Posts Tagged ‘St Michael’s Church’

Digital bells coming soon to St Michael’s

Posted on Thursday 6th December 2018 at 8:22 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of St Michael's Church, Stoke Gifford, viewed from the south.

After decades of silence, the sound of church bells will soon once again ring out across the village green at Stoke Gifford.

Rev Canon Simon Jones, of St Michael’s Church, commented:

“The installation of a digital bells system is a unique marriage of a medieval structure and 21st century technology. We will now be able to call parishioners to worship, celebrate weddings, mark funerals and herald local and national celebrations in a quintessentially time-honoured fashion.”

Three years ago, local residents were told that the existing bells, one of which dates back to 1450, were unsafe and beyond economic repair or renovation and were invited to hear a trial of electronically-reproduced bell sounds from the church tower. The feedback from this trial was overwhelmingly positive.

The church authorities are taking a great interest in the project as St Michael’s is the first church in the Bristol Diocese to install such a system. It has, therefore, taken time to gain the various ecclesiastical permissions, to make safe and preserve the original three bells and to evaluate a modern, state of the art, digital sound system, which will be installed in the newly re-roofed and refurbished church tower.

Once the system is in place (4th December) there will follow a 15-month appraisal period, after which an application can be made to retain the system permanently.

More: Hear the bells at ‘Carols on the Green’ on 8th December »

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Community events at the St Michael’s Centre deemed a huge success

Posted on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 9:37 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Stuart Townend performing at the St Michael's Centre.

The St Michael’s Centre has been having a great autumn with a range of different events taking place for members of the Stoke Gifford community. In fact, the events are proving to be so popular that people from the whole of Bristol and beyond have been booking tickets.

It all started at the end of September with Stuart Townend, who is a top Christian singer/songwriter. Over 430 people from across the south west attended for a fantastic evening of music and song. This was followed a week later by the comedian/magician Steve Legg who was watched by over 150 people. He kept everyone entertained with his comedy and tricks and there was lots of help from the audience.

On 18th October there was an event from Care for the Family. Over 300 people gathered to hear advice on ‘Parenting in the Digital Age’. This is such an important issue in today’s society and everyone left having gained valuable skills on using social media and devices effectively with their children.

Then, at the end of October, the St Michael’s Centre welcomed Riding Lights Theatre group who took the audience through a whistle stop tour of the Bible in their own unique style!

After the success of the first few events, Andy Mead, events manager at St Michael’s, said:

“We are extremely pleased with how successful the events at St Michael’s have been. The number of tickets sold has exceeded expectations and it is great to see the centre being used not just by the church but by the wider community as well. We are already thinking about plans for the new year and are excited for what the future may bring.”

Coming up: Comedians and Carols on 15th December »

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First anniversary for Stoke Gifford Community Library

Posted on Wednesday 28th November 2018 at 10:53 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of six volunteers at the community library.

The Stoke Gifford Community Library, located in the mezzanine above the Tea Rooms in the St Michael’s Centre, North Road, has recently celebrated its one year anniversary.

The volunteer-led library service first opened its doors on 10th October 2017 after it was announced that South Gloucestershire Council’s mobile van service would no longer be running. The library was originally run by a team of three volunteers who gave up their time every other week to provide this service to local residents, many of whom are unable to travel to the main library in Bradley Stoke. Since then, the number of residents visiting the Stoke Gifford facility has increased significantly and there are now seven volunteers who run the library, which is now open once a week.

In the last four months alone, they have issued 21 new library cards to members of the public and numbers have increased so much that the volunteers are considering opening the library twice a week.

Peter Day, one of the original volunteers, said:

“There has been a steady growth of people coming to use the library. Even though we only have a small selection of books here, we are able to order books for free, which has been a really popular service with the local residents. We are really happy to see that people of all ages are coming in to use the library and are thrilled that we’ve been able to keep this service going for the community.”

The services that the library offers have proven to be very popular with the residents of Stoke Gifford as they are able to order books which can then be collected at the library and borrow DVDs for free. Both of these amenities come with a charge at the Bradley Stoke library. The length of time that you can borrow books for is also one week longer than at Bradley Stoke.

More: Borrow free eAudiobooks online or with the library app »

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St Michael’s Centre to begin hosting events for the wider community

Posted on Sunday 16th September 2018 at 10:04 pm by Laura Mortimore

Auditorium at the St Michael's Centre,.

This autumn will see the commencement of a series of events where the newly finished auditorium in the St Michael’s Centre in North Road, Stoke Gifford [BS34 8PD] will be used to its full capacity.

The auditorium is going to play host to a number of entertainers, suitable for the whole family to enjoy. The St Michael’s Centre has recently completed the installation of seating in the balcony of the auditorium which has provided a further 163 seats for events such as church services, concerts and conferences. The extended seating was used for the first time on Wednesday 25th April when the Diocese of Bristol attended the Connected Conference. The 500-capacity auditorium has now allowed the centre to schedule a variety of performers to entertain the local community over the coming months.

As part of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, the St Michael’s Centre wants to serve the community in ever increasing ways. Ian Taylor, director of operations at the centre, explains: “The centre is already used for numerous activities such as the Golden Oldies, Keep Fit and a number of youth activities and groups. The large hall is also used for wedding receptions and birthday parties. Now that the auditorium has additional seating, we would like to reach out to the wider community and offer events that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.”

One of the key ambitions of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project is to “create a spacious modern meeting place in the centre of the community”. Andy Mead, who is in charge of venue hire at the centre, says: “The idea behind hosting these events is to reach out to the wider community and make our space available to everyone in the community, not just those who attend our church.”

If you would like to read more about the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, visit

More: Programme of entertainment for the whole family »

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