Annual Parish Meeting - 15th May 2022.
The annual Parish Meeting or ACPM will be held after the service on Sunday the 15th May. The meeting will be chaired by Churchwarden, Pete Daly.
Minutes of the 2021 ACPM - Click Here
Agenda for the 2022 APCM - Click Here
Churchwardens Report 2022 - Click Here
Tower Report 2022 - Click Here
Safeguarding Report for 2022 - Click Here
Deanery Synod Report - Click Here
Fr Steve Hawkins!
Just had this text from Fr Steve; it reads:-
"Hi guys. I'm out of theatre and back in my room. Bit groggy and painful. Apparently I sang them a shanty when I was coming to in the recovery room and recited Newton's equations of motion!
Love to everyone at Holy Nativity!"
That's great news!!
Pete and Phil
Fr Steve Hawkins.
An update from our much loved retired Parish Priest. Fr Steve is going into the Nuffield Hospital tomorrow for his other knee to be fixed. His operation is scheduled for 12:00 noon so please keep Fr Steve in your prayers tonight and tomorrow.
Fr Steve was a spirited Prop Forward in his Rugby playing days and this inevitably causes problems later in life.
We wish him all the very best for the operation and a speedy recovery!
The Churchwardens, Pete and Phil.
GOOD FRIDAY 2:00pm Service.
The contractors have been on site today and we are pleased to say that the system is again water tight. The entire system needs testing but that is being undertaken on Thursday. It is therefore hoped that a warm church is the outcome for Mothering Sunday.
Our Director of Music, Kathy has tested positive for COVID and will be self isolating until a clear result is obtained and then will be 5 days before she can return to work. We wish her all the very best and she will be included in the prayers for next Sunday and we all hope that you feel better soon.
Our candle for Ukraine.
This candle is lit every Tuesday and Sunday as a reminder of our brothers and sisters in that country. They are in our prayers and we hope that this war will soon end.
Many very many thanks to the Archdeacon of Bristol, Fr Neil Warwick for coming to Holy Nativity and celebrating Ash Wednesday. He has given permission to post the Gospel and his Sermon on our Facebook page for which we are very grateful.
Gospel Reading for Ash Wednesday
while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’
Sermon – Ash Wednesday 2022 – Holy Nativity – John 8. 1-11
In a few moments we will receive the mark of the cross on our foreheads.
In our lives we receive and carry many different types of marks. Some marks are visible and recall a certain time or event in our lives. A good example of this are the scars that we carry. As a warm up exercise for a group I was facilitating last year I said, ‘turn to your neighbour and describe to them your favourite scar.’ The room became a hubbub of people pointing to their knee or arm; their eyebrow or hand…and telling the story of how they got that scar and why it was there favourite.
Mine – if you’re wondering – are the scars on both knees I got as I tripped age 6 whilst running with a stick and I could hear my mother shouting, ‘don’t run with that stick.’
One lady said it was the scar for her c-section.
We can also carry marks on our body that are reminders of tough and/or sad times.
And we know we all carry marks inside – made by life’s ups and downs – that we know about and yet are invisible to others. Hurts, guilt, shame, joys, hopes, fears…
In our Gospel there were marks that could have been and marks that were actually made – seen and unseen.
Had the Scribes and the Pharisees been able to throw their stones, the woman’s body would have been covered in bruised and bloody marks.
As Jesus paused he bent down and made a mark with his finger on the ground – twice. And he challenged the crowd ‘let anyone among you that is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’.
Then marks were made in the ground as one by one people dropped their stones and walked away.
Then the woman left un-condemned, forgiven and with the command, ‘do not sin again’.
She walked away with a mark on her very soul having encountered the forgiveness and grace of the living God, Jesus Christ our Lord.
And in a few moments we receive the mark that makes that forgiveness and grace possible for us – the sign of the cross. The cross marked Jesus – and Thomas demanded to see those marks to believe that Jesus had risen.
The cross is the place where we can pray:
our lives are laid open before you:
rescue us from the chaos of sin
and through the death of your Son
bring us healing and make us whole
in Jesus Christ our Lord
As we approach the cross this Lent, let us go with all our marks – seen and unseen – let us share it all with Christ and know – as with the woman in our Gospel account – if we confess and are sincere in our confession that Christ has died and risen for us, he loves us, forgives us and says, ‘Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
(A WOMEN LED, GLOBAL, ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT)
“I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU”
2022 is a special year for World Day of Prayer in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year, we have prepared the World Day of Prayer service. It has been both challenging and rewarding to write about the three countries that make up our area: our landscape, people and culture all shaped by our history. We celebrate our diversity and the contribution made to our countries by the many groups and individuals who have made their home here. We use our Bible text “I know the plans I have for you” from Jeremiah to reflect on some of the issues facing us today: poverty, domestic abuse and disability, finding hope in difficult situations and encouragement in the help we can give to each other.
