0117 951 8234

Wellington Hill, Horfield, Bristol BS7 8ST, UK
Registered Charity: 1132013

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Church Wardens Report

This year has been marked by Fr Johns’ retirement and we believe we gave him a fitting send off with a wonderful Mass attended by a congregation of both current and past members of Holy Trinity and a bring and share lunch afterwards. We were very sad to see John and Rachel go, but focus our efforts now on the search for a new Rector to inspire and lead us forward. This process is now fully underway, and we hope to welcome a new Rector sometime in September.

 

The PCC has been busy this year discussing and deciding on numerous matters including disabled access to the Hall, safeguarding and other ways of making us more welcoming and inclusive.

Events staged over the year have included a Barn Dance, Harvest lunch, Parish BBQ and St Edmunds dinner, all well attended and raising important money for our nominated charities. Next year we plan similar events.

 

The electoral role stands at 148 and has been fairly constant over the last few years. We hope with the changes that are coming we will find ways to increase our numbers, allowing new ideas and talents to enhance our worship.

 

We continue to be in a fairly healthy financial position but will need to spend money on the Tower, the Hall and improve lighting and security in the coming months.

 

We are very grateful to the PCC for their efforts over the last year and as we move through this transition period a lot of time is being spent on the additional work necessary to ensure a smooth process. We would also like to thank all those members of the congregation who have supported us by taking on new roles and responsibilities allowing church life to continue without too much disruption.

 

Emma and Fergus.

Churchwardens

Church Wardens Report

This year has been marked by Fr Johns’ retirement and we believe we gave him a fitting send off with a wonderful Mass attended by a congregation of both current and past members of Holy Trinity and a bring and share lunch afterwards. We were very sad to see John and Rachel go, but focus our efforts now on the search for a new Rector to inspire and lead us forward. This process is now fully underway, and we hope to welcome a new Rector sometime in September.

 

The PCC has been busy this year discussing and deciding on numerous matters including disabled access to the Hall, safeguarding and other ways of making us more welcoming and inclusive.

Events staged over the year have included a Barn Dance, Harvest lunch, Parish BBQ and St Edmunds dinner, all well attended and raising important money for our nominated charities. Next year we plan similar events.

 

The electoral role stands at 148 and has been fairly constant over the last few years. We hope with the changes that are coming we will find ways to increase our numbers, allowing new ideas and talents to enhance our worship.

 

We continue to be in a fairly healthy financial position but will need to spend money on the Tower, the Hall and improve lighting and security in the coming months.

 

We are very grateful to the PCC for their efforts over the last year and as we move through this transition period a lot of time is being spent on the additional work necessary to ensure a smooth process. We would also like to thank all those members of the congregation who have supported us by taking on new roles and responsibilities allowing church life to continue without too much disruption.

 

Emma and Fergus.

Churchwardens

Pastoral Report

It is with great joy that I can say that during the recent snow I had a telephone call from one young mum in the parish to say that she had been talking to another young mum and if there was anyone in the parish who was in need they were willing to help out.

That is pastoral care, each of us caring for each other and being aware of each other’s needs and letting the priest know if there is a particular need.

It was because of the ‘Horfield grapevine’ that I was able to be with someone shortly after their partner had died unexpectedly.

The way we welcome people, the way we react to newcomers is important.  It is because a couple had a positive experience on the one occasion they came to the church that when in dire spiritual need they felt able to come back and ask for help.

And, of course, there is the ongoing commitment to be aware of peoples’ needs, to pray, to visit, to enable people to be whole again in body, mind and spirit.

Yes, people fall through the net, there are more visits to be done and we trust in the Holy Spirit to guide us and forgive us when hours in the week overtake the work to be done.  

Hilary Blancharde

Saturday Cafe

A time of peace, stillness, music, reflection and prayer.  We are now in our eighth year and seem to be thriving with a very good attendance including several people from other churches and some with no other church connection who find this kind of worship the most sustaining at this point in their lives. We continue in a greater depth of sharing, understanding and friendship.  We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 10am in the Helliwell Room. It is lovely to have this room which lends itself to the large circle of chairs, our shared table and easy involvement.  We have developed a pattern of looking at short texts, poems and prayer from a variety of sources and using different kinds of illustration, art and music. There is always a time for personal response and for silence.  It’s a bit different.  If you feel you might like to try this kind of reflective worship you will have a great welcome.  It lasts only about half an hour and then there are refreshments for those who can stay.   Special thanks go to Pat Hine, Jenny Bell, Carolyn Larcey and Pat Bridges for their all their support and to everyone for their contribution.

