Advance Notice – temporary restrictions on access to library archives during Summer/Autumn 2018

Upgrading of the archives room later this year will necessitate the temporary removal to store of the library’s Special Collections. Therefore this material will be inaccessible for a period, and for some time after the commissioning of the strong room delays in fulfilling requests are likely while re-shelving is in progress. Every effort will be made to keep service interruptions to a minimum, but researchers are advised to enquire well in advance about any items they wish to view.

A start date has not yet been agreed for this project. Details will be posted here as soon as they are known. For further information and advice please contact

Michael Brealey, Librarian & Archivist, 1 May 2018

Encouraging Faith, Engaging Faith: The theology and practice of all-age worship

Join us on 7th February for a day conference focusing on the theology and practice of intergenerational worship in the local church, exploring the challenges and opportunities to exercise ministry which effectively connects with all ages and stages. It is aimed to equip college ministerial students, those on the MA Mission and Ministry with Children, Families and Young People course, as well being an accessible day resource for all local church leaders and workers with 0-18 age groups. We hope the afternoon will be practical and include lots of ‘How to’ ideas to take away…

0915 Coffee/Tea available 0945 Morning Prayers (led by College Student)
1000 Session 1: Generations, Church and Mission David Hilborn
1115 Coffee/Tea
1145 Session 2: Generations, Church and Mission David Hilborn
1300 Lunch (sandwiches provided)
1400 Session 3: Children and Family approaches to worship Jane Butcher
1500 Coffee/Tea
1530 Session 4: Building faith in the Church, Community and Home Jane Butcher
1630 Close

Wednesday 7 February 2018
9.30am to 4.30pm

Little Stoke Baptist Church 37 Kingsway Little Stoke Bristol BS34 6JW
(0.5 mile from Patchway Train Station; Car Parking at Little Stoke Baptist Church is available)

(£7, to include sandwich lunch, coffee/tea)
To book your place contact: Tim Welch at Bristol Baptist College: 0117 946 7050 or email:

David Hilborn is Principal of St John’s College, Nottingham. Prior to taking up this role in 2012, he was Assistant Dean of St Mellitus College. He was Head of Theology at the Evangelical Alliance from 1997-2006 and an Associate Research Fellow of the London School of Theology between 2000 and 2012. He joined the Church of England in 2002 and was an assistant minister in two London parishes before returning to Nottingham to lead St John’s. In addition to his duties at the college, he currently serves on the ministry team of St Luke’s, Gamston.
David has written and edited several books, including Picking up the Pieces (Hodder), The Nature of Hell, One Body in Christ: The History and Significance of the Evangelical Alliance (with Ian Randall), ‘Toronto’ in Perspective, God and the Generations: Youth, Age and the Church Today (with Matt Bird), Movement for Change: Evangelicals and Social Transformation (all Paternoster) and The Atonement Debate (with Derek Tidball and Justin Thacker – Zondervan).
David enjoys cricket, rock, folk, film and poetry. He also loves New York City!
Jane Butcher works for Bible Reading Fellowship where she is the Children and Family Ministry team leader which incorporates Faith in Homes. She also oversees the Barnabas in Schools team and is a Messy Church regional co-ordinator. Having originally trained as a teacher, Jane later worked within Children and Family ministry in the USA and UK before joining BRF in 2007.
Her passion/desire is that people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to experience the full richness of life and within that can understand how faith and daily life walk hand in hand through the joys and challenges.
Much of BRF’s work is supporting churches to engage with and support those in their church and community. As part of this work, Jane is involved with a variety of networks such as Children’s Ministry Network (formerly CGMC), Children Matter, Global Family Alliance, the Methodist Church and Church of England.
In her ‘spare’ time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, travelling and watching cookery programmes – dreaming of one day when her creations will look vaguely the same!

Come and join us!

School of Leadership

Coming up soon: School of Leadership

Come along to two exciting training days for anyone serving or moving into any form of leadership in the local church.

