top of page

February E-Magazine 2023

In this edition:

  • Special Times - Chris Ainslie

  • Postage Stamps for Charity

  • The Difference Course this Lent

  • Reflection on first year of coaching for Transforming Lives for Good

  • Eco Church

  • Mothers' Union

  • Update from St James

  • Why Study Groups

  • Services throughout the Parish


Please click below for a printable copy of the magazine:

Feb 2023 mag PRINT READY
Download PDF • 1.63MB



Special Times

God has always been my guide and helper in the valleys and hills of my life. I was ordained a priest in 1961, but it was into areas of community care that God was to lead me, not as a priest.

So it was that in 2013, through Ian Wallace, God was inviting me once again to take up my priesthood and share it with our parish communities.

For these last nine years I have been a member of a very special, gifted and supportive ministry team. It has been for me a rewarding blessing in my pastoral outreach and help to our community.

In this month (February) I shall turn 86 and after much prayer I feel very much that family togetherness, including the

blessing of being a grandparent, is now my priority.

And so it is with sadness that I am stepping down from my

pastoral work and from officiating at the main parish services.

I thank all our parish communities of St Mary’s, St James’,

St Peter’s and St Nix for their love and friendship shown to me over the last nine years.

Memories I will treasure always. God bless you all.

Chris Ainslie


Postage stamps for charity Rev. Ray and Mrs Carol Avent would like to thank everyone who has donated postage stamps in recent times for the charity CRY (Care and Relief for the Young). Unfortunately, CRY no longer has a specialist available to value and sell stamps, so the charity is not able to accept any more stamps.


The Difference Course this Lent

Most of the Home groups are running the Difference Course during Lent. The course is a spiritual and practical response to the increasing divisions within society. We practise being

curious and present to those who are different from us. We ran the course in the Pilgrim group in the autumn and here are some thoughts from Helen:

“As a Pilgrim group we have been looking for the last few weeks at this series of six practical and challenging topics - for

example living in a broken world, handling disagreement,

practising forgiveness.

Each session starts with a short media clip that highlights a contemporary story, followed by an example of how Jesus

responded in similar circumstances.

The challenge for us is then to consider:

¨ How do I see and respond to things like this happening around me?

¨ How might things change if I viewed things differently?

Without giving too much away, it involves asking questions,

being in the moment, and having a good imagination!

I told you it was practical and challenging - give it a go - it’s certainly worth doing!”

The Difference will be run across the Mission Area during Lent so watch out for when and where you can join in.


Reflection on the first year of coaching for Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) Helen Belcher’s story

Well, I’d received the training (it was very good) and read through the manual (such a lot of ideas and resources - brilliant!). I felt a little apprehensive - just me and a child for a whole hour every week. Would we hit it off? What if there’s some difficult behaviour? How would I keep them engaged? It seemed a lot of questions - and I was supposed to be the coach!! Better buckle up, and see what happens, I thought. Looking back at the first year, how did it go? The first session was all right, and I was glad of the ‘getting to know you’ activities and resources to break the ice. It was easier then to build on those positive things week by week, and conversation soon easily flowed. Some weeks were really great, and others were…. well, just all right if I’m being totally candid. My first child didn’t present any problems with behaviour but was occasionally quiet and pensive. I learned to just be there at times like that. I really valued being able to confidentially share things with Joanne (our coordinator) when I needed to chat things through. It always helped to get another perspective. What have I learned through this first year? There is no short cut to building a relationship, and just turning up is key to making things happen. Always have something extra to do in case a session is not going to plan, and you need to mix things up a bit. Expect to be taken by surprise (in a good way!) and enjoy learning new things from your child. Big changes in life start small. The opportunity week by week to show a child who is finding life challenging that they are seen, they are heard, and they matter is priceless. Would I do it again?

Definitely. In fact, I’ve already signed up. If you would like to make a difference to a child’s life, and have an hour a week to spare, why not think about joining us?”

There are six TLG mentors working in partnership with

St Mary’s School. Helen’s reflection and these words from

Rachel capture the feelings of all of us: “I found my year in

St Mary's School mentoring a pupil very rewarding. It was a challenge but it was uplifting to see the child respond, gain

confidence and develop throughout the year.”

As Helen said, if you would like to join us, please contact

Rev Joanne Hodge at


Eco Church in Yate parish Eco church is a scheme for churches in England and Wales. Eco church resources offer support and advice on making changes to our churches to become an Eco church. There are 3 levels of award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. In order to get these awards, you must attain the required standard in each of the areas covered by the Eco survey. We in the Parish of Yate have filled in various surveys and so far St Nicholas and St Peters have a Bronze award, St Mary’s has a Silver award and St James is nearly there as well. A group of us including a representative from each of the churches meet regularly to discuss and share details in the hope that we can all eventually achieve the Gold award. We report to the PCC at their quarterly meetings. Christine Dolton