World Day of Prayer is an international ecumenical organisation which enables women all over the world to share the ideas and concerns of the writing country. Preparation for the day has taken several years. Our International Committee based in New York coordinates the work of National Committees and facilitates the creation of our annual World Day of Prayer service on the first Friday in March. The service out-line, created by the writing country, is distributed to the rest of the world, along with a Bible reflection, country background and children’s and -for the first time -young people’s activities.
All this work will come to fruition on Friday 4March 2022 when services will take place beginning in Samoa and moving on through New Zealand and Australia, across Asia, Africa and Europe and finally the United States and South America before finishing in American Samoa. Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland services will take place in large urban centres, such as Central Hall Westminster, and in remote village churches. We will use modern technology to reach those unable to access a service but hope to be able to extend a welcome and hospitality once released from lockdown.
For further information and resources, together with details of services in your area, see the WDP website: wwdp.org.uk
The local service this year is at Totterdown Baptist Church on the 4th March at 1:30pm.
ASH WEDNESDAY 2nd March.
We welcome the Archdeacon of Bristol Fr Neil Warwick to Holy Nativity to celebrate the start of Lent 2022. The service includes the imposition of ashes and starts at 7:30pm. Please make every effort to attend.
NEXT SUNDAY 2nd Before LENT.
The Bishop of Lewes, Bishop Will Hazlewood will be with us!
Please note that + Will is in Bristol next Sunday and we asked him if he would kindly come and preside and preach at Holy Nativity. He readily agreed as you may be aware + Will served his title here as our Curate.
It would be very good if we could have a good congregation for next Sunday so we hope that as many as can attend will make every effort to do so. It will be very good occasion we are sure.
Bernard Glover Coombs
1st April 1937 - 2nd February 2022.
DATE AND TIME
Monday 21st February 2022, 11:30am.
St Dunstan's Catholic Church, Bristol Road, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2BQ.
May he rest in peace.
At the beginning of February the Churchwardens welcomed the Archdeacon of Bristol, the Area Dean and the Bristol Representative of the See of Ebbsfleet here. Our visitors were impressed with Phil’s work in finding priests to cover our Parish Mass, and of our ongoing outreach with activities such as the food bank collection and art trail involvement. The central message we received back was to ‘remain faithful, remain focussed and remain patient’, as our vacancy will last longer than first envisaged. We pray that this is positive news for the next stage of our church life.
Our special status as an Ebbsfleet parish means that Catholic societies may provide tangible support for us going forward. The wardens have made clear their desire for growth in our parish community, and for a priestly settlement that best facilitates this. Discussions are ongoing as to what this might look like.
In the meantime we, the faithful of Holy Nativity, need to start focussing on a mission plan in preparation for the arrival of our next parish priest – further details on this will follow.
LENT COURSE 2022:
You may already be well advanced in the arrangements for keeping Lent in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Familiar devotions, such as the Stations of the Cross, are a welcome discipline, as is the offer of a Lent book.
Bishop Martin and Bishop Will are offering an online Lent Course entitled, In the Comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is available on the See of Ebbsfleet website now, and each of the five sessions can be downloaded and printed as a separate pdf file.
We will also make it available on the Holy Nativity website HERE.
Dedication of Holy Nativity.
25th January 1958 making it 64 years to the day when The Church was rededicated after being rebuilt after being destroyed in 1940. The photo below is of that service at 3:00pm on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.
The Baptism of the Lord, Sunday 9th January.
Apologies in advance but we are unable to live-stream the service from Holy Nativity on Sunday morning. This is due to Churchwarden Phil Goodfellow contracting Shingles over the weekend. NHS 111 has advised staying away for a while until the infection subsides.
Sunday 2nd January 2022
THE EPIPHANY of the LORD & HOLY BAPTISM
We are very pleased to be able welcome Fr Chris Kinch back to Holy Nativity for this important service. We also have the pleasure of Baptising Joshua Michael Bridge on that morning as well. One not to be missed and we look forward to seeing you all there for this service.
Festive Spirit to blame?
This graffiti has appeared on the South Wall of the church over the Christmas break. Clearly the work of an intellectual heavyweight the Churchwardens have contacted Bristol City Council for the "Removal Squad" to do their stuff. Bristol is fast becoming covered in meaningless spray painted rubbish we are afraid.
Christmas Day Mass at Holy Nativity.
Our sincere thanks to Fr Stephen Spencer from St Mary Redcliffe for standing in this morning a delivering a wonderful Mass. He was assisted this morning by Abigail Sleight on her first time behind the lectern who also did wonderfully.
Due entirely to clergy cover issues this year will be considerably curtail in what we can and not cover.
Christmas Eve – there is no Crib Service this year or Midnight Mass.