Helen Hinksman

Junior Church

We have had another year of a thriving Junior Church with some fantastic adults and children. Attendance ranges from under 10 children to over 20 – that’s always a special challenge for the leaders to plan for! Currently the age of the children is younger than it has been in the past, with the majority of children aged 4 to 8/9 years. Many of the older children have moved on to Gateway now. With the help of Lyn Jenkins, we are exploring how a ‘Young Person Helper’ role at Junior Church might encourage some of our teenagers to stay involved at Junior Church as well.

 

Julie Rawlinson-Smith has joined our small team of lay preachers who prepare a little service for us in the Helliwell Room each week. This team have continued to provide an inspirational and quiet space of the children to worship together and learn about God. We are very grateful to all of them (Hilary Wilson, Helen Hinksman and Simon Perkins) for their support each month. The children love coming up at the end of the service to tell the congregation what they have been doing, and learning, that day …and normally they have a pretty good idea what the theme has been!

 

Along with the rest of the church Junior Church was sorry to see John and Rachel leave Horfield for new adventures. To mark the event, we chose some poignant bible verses, drew pictures of the church and of Father John himself and wrote out our memories of him and Rachel (most of which seemed to involve pancakes or risky behaviour… such as John driving through red lights!). We were very proud to present this to him as a beautiful hand-made book in church on his last Sunday.

 

The children and adults rose the challenge once again of producing a Nativity play to be performed in three different venues and with three different casts…. and to add to the challenge of this we also had three different carols/ music plans to juggle. This year’s play was written be Peter Clifford and was performed as a tableau with narrators. At our performance at Horfield Lodge the children got a real treat as at the end of the play Father Christmas came to say thanks to them. Matthew Howell accompanied us at the Lodge this year and was amazing with the resident and children as well as the music. At the Christingle service we also had a special treat as Hilary’s prayers were answered and a real baby arrived in time to play baby Jesus (they only had to be changed once during the 30 minutes play!)

 

Once again, Junior church children and adults have enjoyed getting together to make the Christingles, and Mother's Day daffodil bunches. Thanks to Alison Ellis for continuing to organize each of these events and to Maggie Pleass who organizes the Children Society boxes and sorts the collection of these.

 

We continue to be very grateful for the large group of adults that support Junior church through leading sessions or helping at the sessions, without which none of the above would be possible.

 

Jak Lee

Deanery Synod

The Deanery Synod acts a conduit of information and counsel between the Bishop/Diocese and the “person in the pew”.  It provides Synod members with the opportunity to consider wider aspects of church life beyond the confines of individual parishes, and from time to time encourages a wider attendance from those with an interest in the particular matter(s) being discussed.  Most Synod meetings include some reference to our links with Uganda.  Each Synod begins with an act of wordship (in various styles) and concludes with prayer.

The February Synod met at St. Matthew, Kingsdown.  The first item was a presentation and discussion regarding “talking about Jesus”.  It was suggested that the most effective words in individual evangelism were “I have found”.  People were often worried that they did not know enough to evangelise but could come to realise how much they already knew.  Also effective was “come and see”.  Secondly there was a presentation and discussion on “whole-life discipleship”; being a community of people who help each other live as disciples of Jesus in his mission.  This was the last Synod of the 2014-17 “cycle” and retiring members were thanked for their commitment.

In June we met in St. Aiden, St. George.  As this was the first meeting of the new “cycle”, we split into houses to elect relevant officers.  The main item was intended as a discussion with the Mayor of Bristol as to how the churches could help with the challenges facing Bristol.  As Mr Rees had necessarily to meet some overseas visitors, a video had been made of him in a “Question and Answer” session with our Area Dean.

Homelessness and hunger were obvious areas for collaboration.  Councillor Claire Hiscott, on behalf of the Mayor, continued the discussion, other matters being raised were providing a safe space to meet and offering contacts to help young people.  There followed an act of worship in the form of two presentations by the Roughshod Drama Group.

