13th October 2021

This month marked a special anniversary for me. On 7th October it was exactly 70 years since I first worshipped at Tyndale! On 1st October 1951 I had arrived in Bristol as a new student and during Freshers’ Week joined the Baptist students’ body – the Edward Terrill Society – the President, Michael Smith, inviting the new students to join him the following Sunday at Tyndale.

The church still awaited its rebuilding following its destruction in 1940, so worship was in the Lecture Hall at the rear (since replaced by the present halls and Tyndale Court). My recollection is that the hall was full on Sunday mornings. How many others of us are still around who were at the service on that Sunday morning? – I can only think of two or three who might have been.

So is it still the same church? Indeed, is it still the same church as those who worshipped in the building when it first opened in 1868 or who became its first members the following year? It’s a bit like the conundrum of the old broom which has had three new handles and four new heads!

My answer would be ‘yes’. An important feature of Tyndale, indeed of any local church, is the continuity of its worship and its witness in the local community. Over the years the forms of worship have evolved and the work in the community has changed, not least as the character of the neighbourhood has changed. But it is still the same church with the same mission – and long may it still continue!

David T Roberts