Bristol Baptist College is seeking a full-time College Principal, to start in Summer 2023.
The role of the Principal of Bristol Baptist College is, under God’s guidance, to provide inspiring Christian leadership for all who work or study at the College. We are looking for an accredited/recognised Baptist Minister committed to working out discipleship in and through community, sharing collegially with other staff, and working strategically with the Trustee Board. The person needs to be committed to working ecumenically and flexibly to enable appropriate patterns of training and formation in response to the changing contexts of church life and culture.
There is a genuine occupational requirement that the post-holder is Christian.
Closing date for applications: Friday 16th December 2022 Interviews: Monday 30th January 2023
To apply, please email a completed application form to the College Manager, Sophie Atkinson, firstname.lastname@example.org or send by post to Bristol Baptist College, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3NJ.
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.
On Wednesday 23rd March we joined together at Westbury Baptist Church for our Community Day, and celebrated the book launch of “The Story of Bristol Baptist College”. It was fantastic to meet in person after being unable to meet for the past few years.
If you were unable to join us, you can catch up with the recording onYouTube. The order of service can be found below, although sadly we are not yet able to provide drinks through a screen so you will need to provide your own refreshments!
On the day, old friends became reacquainted and new Ministers-in-Training were welcomed into the community. We gave thanks for and remembered those of the community no longer with us. In particular we remembered former Principal John Morgan-Wynne, and Anthony Cross, who had been working with Ruth Gouldbourne on the release of the book on our college history. As joy and sorrow mingled, we were reminded of the importance of community.
Steve Finamore (College Principal) provided an update of news in the college and the community, including staffing changes. Peter Hatton stepped down from his role as Biblical Studies tutor, and Helen Paynter joined the college full-time as a tutor and to oversee Academic Studies; she also leads the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. As Helen stepped away from our community learning programme, the college recruited Lindsay Caplen to lead the course (EMD). Fran Brealey retired from her role as College Manager after 13 years (although remains with us for 1 day a week), and Sophie Atkinson was promoted from College Administrator to fill this role. Abi Reid joined the team to fill the gap of College Administrator. Lis Pearce stepped down as our chaplain, a position that was initially filled by Eleanor Moffat. Eleanor became the tutor for a new Ministerial Formation hub in Exeter so left the chaplaincy role, which was filled by Sam King, who we were delighted to welcome to the team. Michael Docker stepped down from chair of Council, and has served tremendously; the role has been filled by Ruth Bottoms. All in all, there has been a lot of change and we continue to keep our eyes looking forward to God’s vision for the college.
This was followed by the book launch, which felt bittersweet in many ways with the passing of Anthony. We all knew that it would have brought him great joy to see the finished book. Helen read some words from his wife Jackie for the occasion. Ruth took us through the process of compiling the book and we are very grateful.
The excellent David Bebbington presented his keynote address regarding the history of the Bristol Baptist College, in particular: “The Significance of Bristol Baptist College”.
It was then time for lunch; the weather was glorious and it was a great time to connect with past fellow students and colleagues.
Nigel Wright next shared his keynote address “Theology and ministerial formation in the Bristol Baptist traditions” for food for thought. You can read a transcript of his address, including references and bibliography, here.
A panel Q&A followed, featuring: Ruth Gouldbourne, David Bebbington, Nigel Wright, and Steve Finamore (chair). Questions presented were related to: shifting culture to value theological training; how to teach evangelical/biblical theology to congregations that are used to learning through soundbites; is it helpful to have to have an ‘academic’ qualification to measure theology or is this a hinderance?
After a final refreshments break, we entered a communion service, presided over by Chris Ellis via Zoom (unfortunately he was unable to join us in person). Brian Haymes preached, challenging and encouraging us to remember and reflect on the vows made in our lives. Ruth Bottoms led the prayers, bringing to mind those in conflict and those displaced, bringing them before God with the peace that Jesus taught. We took communion and joined together in worship with a song written by Chris Ellis, to the tune of ‘Ebenezer’. After one final worship song, Steve concluded the service with a prayer.
What a fantastic day together! If you missed it or want to re-live it you can find the recording on YouTube.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, “The Story of Bristol Baptist College”, please email Abi Reid at email@example.com and an invoice will be sent to you . The books are £15 each plus P+P (usually £18.35 total).
10.00 Welcome Steve Finamore and Worship led by Rob Howlett
10.20 College Community News Steve Finamore
10.35 Book Launch Steve Finamore & Ruth Gouldbourne
Bristol Baptist College is delighted to invite you to attend Community Day 2022 where we will be celebrating over 300 years of training people for ministry in Bristol.
