Tyndale Baptist Church is open for worship on Sunday mornings at 10.30 am

Read Michael’s September pastoral letter.

Coffee Shop is open again on Tuesdays from 10 am – 12 noon. time@tyndale opens on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm. Virtual Coffee Shop moves to Thursdays at 11 am. You can still get the Morning Worship online and read the Thought for the Day.

Sunday 24th October 2021

Join us in person or online for a streaming service via Zoom at 10.30 am – check your email or contact us for the details.

Following the service, grab a drink and stay with us at 11.30–12.30 for an online coffee shop via Zoom.

A recording of the service should be available here this afternoon.

After starting the video, there will be a full screen button at the top right.

22nd October 2021

I am on the email list of ‘change.org’ offering me petitions to ‘sign with a click’ (so easy!). Some I dismiss, some I am glad to support: for innocent people in danger of imprisonment by tyrannical governments. I am also encouraged to write to my MP urging them to vote for an amendment to the Environment Bill or to amend or throw out the UK Borders and Policing Bills, or to campaign for better treatment for refugees.

All very laudable, but do these actions do any good? Petitions can eventually reach Parliament; an MP can be moved to action by a torrent of emails but did my actions help? My days of marching are over; today’s protests seem more bitterly hard-hitting than the ones I joined for Drop the Debt. We were assured these made a difference and progress was made, mainly because some government ministers were in favour: we strengthened their campaign vis-a-vis the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Nowadays we are protesting against ungenerous, self-regarding measures by a government which believes this is what the public wants. When I sign petitions or email MPs urging a kinder, more generous and more open Britain, am I joining a substantial pressure group or am I part of a minor ineffectual subculture? Even if black footballers have to endure hate mail and some people spread vitriol on Twitter, Sir David Amess’ death leads to remembering his kindness and how we should continue it. ‘Children in Need’ is coming up: just the opportunity for kindness in action!

Lesley Fuller

20th October 2021

The Bible is full of stories of courage, of people who show physical courage in the face of their adversaries. In fact, many of the stories of faith through the ages since have similarly had a thread of courageous people following their calling despite threats and intimidation. Even in the present day.

The awful death of David Amess last Friday reminds us that many people face danger when they are just doing their jobs. This is not just our MPs facing their constituents but police called to a fight, fire crews to a blaze, paramedics to a street emergency, prison officers, armed forces… the list goes on. And, to extend the idea a little, people in many other roles face intimidation and abuse from those they need to work with even if they do not face mortal danger to the same extent. The social worker bringing unwanted news to a family at their wits end may be much less glamorous than a martyr standing faithfully by God’s word but the situation requires courage, sound judgement and compassion.

So many people needing courage, integrity and a moral compass. Our faith has so many stories to tell that inspire just those things.

Nick Parsons

18th October 2021

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?…

when the morning stars sang together

and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Job 38:4,7

These words, from one of the lectionary readings for this week, bracket one of the Bible’s creation stories – but not the one with which you are probably familiar. No days and nights, land and sea, gardens, trees or serpents. This is an engineer’s creation story. A plan was laid out, a foundation was dug, pillars were sunk down and a cornerstone erected. Boundary fences kept out the raging waters around it. And when the world was completed, heaven rejoiced.

The COP26 conference will soon be here. World leaders gathering in Glasgow to talk about climate change. There will be a lot of talk about the economics and who is going to pay for clean and sustainable energy, manufacturing, transport, healthcare (for even the best of intentions can be wasteful). There will rightly be talk of the need for justice, a fair deal for those countries most affected by climate change but least able to pay for its mitigation. The impact of climate change on wildlife habitats must not be ignored, for all that our human needs tend to come to the fore.

And as Christians we have yet one more perspective from which to pray for real commitments to be made at COP26. For there is value in all the wonder of nature just because it is God’s, not for what it provides for us. All that exists is the creation of God – his building, if you like.

Ian Waddington

Sunday 17th October 2021

Join us in person or online for a streaming service via Zoom at 10.30 am – check your email or contact us for the details.

Following the service, grab a drink and stay with us at 11.30–12.30 for an online coffee shop via Zoom.

A recording of the service should be available here this afternoon.

After starting the video, there will be a full screen button at the top right.

