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

The Revd Peter Webb (1940–2022)

Join us for Coffee Shop on Tuesdays from 10 am – 12 noon, time@tyndale Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm, Virtual Coffee Shop on Thursdays at 11 am. Catch up with Morning Worship online or read a Thought for the Day. View COVID-19 information.

20th May 2022

Tyndale has begun to establish a link with the First Baptist Church in Wroclaw, Poland, helping to support them in looking after refugees who have fled across the border from the war in Ukraine. There are upwards of 26 million such refugees worldwide, half of whom are children. Add to that those still within their own country, but who have been forced to leave their homes because of natural disaster, persecution, conflict, human rights violation – and the total number of displaced persons globally exceeds 82 million. Each one of them is not ‘at home’ tonight; will not sleep in their own bed; will not wake tomorrow to their own shop, school, place of work, club, or meet with familiar neighbours. Most will have no prospect of returning home in the near future, and will have to find a home for their heart in a strange place, in an alien land, at least for a time, maybe for ever.

I heard in an interview on radio yesterday: “Home is where the heart is – but what if the heart has no home?” Even when we are ‘home’, we may not be at ease; we may long for something more; we may feel restless and unfulfilled?

In his ‘Confessions’, St Augustine says, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. So, if we are at one with God, in a very real sense, it is possible to feel at home, wherever we might be.

David Bell

16th May 2022

What a contrast! I watch the television news: grim and grey, full of danger and suffering, flattened streets and skeleton blocks of flats. I picture the people who lived there, happy and secure, now dead, wounded, scattered. I want to scream out against the wanton, deliberate cruelty, all so unnecessary. I look outside: blue sky, sunshine, springtime. I remember spring in North Devon: banks of primroses, copses of wild daffodils, hedgerows bursting with luxuriant new life. Even here in Redland more trees burst into leaf each day, lilac and cherry blossom abounds in gardens, the weeping willow tosses its newly tasselled branches and the blackbird sings from his high perch.

So we have to ask ‘where is God in all this?’ Surely He’s dancing in the spring meadows, enjoying the renewal and new life? . . . Yes! But He is just as much down there in the mud, rescuing the wounded, comforting the dying, bringing consolation to the bereaved. All people He cares for. He’s giving strength and endurance, pity and caring to the rescuers. Praise You, Lord, You are in both places: where it hurts, where people scream out in terror, just as much as in springtime beauty.

Thankyou, Lord, for bringing springtime each year . . . and thankyou for filling our hearts with Your compassion. So we will try to be present with You wherever You are, in our prayers and in our praises.

Lesley Fuller

Sunday 15th May 2022

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.

The service is being led by the Revd Gary Woodall who is our Regional Minister from the West of England Baptist Network.

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.

The Revd Peter Webb (1940–2022) 

A thanksgiving service for the life of the Revd Peter Webb was held at Tyndale on Saturday 14th May 2022. A recording of the service is below.

An obituary is also available on the Baptist Times website.

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

13th May 2022

I am writing this thought (for Friday 13th…) on Thursday evening, empathising with the students I have seen over the last few weeks who have needed extensions to assignment deadlines. It’s a frantic time in the academic year, with exams starting next week and students predictably stressed and full of the kind of questions that occasionally have me channelling Allan Ahlberg’s Mrs Butler (for those who don’t know this formidable creation, see Please Mrs Butler – Children’s Poetry Archive.)

Young people do so many exams now – from SATS, to GCSEs, to A-levels and beyond. They appear to be constantly judged on their performance in ways that can have very detrimental effects on their mental and emotional wellbeing. And it’s probably not very helpful to call their university exams ‘finals’, as though nothing of significance will ever happen in their lives after the next couple of weeks. So today I would like us to spare a thought and a prayer for young people, their teachers and their examiners. May pupils and students approach their assessments as calmly and confidently as possible; may teachers be blessed with patience and good humour; and may the examiners remember that they once sat in the same places as the students, and be blessed with good judgement and empathy. And may all of us adopt the spirit of some of my favourite words from nineteenth-century German literature:

Nothing connected with grammar and exams counts among the higher things in life. Did the patriarchs sit exams, or Moses perhaps, or Christ? The Pharisees sat exams. And that just shows you what comes of them! (Theodor Fontane, Der Stechlin, translation DP)

Debbie Pinfold

9th May 2022

As we often do, Denise and I went to the theatre last week. We saw an amateur production (a very good amateur production I must add) of the musical ‘Rent’. I had never seen the show before and knew very little of the story. In short, it’s set in East Village New York City (a deprived area at the time) in 1989 / 1990 when recession is bad, AIDS is rife, drugs are being used by this community to escape their lives and homosexuality and gender identity is just beginning to be challenged and tested. It’s a tough watch that explores all of these issues as we well as death, hatred and depression.