The intended early Autumn meeting was replaced by an Open Consultative Meeting held in October at Emmanuel meeting House in the Centre to discuss the process of choosing a new Diocesan Bishop and answer certain specific questions posed by the vacancy in see committee.  It is a role nobody can apply for!  The main points of discussion were “what difference do we want the next Bishop of Bristol to make across the Diocese?” and “what particular qualities do we think the new Bishop will need?”.  People were split into groups to consider these matters and representatives from this Parish took part in more than one group.

Lastly for 2017, we met in St. Agnes, St. Pauls.  The first item was a presentation on the Diocesan course “exploring Christianity”, designed for people who wished to go deeper into their faith.  The course consists of six modules taken over a three-year period and can be “dipped in and out of”; costs are currently £25 per module.  There followed a presentation on the Bristol Churches Winter Night Shelter project, for which volunteers are always needed (there have been leaflets on both these subjects at the back of the church for some weeks).  There was also an update on the process of choosing a new Bishop; the aim was for an announcement in May and the new Bishop joining us in the Autumn.

Garth Baker

Churches Together

Churches Together in Horfield and Lockleaze have shared an interesting and productive year.

The Lent ecumenical study groups were well attended, and many appreciated the stimulating and challenging studies provided by the US (formerly USPG) course booklets.

The Lent Lunches also attracted good numbers, raising hundreds of pounds for Christian Aid and the Good Friday Walk of Witness discovered an excellent venue in Gainsborough Square.

The “Noise” was again a highly successful event reaching the community with garden clearances, senior citizens’ banquets and family fun days.

In July Churches Together supported the Manor Farm community in its outreach day at Horfield C of E school campaigning for a Manor Farm community centre.

Pulpit exchanges were arranged over the year when ministers visited different churches, and we again met together for the Advent Carol Service at Holy Trinity.

We were sorry to say goodbye to Father John in November.  John has been an active member of Churches Together, holding the offices of Chair and Secretary as well as leading key activities and events.  We thank John and wish him and his family well in retirement.

Geoff Stock

Horfield C of E Primary School

It is always a joy to know that Horfield Primary School values the strong connection with our church as much as we value it. The weekly assemblies alternating with Key Stage one and Key Stage two pupils continue to allow us to present and explore aspects of the Christian faith in a creative and interactive way, whilst enjoying the welcome given by the children and teachers, accepting us as a valued part of the school community. They also give the opportunity to talk to children about different kinds of prayer and for them to experience this. At each assembly we have the privilege of interacting with over 200 children and their teachers. Horfield School loves singing, and this is always a part of our assemblies.

At the harvest festival we were invited to take part in a whole school service which was a very happy and lively occasion. In December the whole school, children, parents and teachers came to church for their Christmas service and with choirs and musicians from all age groups. We enjoyed a most beautiful service.

The two-day Lent trail which began in 2012 has continued each year, allowing the children in small groups to explore and experience something of the mystery of Lent and the joy of Easter as they move from one ‘station of Lent’ to another. This year they had a time of silent prayer in a colourful tent with cushions, a further time of thinking and talking about forgiveness and what that is, a session where they took part in the Last Supper and had their hands washed while they listened calmly to a prayer for each individual and each family, and finally a time in the Easter garden where they handled plants and reflected on new life and hope. The children expressed their experience of the trail in class the next day and the response was moving and encouraging.

The Prayer Space continues to allow children during lunch time once a week to talk about prayer and experience the peace that this can bring. Groups of children come each week to the designated space which is comfortable and colourful with all kinds of material to encourage creativity.  The number of children taking part is very good.

It was of course with great sadness that the teachers and children said farewell to Father John on his retirement. John has been much loved by the children over his many years as Rector with a great involvement in school life.  His sense of fun along with his wonderful spirituality and creative flair have given him a special place in the heart of this school. He was given a lively and appreciative send off by the children who had designed pictures and been busy and imaginative in making a very happy goodbye occasion for Fr. John.

Several members of our congregation have given their time to the school this year and this is very much appreciated. Special thanks go to Jenny Taylor the Headteacher and to Adam Robertson the Head of RE for continuing to foster the close links between the school and our church.