Christmas Day – there is one Mass – Mass of the Day which will be held as normal at 10:00am. The President and Preacher is Fr Stephen Spencer who is placed at St Mary Redcliffe but has agreed to help us with this most important service. Fr Stephen will be assisted by Abigail Sleight.
St Stephens’ Day (26th December) – there is no Mass today.
Christmas 2 – Sunday 2nd January. 10:00am with Fr Chris Kinch which will also include a Baptism.
Thanks for your understanding and forbearance during these challenging times.
Bishop of Chichester says Mass at Holy Nat.
Bishop Martin had asked to have a meeting with Ebbsfleet priests after the resignation of Bishop Jonathan and chose Holy Nativity as the venue. We celebrated Mass at 10:00am and then after coffee the priests present had an hour long meeting. Thanks to Stephen Watts, John Chamberlain (pictured) and Mary Goodfellow for making the arrangements.
James Nash, RIP
We have been advised that James’ funeral will be on Friday 17th December 2021 at 12:00 noon. It will be held at St Augustine’s Church in Downend. The service will take the form of a Requiem Mass.
Parish Magazine for December 2021 published.
The Parish magazine for December has been published and can be found here. Any member of the congregation that would like to produce articles for the magazine would be most welcome to do so.
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS CARD:
The Alternative Christmas Card will be available at the back of the Church from Sunday 5th December. Instead of giving lots of individual cards to Church friends this enables you to sign the card and make a donation to our chosen charity which this year is The Matthew Tree Project. This is the Foodbank that we collect produce for on an ongoing basis. Thanks again to John Chamberlain for organising this.
James Nash - RIP
We are sorry to relate that James Nash died this morning after a battle with cancer. We were able to offer prayers this morning for the departed but ask that you all keep the whole Nash family in your personal prayers.
Rest eternal grant unto him O Lord and let light perpetual shine on him. May he rest in peace.
Mike Hodge - RIP
Mike Hodge's funeral is on Friday 3rd December at 12:00 noon and will be held at Cannington Parish Church.
Remembrance Sunday – 14th November.
Very many thanks to Fr Robert Ward for singing the Mass this morning and for a minute perfect act of remembrance. We hope to see Fr Robert at Holy Nativity again and would like to thank Bishop Viv for allowing Fr Robert to officiate this morning.
Fr Steve's final morning prayer.
Fr Steve begins his retirement on his birthday which is the 19th October. Thanks for your ministry among us and thanks for being there when we needed you. Have a long, heathy and happy retirement!!
Churchwarden Pete Daly's comments to Fr Steve before presenting him with his farewell present at his final Mass this morning.
The story at the end of Fr Steve’s sermon reminds me of that joke about the parish priest on his final Sunday taking his leave of the longest-serving parishioner, who tells him that his successor won’t be as good. “I’m sure that’s not true” he replies, and she snaps back, “Oh yes it is: I have been coming here for sixty years and every vicar has been worse than the last”. That is certainly not true here at Holy Nativity, where we are used to having great priests.
We know that Fr Steve is a music lover and a keen singer of old British songs. I think our feelings this morning can be best summed up by tweaking the title of a WW1 recruiting hit: ‘Oh we don’t want to lose you, but we know you have to go’.
It would be a bit unfair to suggest that Fr Steve has had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, but we at Holy Nativity have huge reason to be grateful that you came out of (an admittedly early) retirement to minister to us here, a church that we know you love, from all that you have said and have done here.
We have been truly blessed by your being our parish priest: in celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments, in nurturing our devotional life, in your care and concern for us as individuals, in your preaching, and your sound teaching. And, in responding so pastorally to recent lockdowns, ensuring – along with Phil and Nick – that we had online access to the sacred liturgy and could join together as a Christian family when our church building had to be closed.
We will remember with great affection your highly-organised style, your anecdotes, always told so succinctly, and your regular updates on the fortunes of Bristol Rovers.
But the clock has ticked on and it is now sadly time for you to retire once again. We believe that you will remember us just as we remember you, and to aid you in that I present, on behalf of the whole parish, a small token of our love and esteem. In doing so we ask just three things of you: that you don’t lose touch with us completely; that you have a very happy 70th birthday this week; and that you enjoy a long, healthy and active retirement. From all of us at Holy Nativity, thank you so very much, and God bless.
Fr Steve Hawkins – Final Sunday – 17th October
As most of you know Fr Steve is retiring on the 19th October, his 70th Birthday. We will be hoping that a number of you will be able to say goodbye as he celebrates his final Mass at Holy Nativity where he has ministered for four years. We will be making a presentation of a farewell gift to him from the parish and intend to have drinks and nibbles after the service at the back of church. We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday morning.
Pete Daly is the new Churchwarden of Holy Nativity.