So, how does this lead me into todays ‘Thought for the day’? ….

The opening song of Act 2 is called ‘Seasons of love’ and it asks ‘How can you measure the life of a woman or a man?’ i.e. how can you value someone’s life, value their contribution to society? How can they be part of society? An extremely tough question and one that can as easily be asked of today’s modern world as it was back in the late 80’s. The song concludes that it’s easy, it’s very simple, in the end it’s all about love. The love we have for ourselves and for each other is ultimately what we all need to make a difference, to be accepted, to be valued and to make a difference. Love will enable us to be tolerant, to be understanding, to be caring and kind (and any other adjectives that you want to use)  – being a good Christian is following Jesus and simply sharing love.

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus showed His love for others by blessing and serving the poor, the sick, and the distressed “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Let us all go out today and serve our community.

Graham Lewis

Sunday 8th May 2022

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.

Our service is being led by the Revd Dr David Firth who is the academic dean of Trinity College Bristol.

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.

6th May 2022

Did you know there are “Red Indians” in one of the stained-glass windows in the church? No, not really, but one of our sons, as a small child, came home asking about them.

The stained-glass windows, especially the huge Tyndale and Bunyan windows are an unexpected glory of our church sanctuary. Many Baptist churches have patterned coloured glass in their windows but few have picture stained-glass. I know none with either the quantity or quality of ours.

The Tyndale and Bunyan windows tell stories like the great medieval windows of (say) Fairford in Gloucestershire which told Bible stories to help a largely illiterate congregation. Ours remind us of a man who went to his death for trying to give us the Bible in English and a great Puritan who wrote his allegory of the Christian life for us.

We are blessed with a beautiful and practical area built primarily for worship. Beautiful as many much older parish churches are but with space unhindered by fixed furniture, stone tombs, awkward pillars etc. Practical and flexible in that we can rearrange furniture, host concerts and drama, make tea and coffee, get wheelchairs in and out etc. But unlike some modern churches it does not resemble a village hall, a hospital waiting area or a somewhat scruffy youth club. (I won’t name that one!)

Let us give thanks for those who rebuilt in faith after the bombing of 1940 and gave us such a beautiful and useful sanctuary.

(Have a good look at the windows sometime and see if you can find the “Red Indians”)

Margaret Clements

4th May 2022

If I had to summarise the laws of the universe in just two words it would be “things change”.

Wherever we look, and we can now look a very long way indeed, things are busy changing. The day when things stop changing will be a very sorry day and we are fortunate that it is a long way off.

Jesus was all about change; he came to change people’s lives and change the way they see God. He still does.

I know that change is inevitable and that it is so often for the better. It can be exciting. In principle I welcome change; who would want to stand still forever?

So why do I find change so hard to manage? And why does it so often feel uncomfortable?

At Tyndale we are now in a period of rapid change. It is exciting, for sure. Each Sunday a new preacher comes with a message that sets us talking around the coffee table on a Tuesday. Each meeting, formal otherwise, is planning for the future. There is a sense of anticipation about the place.

Let us keep each other in prayer more than ever right now. Nobody should be left behind, managed badly or left feeling uncomfortable. May the changes ahead bring us closer to God and more responsive to those around us.

Nick Parsons

2nd May 2022

Sir David Attenborough is on record as saying that the text Genesis 1:26, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over . . . every living thing that moves upon the earth’, must take much of the blame for the human despoliation of our planet right down to the present crisis of climate change.

Notwithstanding my deep respect for Sir David, this is too simplistic. For one thing, those words have been around nigh on 3,000 years. For nearly all that time, human treatment and ‘dominion’ over the earth was not that of selfish exploitation but of responsible husbandry in agriculture, and the text can just as well be held responsible for inculcating that attitude.

But what about the industrial revolution of the last four centuries? The case here is more arguable: the growth of dark satanic mills took place in a largely Christian western environment. But the evidence regarding Genesis 1 is still largely circumstantial. To be convincing, one would need to find much direct use of Genesis by the early industrialists, and the preachers they heard on Sundays, in initiating and justifying their practices. At most, the case would be that Christianity, once the revolution got under way, did too little to counter the mistreatment of nature, and indeed of human beings, for commercial gain.

That of course doesn’t let us Christians off the hook, but puts us on another one. It should make ourselves study the Bible more thoroughly (there is after all a lot more in the Bible on the subject than Genesis 1!) and act more resolutely.

Keith Clements