Helen Hinksman

Stewardship 

We are God’s Stewards, entrusted to put our God-given gifts to good use.  That is in essence what stewardship is about, and of course that involves time and talents as well as money.  Our current interregnum offers us all an opportunity to offer our time and talents anew, and some are indeed making use of that.  Money is, however, the part of stewardship with which my role as Stewardship Recorder is chiefly concerned.

I make no apology for that; without your generous financial giving our Church could not function.  Many of you faithfully continued with your giving during 2017, recognising that the regular pledged giving scheme enables our Church to budget properly with a good degree of assurance regarding its income.  It has been the practice here recently to have a major Stewardship Campaign every three years, so another is due in 2018.  Decisions on that are inevitably tied up with the arrival of a new incumbent but watch this space.

Many of you already help further by being part of the Gift Aid scheme, a simple way for UK income tax payers to assist Church finances at no cost to themselves (currently adding 25% to recorded donations).  As a result, we have been able to claim back over £17K from HRMC for 2017, thank you, to which can be added what the recorded giving enables us to claim back through the “Small Donations” scheme.

It is of course possible to join the Pledged Giving Scheme, or Gift Aid, or change the level of your pledge, at any time without waiting for a campaign.  If you wish to do this, please ask me for a form or have a chat first.  You may also wish to remember our Church in your will.

Garth Baker

The Church Choir

Again, it has been a busy year for our choir; on behalf of the congregation, I would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of time and commitment they put into their work for the church – it’s hard to imagine what our services would be like if there was no choir to lead the music!

Our repertoire of music for Choral Evensong has again been further expanded with new anthems and lovely settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in December was another truly joyous occasion which attracted a large and appreciative congregation.

 

We are enormously grateful to those additional singers from outside the church who join us on Sunday evenings, enabling us to tackle more demanding music.

 

We are always happy to welcome new singers (adults or children). The Adult choir rehearses fortnightly from 8.15-9.15 on Thursdays. If you enjoy singing or know of anyone in the Parish who loves the rich musical tradition of the Anglican Church, do please get in touch.

 

Dr Glyn Jenkins

Director of Music

Safeguarding

The parish now have 64 volunteers working with children and young people in 6 different groups (Junior church, Gateway club, Youth club, serving team, choir, bell ringers), and some also as members of the PCC. 46 of these have now received diocesan training in safeguarding at the basic level (C1) and 3 leaders have also received further training (C2). Those who have not yet received basic training are being encouraged to access the online training on the Bristol diocese website, until they can access face to face training. The online training is also accessible by any church members, as safeguarding is the responsibility of all, not just volunteers (see Lyn Jenkins for details). Training is recommended to be updated every 3 years.

We continue to ensure that all volunteers working with children and young people, and/or vulnerable adults, receive a DBS check and have appropriate references prior to taking a regular part in volunteering. DBS checks are repeated every 5 years. We are currently continuing to complete job descriptions for all volunteer roles, as recommended by the diocese, so that volunteers are aware exactly of what their responsibilities should be.

The parish safeguarding policy is available to all volunteers electronically or in paper form and is also published on the church website.

Lyn Jenkins

Bell Ringers

Another year friendship and fun in Horfield Bell Tower.  The bells remain in good order thanks to one member of the band Berni who is now very knowledgeable about the maintenance.  Our team remains an average of ten on practice nights, though not all can be available for Sunday ringing as they are committed to other towers in Bristol.

 

The learners Annette and recently arrived Dianna are making good progress which may increase our Sunday ringers in due course.  The more experienced ringers have now been able to add more five bell methods to our repertoire, so it had made it more interesting and advances us towards quarter peals.

 

We have been able to send two members on the association training day, which always builds confidence and good practice.  We had our Tower outing in March, we rang the bells in the churches at Southville, Queen Charlton and Butcombe, with lovely lunch at the Blue Bowl East Harptree.  The branch Ringing Master and his wife came with us which always is an encouragement.


We travelled together as we were given the use of the minibus from Orchard School and encourage links with the school to boost recruitment of young ringers as visiting other towers we found the bells not rung regularly due to the lack of ringers in the area.  We are very thankful at Horfield for all those who come to keep the bells ringing and encourage anyone to come and have a try.

 

Jeanne Fairman

Green Gym

We have started to see the benefit of the daffodils and primroses that were planted a few years ago with a wonderful spring display. The small but dedicated team who are the Green Gym continue to ensure that the churchyard looks cared for and managed to keep on top of the work. As is the plea every year volunteers are welcome, and we have been fortunate to see a couple of new people coming along which is fantastic.

