Tyndale Baptist Church’s building is closed again due to the pandemic restrictions

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Join us online for a pre-recorded Morning Worship service at 10.30 am each Sunday or Virtual Coffee Shop on Tuesdays at 11 am. Read a Thought for the Day or what has been Shared With Us by church members.

Thought for the Day

26th February 2021

Vaccination passports – ‘certificates of vaccination’… already certificates of vaccination in some form are being considered by some countries, and by some airlines, so as to facilitate overseas travel. So far, so uncontroversial.

Where it gets tricky is in relation to vaccination certificates in everyday life. A pub or restaurant may require a ‘certificate of vaccination’ before accepting a booking. Some companies are considering making vaccinations compulsory for all staff.

Some of this is quite understandable. Health and safety, controlling the spread of coronavirus, keeping restrictions to a minimum, ‘looking out for one another’ – all these are in the mix.

But then things begin to get more difficult. What if you can’t be vaccinated, or choose not to be? What if the certificate isn’t legitimate?

Imagine a scenario: a group of friends go for a meal and one of them can’t show a vaccination certificate; imagine if an over-zealous security officer refuses entry because their computerised checking system makes a mistake… imagine if a venue decides to ban an ethnic minority group altogether, because – well, everyone knows they don’t get vaccinated… imagine if the state introduces legislation preventing access to healthcare or benefits or public transport to anyone without a certificate of vaccination…

Fears and concerns about proof of identity, misuse of state power and access to society have been around for generations. The Nazis made Jews wear yellow stars. Revelation imagines the ‘mark of the beast’ (Roman Emperor Nero according to some) being needed to allow buying and selling…

What should Christians make of all this, whose identity is bound up not with any particular behaviour, but with Christ alone?

Michael Docker

24th February 2021

The latest version of the so-called ‘Q Anon’ conspiracy theory followed by many Trump supporters has it that he will be inaugurated as America’s true President on March 4th. A related theory says that the snow in Texas last week was fake… Bizarre… It’s easy to pour scorn, but such theories have one thing in […]

22nd February 2021

I was vaccinated a few days ago. Seems as if things have been moving very swiftly, in some parts of Bristol at least, so that my surgery contacted me somewhat ahead of schedule (my age group was due to be contacted from this last Monday). ‘Britain at its best’ – lots of cheery volunteers; a […]

19th February 2021

I know, as a Christian, I should be concerned about climate change, fossils fuels, war and oppression etc but those are “in the large” and I am living “in the small”, particularly at present. As children, my sister and I used to make fun of the popular Sunday School hymn “Jesus bids us shine with […]

17th February 2021

Today we have the second of a two-part reflection on the Lord’s Prayer. The first part was published on 27th January. The disciples as God’s children are instructed to address their prayer to their Heavenly Father, and the word used here is not a formal title but the form of address used within a family […]

15th February 2021

Two years ago at worship in Tyndale I told the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, the French village which Margaret and I had visited while on holiday, and which during the German occupation 1940–45 had given refuge to Jewish children in danger from the Nazis. The children lived with local families and were mingled with other […]

10th February 2021

Weary. Now there is a word for these days. Faint, tiresome, powerless, exhausted… weary. Weary of the pandemic filling every aspect of our lives. Tired of having our normal social activities curtailed. Exhausted by the effort of trying to keep up with the ever-changing confusion of rules. Powerless in the face of loved ones falling […]

8th February 2021

I started teaching again last week, with a Zoom seminar on Franz Kafka. Kafka is a notoriously ‘difficult’ author, whose works have been interpreted from every conceivable critical angle without anyone coming up with a definitive interpretation. And while this excites some of my students, others – especially those who are used to giving (only!) […]

5th February 2021

Take a Day at a Time There are some words of Jesus that I’ve been pondering over in recent days. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own.” It’s not surprising that we are anxious as we look to the future. Will Covid-19 be […]

3rd February 2021

I remembered Auntie Bertha recently. It was my birthday, when I often remember her. As a child I always had a present from her. She wasn’t really my aunt. In my generation our parents referred to their friends as aunts and uncles. Also she was my regular baby-sitter. A middle-aged lady, much loved, who rode […]