Speaker: Matt Frost, Minister, Cirencester Baptist Church

For further enquiries or to book your place, please contact: or call 01179 467 050

The training takes place at Cairns Road Baptist Church, Bristol, on 3rd and 24th February and costs £12.50 per day.

Hearts and Minds Conference 2018

Hearts and Minds is an annual day conference, sponsored by three Baptist Theological Colleges, which is designed to create a hospitable space for Baptists to think and talk about theology together.

This year, hearts and minds will be held at the South Wales Baptist College, 54 Richmond Road, Cardiff, CF24 3UR on Thursday 3rd May 2018, 9.30am – 4.00pm.

The day will cost £10. which includes refreshments and lunch.

To book your place, please contact Anita Monks by 19th April by emailing

Keynote Speaker
We look forward to welcoming Dr Kang-San Tan, General Director of BMS World Mission, as our keynote speaker. Prior to starting at BMS in October 2017, Kang-San was Executive Director of AsiaCMS. Heis the official spokesperson for the World Evangelical Alliance on interfaith issues and is a member of the Lausanne Theology Advisory Group. He is familiar with the UK scene having previously taught at Redcliffe College in Gloucester. He has a PhD in the Theology of Religions from Aberdeen University and his research interests include missional leadership, growing missional communities, Asian religions (Islam and Buddhism) and interfaith concerns. He is married to Loun-Ling and their daughter, Chara lives and works in Canada.

Short-paper Sessions
In addition to the keynote address, one of the attractions of hearts and minds is that it creates space for people to present papers about a range of theological topics. For some that means sharing part of the research that they are working on as part of a postgraduate course. For others, it means sharing their ideas about a topic which is of particular interest to them. During the short paper sessions, the idea is for a presentation of 15 to 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes open discussion. If you are interested in presenting such a paper at hearts and minds in May, please send a one page summary of the paper you would like to present to Dr Peter Stevenson at SWBC ( by Thursday 23rd March 2018 at the latest.

As car parking space at the College is very limited please use public transport where possible. The closest train station is Cardiff Queen Street. It’s also possible to walk from Cardiff Central station – but allow yourself 20 to 30 minutes for walking through town (depending on how quickly you walk!).

Coming Up Soon: Godly Play Taster Morning


This event is designed for those who wish to experience and reflect on Godly Play. It will be held within a Godly Play space and is an opportunity to experience a full Godly Play Session.

Godly Play
• Is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture
• Can be used in a variety of settings Churches, schools, hospitals, care homes for the elderly
• Is based on long established, tried and tested approaches
• Uses symbols and objects as well as words
• Values process, openness and discovery
• Encourages people to make meaning for themselves

The Heart of Godly Play
• Creating Sacred Space
• Building and working in community
• Learning religious language
• Using religious language to make meaning

• Welcome and Introductions
• Full Godly Play session – sacred story, wondering, response and feast
• Debrief – Q&A

Godly Play can help you see and do things differently!

Tyndale Baptist Church
Whiteladies Road
Bristol BS8 2QG

Saturday 23rd September, 9.30am – 11.30am.

Breakfast butties & drinks will be provided.

Suggested donation of £5.

To book your place please contact Sian Hancock or Alison Summerskill.

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.

Student Blog: Welcome To My Week

Student BlogBristol CYM is an amazing opportunity to learn and become more than we already are.  In the two days a week we are in Bristol Baptist College we cover so much theory we feel prepared to take on the world.  But the theory is only a part of our formation; the ability to answer a question is one thing but having the strength and capability to really lead is something completely different.  In this blog post I’m going to walk you through what those two days at college looked like for us a few weeks ago.

Tuesday morning we had a set of lectures on the Old Testament. This theological backing helps us not only to be better teachers when working with children and young people, but it helps revolutionise the way we each read the bible, and our personal faith journeys are only enhanced by having a greater understanding of the Word of God.

In the afternoon we had a lecture on Informal Learning with Children and Young People where we looked at the use of dialogue, parables and story. We experienced a Godly Play session and learnt about the techniques Jerome Berryman developed, and we discussed David Wenham’s writings on parables. Both authors taught us to never limit ourselves to learning only one lesson from anything we read, especially the parables of Jesus.