 

At the time of writing the mowers have returned from their winter service and so we are ready for 2018. A big thank you to all those who have turned up through 2017 and let’s hope the weather is kind to us in 2018.

 

Paul Harris

Sunday Morning Coffee

Thank you once again to all the volunteers on the Sunday coffee rota, and to all of you who come and enjoy the refreshments provided after the service on a Sunday morning.  It is such an important part of our ministry to have this opportunity to meet with friends, old and new.  These days we usually manage to provide a biscuit or two with coffee, and occasionally even cakes.  The profits for 2017 were (Maggie can you get this figure from Bob and fill it in if possible).  This money is donated to the nominated charities for the year agreed by the PCC.  If there is anyone else who would like to volunteer on an occasional basis, please do let me know.  If you are not sure what it involves please do have a word with me.  Thank you for your continued support.

 

Carolyn Larcey

Bible Study Group

The group has been meeting now for eleven years and some have been members from its inception whilst others have joined more recently. We are usually eight or nine in number and meet in a relaxed group currently at Tim and Alison’s on Tuesday evenings at 8.00 pm. Anyone interested in having the opportunity to look at the bible with others do please join us. We meet for about an hour, starting with coffee and biscuits, and, as we often go off at a tangent, the chat sometimes goes on longer with laughter and humour playing a part.

During the past year we have been reading Acts but as in last year’s report we have again had many skirmishes into the Old Testament including, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jonah, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi, with subjects as diverse as pre-first century history, law, Pharisees and Sadducees, eschatology and the apocalyptic writings of the period, local food and plants, the Messianic banquet and social practices. We are following Paul on his journeys and perhaps not surprisingly we have not reached the end.

We shall probably meet for a few weeks during the summer months but aim to start regularly again in September. 

 

Bob Bell

Decibells Handbell Ringers

2017 was a quiet year as far as outside performances go for the hand-bell ringers - though we could be heard most Wednesday evenings in the Choir Vestry practising on the set of hand-bells donated to Horfield Parish Church by Betty Topham over 20 years ago. You could have heard pieces as varied as Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, Pachelbel’s Canon, the folk song Gipsy Rover or Angels from the Realms of Glory, depending on the time of year!

However, because of health difficulties of some of our team members and family commitments, we only played in public twice last year, at St Barts’ Ladies’ Circle and at Horfield Families’ Group. On both occasions we offered that the members of the groups could have a go at a simple piece and both groups managed to master ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ with great enjoyment. There certainly is a lot of enjoyment to be derived from playing the hand-bells and the team does appreciate the support the church gives to enable us to continue.

We were pleased that a new member, Rita Sutton, joined the team at the end of the year which means we now have 9 members and look forward to more engagements in 2018.

Gill Wilding

Horfield Young People's Club

This has been a special year for Club.  On March 7th, Geoff was accompanied by brother Pete and Dot and Martin Nicholls to Buckingham Palace where an MBE was most graciously bestowed by Her Majesty the Queen for service to youth and community in Horfield.  This is of course a great honour for the entire club, past and present leaders, helpers, young people, parents, families and supportive friends, since any club to be successful, needs team work and togetherness to make it tick.  A very big thankyou to Dorothy Nicholls and Anne Cox for their great time and efforts as nominators and to all who have supported the club at any time in its forty-three years.

Greatly encouraged by this, we supported the highly successful local “Noise” in its care for the community in May and the community outreach day at Horfield C of E school in July to raise awareness of the campaign for a Manor Farm community centre.

Sandwiched between these events we held another successful sponsored walk.  Three hundred pounds was raised from sponsorship and generous donations which was shared equally between Hawkspring (Hartcliffe) charity, which helps those whose lives have been scarred and need mending and the ABC (Bristol) refugee charity.  ABC has been active in our locality and its representative Imogen gave us an interesting address at our October Open Evening, answering questions and explaining the work.  A big thank you to all sponsors and donors, to our splendid walkers and once again to Don and Marianne for their wonderful hospitality en-route.

We were sorry in November to say farewell to Father John.  Many club members had fond and grateful memories of John through church, club and school and we thanked him and wished him and his family well for the future.

