a bleeper, being on call. He was known to be caring, full of integrity, who could keep confidences. People sought his care. This ministry needs remembering with careful reflection. He also gave great service as the secretary/treasurer of the Gesture Fund, that unique College expression of our mutual care in Christ. Many of us thank God for Bob’s letters and gifts of encouragement. Somehow he got to know of colleagues needs and he responded, a loving ministry. He was a faithful friend, full of compassion with wide missionary vision and love of people. He had a deep gift for leading others in prayer.  His ministry was blessed by his marriage to Janet who cared for him especially in the last difficult months of illness.

by Brian Haymes

Student Blog: Models for Youth Ministry

modelsforyouthministryThis semester Bristol CYM students have been reading and reflecting on Models for Youth Ministry by Steve Griffiths. They had some great things to say about it and we thought we’d share some of their thoughts with you.

One of the students summed up the content of the book like this:

“The book contains many different ideas about styles of ministry but each with a specific focus on the relationship between Kairos and Chronos time.  Griffiths sets out that Chronos time is the understanding of developing relationship with young people that then allows us to share our faith with them; the thinking that we have to earn the right to share our faith with those around us.  Griffiths goes on to talk about Kairos time, the shift in thinking to a position where we think about the quality of time we have, those moments when time slows and we enter this ‘golden’ time where much is achieved even without the relationship to back it up.”

After studying a chapter a week together they all found something useful in the book.

“At the end of each chapter there are helpful sections which address key points outlined in the chapter, and pose questions to inspire you to keep thinking about this in your own context. These ‘Pause for thought’ areas offer a light discussion base for you to work through as an individual or within a group setting. The questions are unavoidable directing your thoughts to the youth work setting you are involved with, which helps this book to assist you objectively and make a realistic impact in your work.”

And it’s not just useful for youth workers, one of our children & family work students had this to say about the book:

“A book about youth ministry might not seem an obvious choice for a children’s worker but Griffiths’ focus is on a change in outlook and overall methodology rather than on specific practical expressions of youth work. Although the focus of the book is on work with young people the concepts presented are universal and I believe the book would be of benefit to all those in ministry with people of any age.”

Another student agreed saying:

“Personally, it has revolutionised aspects of my practice, particularly in being more intentional in allowing space for, and seizing on, kairos moments within my group. However, during my studies and through discussions with ministerial students, I believe that it has almost as much weight for those who practice ministry in a more general sense. There are certain aspects of the book that definitely lend themselves to the title being models for ministry, as opposed to just youth ministry.”

Here at Bristol CYM we believe in equipping our students to be the best practitioners they can be, and studying a book like this together as a group is just one of the many ways we do that.

If you’re interested in training for ministry contact us on 01179 469 209 or email to find out more.

Study With Bristol Baptist College

Would you like to study theology? Ministry? Mission? Or know someone else who might be interested in studying with us?

Come along to one of our upcoming Open Days, where you can find out all about our exciting new courses validated by Durham University, meet staff and students, tour the building, and ask any questions you might have.

The next Open Days are on Saturday 23rd April 10am – 1pm, and Monday 23rd May 7pm – 9pm at Bristol Baptist College.

For more information or to book your place please email us at

Revd Dr Roger Hayden

The Revd Dr Roger Hayden, former student, Chairman of Trustees and Honorary Research Fellow and Archivist of the College died on March 3rd at his home near Bristol. At a meeting of the Bristol Baptist College Council on Friday 11th March, trustees stood in silence to remember Roger and then recorded the College’s deep sense of gratitude to God for him and for all that he contributed to its life over many years.

Revd Michael Docker, the current Chair of Trustees writes, “We particularly acknowledged Roger’s crucial role as Chairman of the General Committee through the difficult period in the 1990s. I was able to attest to the deeply pastoral way in which he engaged with key figures in the College’s life at that time and the passion that he brought to bear on discussions about the future. The record shows that he was pivotal in making the move from the Woodland Road site possible. Roger, I know, would say that he had only followed in the footsteps of others; he did so with wisdom and a level of commitment and vision that really helped to hold things together. As the College’s archivist in more recent years, Roger was able to use his considerable historical knowledge to good effect and for his significant work in adding to the archive and clarifying records where needed, the College is also profoundly grateful.”

There will be a service of thanksgiving for Roger’s life on Friday April 8th at 2pm at Broadmead Baptist Church to which all are invited.

Who Am I?



Today our Year 1 CYM students are thinking about the therapeutic uses of play. We wanted to share the following poem with you that one of the students wrote in response to reading a book called Dibbs in Search of Self, which explores this idea.


Who Am I…


I am no one, a wanderer forced to stay on this plane

I am everything, what I touch and see, what I taste

I am hidden and unavailable and silent

I am obvious

I am here and I am shouting my name

I am invisible

You hate me, I hate myself

You love me, I have to learn to learn to love

One helps another to grow

We learn together,

We grow together,

An age passes

I see me differently

You see me differently

We see me differently

I am a voice that commands attention

I am a person who is there

I am a boy