This afternoon Pete Daly was admitted as Churchwarden at Holy Nativity by the Archdeacon of Bristol, Fr Neil Warwick , in a short ceremony in St Stephens Chapel. The picture shows, right to left, Pete Daly, Fr Neil and Phil Goodfellow.
As we approach Fr Steve's retirement date having a full team to work the vacancy process is very important.
Many congratulations Pete!
Ebbsfleet arrangements - latest news.
The Society's Council of Bishops is grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for acting swiftly to put arrangements in place for the See of Ebbsfleet for episcopal cover during the period in which a permanent appointment will be made.
Cover will come from serving Society bishops in the southern province and also from the Chairman of the Council. It is envisaged that, in general terms, the Bishop of Lewes and the Bishop of Chichester will cover the South West area of the See of Ebbsfleet, the Bishop of Richborough and the Bishop of Fulham will cover the South Midlands area of the See and the Bishop of Wakefield will cover the West Midlands.
The Society bishops are grateful to Catherine Williamson for agreeing to act as a first point of contact for Ebbsfleet parishes when a need for episcopal cover arises. Catherine can be contacted via email@example.com.
We suggest that Society priests celebrating Mass in the See of Ebbsfleet should pray for "Bishop Tony and the Council of Bishops" during the Canon of the Mass, should it be their custom to include such prayers. This will reflect the nature of the episcopal cover being provided by a number of Society bishops.
New Heating System has been finished.
The new heating system has been finished and fully tested and is ready to be handed over.
Please see the New Heating System page for more information. Click here.
THE ELLACOMBE CHIMES AT HOLY NATIVITY
When Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe took up his post as curate at St Mary’s Church in Bitton in 1817, he decided he needed an alternative to the local bell ringers due to their wayward behaviour. In 1821 he created the ‘Ellacombe Chimes’ which meant that, for the first time, the bells could be operated by only one trusted person using a set of pulleys in the church porch.
His invention was subsequently adopted by churches around the world including here at Holy Nativity. There are known to be over 400 Ellacombe chimes in working order in the UK and at least 40 in the other parts of the world. Thanks to our Tower Captain Trevor King the chimes have come into their own particularly in the past year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
ON 26th JUNE CHURCHES AROUND THE WORLD WILL MARK THE 200th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELLACOMBE CHIMES.
This will involve bells chiming at noon local time in each of the world’s major time zones, beginning with Timaru in New Zealand (11pm BST on 25th June). Over the next 17 hours, the bells will work their way across the world, arriving at their birthplace at Holy Nativity and St Mary’s, Bitton, at noon BST on 26th June. The event will then cross the Atlantic and be heard across the Americas, finishing in Vancouver, British Columbia. We are proud to say that, thanks to Trevor, we will be playing our part in this historic event.
Click here to see the proof which will appear in the booklet.
Holy Nativity Boiler Installation.
The installation starts on the 14th June and we are trying to organise a working party for 8th June to move the rubbish that is in the way of the contractors. The TCCW staff will be able to assist and I was hoping that Holy Nativity people could come along and help. We are planning to start at 09:00 on the 8th and we will be finished before 15:30. Tuesday 8th June at 09:00. Please let me know if you can assist firstname.lastname@example.org or 07733 111 800.
The Church Wardens.
Scout Hut Site new houses close to completion.
The site of the old Scout Hut at the back of the church was sold off about 6 years ago for the development of housing. The town houses are nearing completion and are looking very special indeed. Local councillor and one time Scout Leader, Chris Davis has got permission for a small plaque stating that the ground was where Fr Atchley, in the 1930's had paid for the erection of a Scout Hut for the Holy Nativity Scouts.
Kathy Gibbs - 36 years as Holy Nativity's Director of Music.
Congratulations to Kathy for completing 36 years today as Organist and Choirmaster at Holy Nativity Church, Knowle, Bristol. Sadly with Covid we are all missing the organ.
Holy Communion (BCP) Sheet available.
This booklet has been produced for people who attend the Live streamed Wednesday Mass which is in traditional language and uses the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).
Holy Communion BCP Sheet.
Morning and Evening Prayer booklets available.
Two new booklets are available to download to assist in saying Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. They are in PDF format and can be printed out as a guide to saying these important services. They are below:-
New Heating System for Holy Nativity
After 60+ years the PCC has agreed to change the out-dated and expensive heating system to a modern gas powered arrangement. The PCC have engaged UES, a local company to do the work and are hoping to start the contract in May 2021. Tim Clarke, the contracts manager with UES said, "This project is a challenge but we are confident that significant savings will result." Churchwardens Trevor King and Phil Goodfellow are acting as project managers for the church. Two high performance boilers will be installed and will be thermostatically controlled as well as remotely configurable via the internet, This will reduce our outgoing on Gas Oil, of over £9,000 per year quite considerably.