Once again, we have been indebted to our wonderful chaplain Hilary for her love, prayers and wisdom.

We are immensely thankful also to our helpers and leaders of all ages who have so willingly given of their time and talents for the sake of the young people in our care.

Club meets every Friday in term time between 6:15 and 8:00pm offering activities and games for six to twelve-year olds.  Any such are always welcome to try us out.  Please feel free to bring them along or phone Geoff on 07961962850 for details.  You’ll be welcome!

Geoff Stock

Mothers' Union

We once again had a busy year with interesting speakers coming along to our meetings and members have attended various Deanery events.  This is hopefully a brief summary of the year which we hope you will find of interest.

 

In January we held our Annual General Meeting, when our programme of meetings for 2017 was received.  John Hadley chaired our meeting for the last time.

 

In February our guest speaker was the Reverend Judith Lee who talked about pilgrimage to Iona.  In March Hilary Blancharde came and told us of her time in Venezuela and the Arawak people, with some very interesting pictures of her travels.  In April as a group we visited Muller House, in Cotham, which houses many of George Muller’s personal effects and writings, this was fascinating, and well worth a visit. 

 

We had our Deanery Festival at Shirehampton in May which was followed by a very luscious tea. 

 

In May Helen Hinksman came and led one of her Café Style worships, it is always a real treat for us to have Helen along.   In July we welcomed Sister Teresa from the Sisters of the Church talking about the Five Loaves and Two Fishes Project

 

On 9th August we hosted the Deanery Lunch which was a great success, we fed about 80 MU Members a meal of cold meats/cheeses and salads, with assorted desserts.   We had our own MU members singing a musical setting to the Mary Sumner Prayer as a grace, led by John Price, and later John led everyone in some community singing, which I think everyone enjoyed.  The profit made at the lunch was given to Friends for Parents.

 

Also, in August we had another coffee morning and bring and buy sale in the Rectory, which was in aid of the Vicar and Churchwardens emergency fund.

 

On 7th September we held our Wave of Prayer Service, when we prayed for all our linked Dioceses and also gave thanks for our projects in Bristol.   Our thanks to Rachel Hadley for organising this service.

 

On 12th October John and Rachel Hadley came along to talk about their hopes for the future following John’s retirement at the end of November.   John and Rachel are going to be very much missed by our Mothers’ Union members.

 

On 9th November Margaret Smith, who as well as being one of our Branch Members is Vice President of Bristol Diocese MU, came and talked about the work of Mothers’ Union generally, including her attendance at the Annual Conference which had been held in Edinburgh

 

In December there was the Deanery Advent Service at St Peter’s, Filton, and our last event of 2017 was our bring and share lunch on 14th December, attended by 12 members.  Lots of nice food, and our thanks to Pat for providing a spinoff of “pass the parcel”, “pass the sprout” which proved great fun.

 

Our calendar for 2018 is available, there is a copy on the notice boards in Church and in the Church Hall.  We have linked two of our meetings in 2018 with St Peter’s Filton which we hope will prove successful.  Our meetings are open to all and we would dearly like to recruit some new members, as currently our membership stands at 17.   If anyone would be interested in learning more about the Mothers’ Union, or perhaps even becoming a member, please do have a word with any one of the Committee Members or myself. 

 

 

Once again, I have to thank, not only my Mothers’ Union members, but the whole church for all their love, prayers and support throughout what has yet again been another difficult year for me personally health wise.   I am so blessed to have such wonderful support from my family, friends and the whole Church.    Thank you.

 

Margaret Moyle

Branch Leader, Horfield Mothers’ Union

Horfield Families Group

HFG enjoyed another year of interesting speakers and events.  We have a membership of around 25 covering several age groups, and are a very friendly crowd, with a range of interests and views.  Meeting are normally well supported and our programme provides a variety of speakers and activities.

 

During the last year we have enjoyed talks on such diverse topics from serving as an Army nurse in Afghanistan, to Bath as a film location.   In December we were entertained by a musical group consisting of mandolins, guitar and percussion.  We joined in singing folk songs and carols fortified by mince pies and carols.  One of our most entertaining speaker was Martyn Poole who talked about his involvement with the soup run.  This distributes soup and other necessities to the homeless.  A very interesting and thought-provoking subject,

 

On a more active note we participated in a keep-fit evening and tried our skill at indoor curling. Other regular events include a shopping trip, and a summer garden visit.