Join us as we hear from Revd Dr Nigel Wright and Professor David Bebbington, along with the launch of the College History, introduced by Revd Dr Ruth Goldbourne. Former college Principals Revd Dr Chris Ellis and Revd Dr Brian Haymes will also be taking part.
Community Day 2022 will take place on Wednesday 23rd March, 9.30am – 4.00pm at Westbury-On-Trym Baptist Church, Reedley Rd, BS9 3TE. Lunch will be provided.
We are recruiting a part-time College Administrator. The role is for 20 hours a week, with flexibility as to when these hours are worked. The role will be to work as part of the small friendly admin team at the college, assisting with the administration of the college’s courses and activities.
Closing Date for Applications: Friday 5th November 2021 Interviews: During the week beginning 8th November
Please be aware that next week (26th – 30th October 2020) is half-term and the college building will be closed for the week.
Some staff will be working from home, while others will be on annual leave. So if you need to get in touch with someone during the week please email them and they will get back to you when they are able.
The building will be back open on 2nd November 2020.
Bristol Baptist College is delighted to announce three recent staff appointments.
Revd Dr Helen Paynter has been appointed as Tutor in Biblical Studies and Coordinator in Theological Education. Helen will continue in her role as Director of the Centre for the Study of the Bible and Violence based at the College. Previously a medical doctor, Helen is a former student of the College and has been Associate Minister in two Bristol churches, alongside teaching at colleges and universities in the South West and South Wales. She is the author of a number of books including God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today. Helen loves to help people get to grips with the Bible, because she has seen its power to transform lives. She loves to study it, preach it, teach it, encourage others to study and understand it, and help others to learn to read it in its original languages.
Revd Lindsay Caplen has been appointed as College Tutor and Coordinator of Community Learning, with responsibility for our Saturday programme Prepare, Feed, Sustain, and other training events offered to local churches. Lindsay is a Regional Minister in the West of England, and a consultant with the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). Prior to Baptist ministry, Lindsay worked for a national charity establishing and leading UK projects relating to prostitution, homelessness and substance misuse. Lindsay is passionate about the local church, facilitating the birth and growth of new forms of church from within old, developing new expressions of church, leadership development and helping leaders develop a ‘missional spirituality’.
Phil Grasham has been appointed as College Tutor with responsibility for DiscipleMakers, a year-long programme to explore calling and discipleship. Phil is an itinerant Bible teacher who has been involved in evangelism and church planting in both East and West Africa. He has worked as Director of Ministry for Ashburnham Place and for BMS World Mission as a Mission Trainer. Before all that, he was a zookeeper! Phil is excited about Disciple-Makers as a programme which promotes life-long learning to become everything Jesus wants us to be and to do.
College Principal Steve Finamore said “I am absolutely delighted with all three new team members. Each is a passionate, eloquent and experienced disciple of Jesus and who loves God and loves the Scriptures. These appointments demonstrate the college’s commitment to the highest standards and to working with our strategic partners to equip the people of God to engage in the huge variety of opportunities for mission and ministry that the future will bring.”
For all enquiries about his press release please contact: the College Manager firstname.lastname@example.org July 2nd 2020
about ministry training, studying theology, college options, God’s guidance, and more.
Are you exploring a call to any kind of ministry?
Are you aware of the various flexible options at Bristol Baptist College to study theology, ministry and mission and be better equipped to serve Jesus?
Would a 1-2-1 conversation be useful?
In this time of social distancing we have a unique opportunity to stop and reflect on our lives, and think about where God might be leading us next. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk through your options with someone else. So we are opening up the possibility for you to have a 1-2-1 conversation with one of our tutors via a video call.
Tim has 25 years of church pastoral experience and the past 4 years as a ministerial tutor at Bristol Baptist College. He is a friend and mentor to many who exercise Christian ministry in churches, chaplaincies, Children, Youth and Family roles and pioneering contexts. In 2018 he designed the Disciple-Makers programme for church interns and those who remain on the frontline for Jesus in their regular paid-employment.
Due to procedures being put in place during the Coronavirus outbreak there will be no access for visitors wishing to use the Library or Special Collections until further notice.
For the moment it is still possible to reply to enquiries by post or e-mail, but this too may become increasingly impractical if staff are forced to self-isolate. Updates will be posted on the college Facebook page as the situation develops. I very much regret the inconvenience this will cause, but these measures are deemed an essential and proportionate response to the current crisis.
Michael Brealey, Librarian & Archivist 18 March 2020