Later in the lesson we took some time to look at the practical application of what we had learnt using a ‘forked road’ scenario as John Dewey writes about.  We used role play to enact a conversation between a young trespasser (Goldie), the property owner (Ted) and a mediator from the Citizens Advice office and to find a resolution that supported the needs of the young person and the home owner.

On Wednesday morning we assembled for prayers in chapel before starting our day. Then we stepped into our first session, a core part of formation, looking at spirituality and discipleship.  Today’s topic was spiritual companionship – those people we journey with in our faith.

From there we moved into a session on Identity in Ministry where we looked at confronting potential failures in leadership, seemingly a tough subject, but looking at topics like this isn’t to scare us off but to prepare us to meet the real challenges we each face in ministry.

After a break we had our final session reviewing the book Models for Youth Ministry by Steve Griffiths. We were joined by an American Youth Pastor working in a church plant in Bristol.  We shared our thoughts as well as our experiences and the differences between each of our roles and the role of our visitor both here in the UK and in America.  It was a great opportunity to learn from others and to look at how to apply what we have read.

That afternoon we headed to a local Mosque to continue our unit on Reflecting on Diversity in Practice.  Learning about other world views and beliefs is important and helpful.  We had an amazing opportunity for Q and A as part of the visit, helping us better understand the differences and needs of others from our communities.

No two weeks at college are ever the same, so to end this post by saying we’ll do it all again next week would be inaccurate, but hopefully I have given you a taste of what life at Bristol Baptist College looks like.

Student Blog – Quiet Day

Student Blog

This day promised a lot.

A ‘quiet’ day, wedged in the middle of a busy week, in a busy term etc. etc. But I had signed up to a Franciscan style quiet day; hoping to take my mind of the deadlines of my essays, and to catch a break from the rushing around of my usual days.

A college day normal starting at 8:30am, on this day we had the luxury of a late start, and I arrived at the college lounge for 10am. After a coffee, a catch up and a rundown on how the day was going to flow, we began the quiet.

In my head there had been quite a build up as to what the quietness was going to behold. But, alone with my thoughts and in the stillness of the room, I found this day was the perfect time to reflect on my journey so far. Just over half of the way through my course, I took time to think back to the term I began my course in, right up until now. I feel massively blessed in how the years have turned out, and in taking time to really think over the changes that have happened and the curveballs that I have managed to dodge – my hope and strength is restored in God once again.

But less about me: What about it was Franciscan? St Francis of Assisi was a humble man living in 13th Century Italy. If he was around today, he would hate the thought of his famous status, and how much he is looked to as an example. However, the way he led his life in pure simplicity, not living within the security of money or work or even clothes, but just following in light of these three commands of the bible:

Matthew 10:10 “Take no bag for the journey, or extra shirt or sandals or a staff…”

Matthew 19:21 “”If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Luke 9:23 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Many people began to literally follow in the footsteps of St Francis, and soon the brotherhood was formed. His life details many accounts of how he was committed to God, and how God worked miracles in his life. Hearing of this saint, I found it humbling and inspiring to know that someone can be so blessed when they have so little.

This day helped me to think about the extra bits of stuff I could shake off to help make my life simpler. Even just as much as portioning a part of your day to be quiet in that you don’t look at your phone, or spend money, or answer any emails etc. Think about how you could simplify your life, and let it be blessing to you.


Hearts and Minds 2017

Bigger and better than last year, and with a new venue too. Hearts and Minds is a conference for Baptist Ministers where you will have an opportunity to present or listen to papers within a friendly, supportive environment.

This year’s keynote speaker will be David Kerrigan, General Director, BMS World Mission.

Hearts and Minds will take place on Tuesday 4th April, 2017, 9.30am- 4pm at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

Cost: £10, to include refreshments and lunch

To offer a paper, contact Anthony Clarke by 13th March:

To book your place, please contact Sharon Merry by 20th March:

It’s sure to be an exciting day and we hope to see you there!