 

Each year we support a different charity, and in 2017 it was the Bristol Area Stroke foundation.   At Christmas we donate a hamper to Ronald MacDonald house, and give gift of toiletries etc.to the Salvation Army.  In addition, we bring gifts of tea or coffee throughout the year to support Friends for Parents at the Childrens’ Hospital.  Some of our more artistic ladies also provide the flowers for the Church Porch.

 

For all the various activities that we enjoy, one of the main strength of the group is the opportunity to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones. The friendship and support we give one another is very important.  Friends and families are also welcome to come along to particular events.

Meeting are held on the second Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, starting at 7.45pm. If you are interested in knowing more, you can keep up to date with our programme and other news on our website www.horfieldfamiliesgroup.co.uk.  or in the Church Newsletter.

 

Christine Payne HFG Secretary.

Horfield Parish Walking Club

We had five walks during 2017, the longest being about 3.5 miles and the most strenuous being from the edge of the Somerset levels up 300 feet to Cadbury Camp, from where we had views over the Severn estuary into South Wales and over Bridgewater Bay to the Quantock Hills.  Two of the other walks had a prehistoric theme, with walks through Leigh Woods to Stokeleigh Camp overlooking the Avon Gorge, and to the stone circles near Stanton Drew.  We also walked a short section of the Cotswold Way and the open land of Felton Common.  In addition, we had a stall as part of Churches Together in Horfield and Lockleaze at an event in the Hub in Lockleaze, and we have a presence on the Churches Together web page.

Nigel De Bray

Horfield Theatre Company

February 2017 saw the arrival of ‘Allo ‘Allo, by Jeremy Lloyd & David Croft, the iconic TV series much loved by viewers everywhere.  We were transported back to war-torn France to the village of Nuvion where Rene, his staff and family ran riot with the German army and SS overlords whilst hiding two British airmen.  This very funny play brought many new members to the group and tickets sold out very quickly.

 

As many know our thrust stage extension had been getting very creaky and has been due for retirement for some time, so this year we made the decision to replace it with a brand new built-for-purpose professional stage.  The old stage, donated to us originally by Bristol Cathedral after our performance there, had been repaired many, many times by HTC technical team over its 20 year life.  The new stage can be erected very quickly and is tested to professional standards.  It will allow us to create four different widths of stage and many combinations of stage shapes to suit numerous different requirements.

 

The October show, ‘The Actress’, by Peter Quilter, was a glimpse into the world of an actress who is retiring at the top of her profession with a presentation of Chekov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’ Her dressing room is littered with family, friends and associates all of whom impact on her life.  Directed by Judith Claypoole this play was really well received by our ever improving audience.

 

The core members of the group continue to work hard to maintain the everyday business and ensure the shows are produced to the highest quality.  To achieve this we consistently seek new players and members both on and off stage and would particularly welcome anyone from the Church community to come and join us. 

 

If anyone has interests in any aspect of the theatre, whether it is on stage, behind the scenes, costume, directing, technical activities etc. we can give you all the help and encouragement you need to get great enjoyment with probably one of the most inclusive and friendly groups in the area. 

 

We meet most Wednesday evenings either in the hall or the Helliwell room and details can always be found on our website at www.horfieldtheatre.co.uk

 

Bob Derrick (on behalf of HTC)

Foodbank Contributions

In 2017 Horfield Parish Church delivered 554.7kg, and in 2016 donated 550kg. So very consistent giving. Massive thank you to everyone at Horfield Parish Church for their donations - Foodbank wouldn't work without you.

Nigel De Bray

101st Guides

We have had a busy and varied programme of activities this year. Along with our numerous craft and food-related evenings, we have enjoyed a number of visits from different organisations. In March, we were joined for the evening by Tony Hall and his wife Barbara, from the Dementia Awareness Alliance. Tony ran an evening of activities for the girls in order to help them learn how to help someone with dementia. The girls listened intently, and all left the meeting with new knowledge and skills. We were very grateful to Tony for giving up his evening, and we were all delighted to meet his lovely wife who sadly has dementia. Barbara used to be a Brownie leader herself, so we all sang Brownie Bells for her at the end of the evening.