15th October 2021

I was sitting alone – mask on – socially distanced – in Southmead Breast Care Centre awaiting an appointment. Three people came together to the reception, a man and a woman in uniform and a woman in her thirties. The woman was chained to the uniformed woman, so clearly prisoner and prison staff. Covid rules meant only the patient could come into the waiting room so they were told to go back outside to wait. Luckily it was a fine day. Waiting chained to someone else for a possible diagnosis of breast cancer must be hard.

A few weeks ago, Keith was thanked at the end of a service quite emotionally for praying for those in prison. The man’s son is in prison on a long sentence. He commented that those in prison are rarely mentioned in prayers.

When I taught for the Open University I did one-one tutorials as necessary for students in the local prisons, i.e. Horfield, Leyhill, Shepton Mallet. This gave some thought-provoking experiences. You don’t ask what prisoners have done, but Shepton Mallet only took ‘lifers’ so mostly murder and possibly manslaughter.

Half of the Shepton Mallet students I taught had been in the army. One student was scary when you were alone with him in a small office; another was clearly a nasty piece of work. The others were the sort of bloke you meet everyday but somewhere, sometime they had gone badly wrong. Yet they too are children of God and we are firmly told at the end of Hebrews to pray for them.

But we don’t, mostly…….

Margaret Clements

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

11th October 2021

Last Thursday, Rachel and I were part of a live audience in Bath for a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra, featuring a favourite of mine, Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the ‘Pastoral’. Yes, live music! The concert was relayed live to all UK care homes who wished to take up the invitation. In an interview, the LSO’s conductor Sir Simon Rattle referred to music as “one of the great healing arts”. The concert, he said, “is a way of reconnecting with people, to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who have often worked for very little thanks in the last year-and-a-half”. He hoped it would “simply make people feel better”.

It certainly did that, and was received with rapturous applause in the Bath Forum itself, and  one resident in a Bristol care home said, “I really can’t put into words what it means. I didn’t realise it was going to be so emotional. It’s hope for the future!”

Although in Bath, the concert was an initiative by Bristol Beacon (formerly the Colston Hall). It was also part of celebrating our joint birthdays this month; the other’s at the Theatre Royal in Bath next month, Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’, starring Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers. Yes, live theatre! We’re also doing our usual stewarding for the Bristol Bach Choir on Sunday who are singing Haydn’s ‘Creation’, their first live concert after lockdown!

It’s been heartening to make live music again at Tyndale; now the joy of welcoming people again at Tuesday Coffee Shop and ‘time@tyndale’ – live conversation! – even of a live deacons’ meeting at Tyndale last week!

Dave Bell

Sunday 10th October 2021

Join us in person or online for a streaming service via Zoom at 10.30 am – check your email or contact us for the details.

Following the service, grab a drink and stay with us at 11.30–12.30 for an online coffee shop via Zoom.

A recording of the service should be available here this afternoon.

After starting the video, there will be a full screen button at the top right.

8th October 2021

Problems getting petrol?…

Supply chains everywhere are under strain – worldwide, Europe-wide, in post-Brexit Britain (especially, it seems).

You’ll have heard of the ‘just in time’ principle. Deliveries are scheduled  ‘just in time’ – to arrive at home, factory, depot or shop just when needed. Back in the seventies I visited a huge new ‘state of the art’ component storage warehouse. It’s all gone now. Now, hardly anything is stored. Everything should be delivered ‘just in time’. Until it’s not, that is….

In the immediate, of course, with shortages and panic buying, no one is talking about the wider implications: trucks use large amounts of fossil fuels; so do factories; roads need maintenance and improvement; countries are interconnected; folk fleeing war and terror and looking to better themselves emigrate and become immigrants – many more.

At the moment, attention is focussed on HGV drivers – pay and conditions; provision of parking and facilities. But what about ‘just in time’ itself?

It’s taken forty years for these ‘logistics’ systems to develop. Can they be dismantled? Should they be? Are we prepared – or able – to live differently; local supply, less driving, more storage, fewer contacts with foreigners?

Climate change may prove to be the thing that brings about such massive change but it’s not very visible. Petrol, pork, turkey and McDonald’s milkshake shortages are visible (as are higher gas bills…) – and remind us of how interdependent we are; how vulnerable. It’s only a few days before ‘just in time’ breaks down and our life is exposed for the fragile life it is… and then? Matthew 6:25–34, perhaps, or is that just too naïve for today’s world?

Michael Docker