The week after our visit from Tony, we spent the evening learning yoga and finding out which of the leaders could balance with style. This was limited to one out of three… The Guides, however, were excellent and took to yoga like naturals!

In May, we welcomed Zoe Thompson from Phoenix Life and Wellbeing Coaching. Zoe spent two evenings with the girls, firstly talking to them about her road to England, Britain and Europe’s strongest Woman competition, and then working with them on the theme of ‘Changing self-limiting beliefs’. This gave the girls an opportunity to think carefully about how they view things they find challenging and turn them on their head, changing their mind-sets and feeling more positive about the challenge. The girls impressed us with their maturity and thoughtful responses.

In October we also had a visit from Yvonne Cox from the Hedgehog Rescue Centre. Yvonne brought along a very small rescue hedgehog to meet the girls and also taught them a number of ways they could help hedgehogs to survive in their gardens.

Although we were unable to have a camp this summer, the girls visited Frenchay for the day and enjoyed a film and an indoor picnic after our trip to Oldbury Court and Vassals park was rained off. And in September, we joined the Guides from Horfield URC at the Scout Camping site, Brockmead, staying for two nights in the dormitories there. The girls enjoyed outdoor cooking, orienteering and caving, to name but a few of the activities on offer there. A good time was had by all!

Throughout the year we also had badge nights, patrol evenings, our bi-annual chip walk (we go for a walk, buy chips, then eat chips) and parties for different reasons.

We have said a sad goodbye to a number of our older Guides and welcomed many new girls over the course of the year. We look forward to another year of fun and chocolate in 2018!

 

Sarah, Ruth, Rachel and Emma W

(Guide Guiders)

Horfield Welly Pre-School

Our fabulous and much-loved pre-school continues to thrive, we continue to open 4 mornings a week (Tuesday to Friday) for our pre-school children and run a parents and toddlers group on a Monday morning.

 

We have a super contingent of pupils from over 50 local families with very supportive and enthusiastic parents. We are pleased to be able to continue to offer places to children with additional needs who are supported 1-1 by specialist staff. 

 

We have held some very successful fundraising events to purchase some new resources for the children to use including a climbing frame for outdoors, some fabulous wooden large bricks with rainbow coloured Perspex inserts, a messy play table and lots of other great new small toys.

 

We held a great Nativity celebration just before Christmas during which the children performed the nativity story aided by staff and watched by over 100 parents, grandparents, friends and families. We also recently held an Easter egg hunt in the garden followed by an Easter bonnet parade and concert of songs for families followed by a huge picnic in the hall.

 

We have lots of trips planned this academic year and have already taken the children to sing Christmas songs for the Horfield lodge retirement home residents, visited Bristol Zoo and walked to Tesco for a behind the scenes tour and to buy some fruit for our healthy eating topic.

 

We have recently invited new parents in to our open mornings, which were well attended and are currently allocating places for September. We are already full in our rising 3's room and nearly full in our pre-school room.

 

We have sadly been troubled some mornings by rough sleepers using the hall garden to sleep in and unfortunately not treating it very respectfully, leaving rubbish and human excrement where the children play. The padlocks on the gates have helped greatly with this but unfortunately, they have also broken through the fence to get in. We continue to work with the PCC on ways to prevent this in the future.

 

We were sad to see the retirement of Father John and wished him well on his next adventures. We are really looking forward to meeting and getting to know the new rector and hopefully work with them to benefit the children.

 

Sadly, the departure of Father John had left us unable to use the wonderfully overgrown end of the rectory garden for our forest school sessions, which were the highlight of the children's time at pre-school. We used to take groups of children to spend mornings in the rectory garden learning about nature, making woodland crafts and building a fire and cooking. The children used to come back to pre-school filthy dirty, smelling of smoke but with biggest grins on their faces you've ever seen. If anyone knows of anywhere else locally we could use instead we'd really love to hear from you. Sadly, our funds don't allow us to travel too far afield as transport costs are so huge.

 

Thank you for the continued support from the church community we receive and especially to mother’s union for helping with refreshments at our toddler group every Monday. If anyone else from the local community would like to get involved or volunteer with us we'd love you to contact us - horfieldwellypreschool@gmail.com

 

Charlotte Stiley

Pre-school manager and teacher