Mothers’ Union News in the Diocese February 2023 Exciting times ahead for Mothers’ Union this year as we look to simplify structures and concentrate on growing our membership so that we can continue to put our faith into action and support young families, the homeless, refugees and those on the edges of society. We are taking steps to engage more fully with members of the Clergy in the Diocese and with Bristol Cathedral. Mothers’ Union support all the marks of mission and are integral to the task of ‘Making Jesus Visible’. If you are a Clergy member and are not yet an MU supporter, please find out more. We are delighted that we are once more able to support parents with children in the Children’s Hospital as the ‘Friends for Parents’ can be a presence on the wards again, in addition to our gifts of tea and coffee for the parents’ rooms which have been consistent throughout the last few years. We have extended our welcoming of visitors to prisoners at Ashfield Prison to Sunday afternoons as well as Saturdays. Visitors report how grateful they are to see a friendly face at this stressful time for families and friends. We are growing connections with Children’s Centres in several Bristol regions, including Yate, and have been happy to help to provide items for a newborn baby girl, born to one of our local Ukrainian guests. We have a growing online presence on our website and Facebook page. Do visit ‘Mothers’ Union Bristol Diocese’ I hope this provides a snapshot of some of our ongoing projects. We are looking forward to launching a new online group for young (or not so young) members soon, with a focus on mutual support, prayer, campaigning and caring for the environment. Watch this space! Various categories of membership and supporter exist to suit different lifestyles. Going to Branch meetings is not a requirement! To find out more visit our website or Facebook page, pick up a leaflet or talk to me! Jacky Fredrickson, MU President Bristol


Mothers’ Union

Don’t forget we are having lunch together on

Thursday 16 February at noon in the Larkrise

Café, Lark Rise, Yate BS37 7PJ. This is close to the small Tesco store in the Brimsham Shopping Centre. The cost will be £8.00.

Please also note my email contact has changed to


Update from St James

After a busy season of fundraising, principally for our hub

project, we were disappointed to hear from the National Lottery Community Fund that they have not selected our project for funding.

Although this is a major setback, we will be exploring other sources of funding as we continue to work on our local

fundraising efforts throughout this year. The ever-popular

pancake evening on Shrove Tuesday, 21 February, will be

followed by our established summer season of monthly

breakfasts starting on Easter Saturday 8th April. We have also installed a new community notice board in the porch where

anyone can post items and services for sale or wanted, for a small weekly charge.

Our community outreach also includes the Westerleigh Warm Welcome, trialled in January: the Village Hall will be open on Fridays 10 and 24 February from 11.30 to 1.30 for people to gather for warmth, company and refreshments (fresh soups, tea and coffee), to chat and play cards or board games – all for free.


Why Study Groups?

We often hear people say ‘you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian’. I believe this is true, but it does leave me with some questions.

¨ Where are you engaging with others who are seeking to

follow Christ?

¨ The Bible is a complex set of books - how do you gain

understanding of what it is trying to say to humanity?

¨ How are you challenging and supporting your view of Christ’s intention for you?

¨ How do you ensure you deepen your understanding?

¨ How do you feed your spiritual thirst for the sacramental presence of Christ?

Being a follower of Christ is complicated. We are challenged to be a movement of people seeking to know and love God more in every way possible. Perhaps some theology experts could answer all of the above questions while asserting that they don’t need to go to Church to be Christian. But could they say how they were using their God-given gifts and talents for the benefit of the kingdom?

Attending church and learning from the sermon is a good way to begin to deepen our understanding of the message Jesus gives us through scripture. Attending church enables us to not feel alone and isolated in our faith. Going to church ensures we are nourished through the sacramental presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If we truly embrace this, our thirst to deepen that relationship with the Father through the Son will develop. We will need a place to further explore. We will discover a greater desire to do so in community.

This is where study groups come in. They offer a way to

deepen our understanding, explore together God’s word and grapple with what God intends for us and for the world. They are a place to share knowledge and experience, a place to build a faith-filled community of friends, a place where all who claim Christianity should be shaping their faith.

That doesn’t mean that they are only for those who have been coming to church for some time. They also offer an opportunity to bring those who do not yet know the love that God has for them. They can be a community that is less weird and less threatening than the church to support people into faith.

We have a variety of house groups to suit individual needs across the Yate and Fromeside Mission Area, and I look

forward to supporting future group facilitators to meet the needs of more people seeking to understand what it means

to live a Christian life.

Additional groups will be running this Lent to offer people a

way to engage.

We are asking our groups to run ‘The Difference Course’ -

information can be found at

Please look out for information about dates and times of the different groups and consider joining one to enable you to walk closer with God.

Together we can begin to answer our questions of faith.

Many Blessings

Rev David Jones

Discipleship Lead,

Yate and Fromeside Mission Area


Dates for your Diary

Friday 21 February 3—5pm St Mary’s Pancake Party

Friday 21 February 6.30pm - St James Pancake Evening

Saturday 8 April Monthly Breakfasts begin at St James



Services throughout the Parish Sunday 5 February 3rd Sunday before Lent—Green Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 Matthew 5:13-20 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am All-Age Service 6.30pm 630 Praise St Nix 10.30am Communion St James 10.30am Communion St Peter 4.00pm Evening Worship (Book of Common Prayer) Sunday 12 February 2nd Sunday before Lent—Green Genesis 1:1-2.3 Romans 8:18-25 Matthew 6:25-end St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Communion 6.30pm 630 Praise St Nix 10.30am Morning Worship St James 10.30am Morning Worship St Peter 4.00pm Communion (Book of Common Prayer) TrueTrue2(```````````(```````````15459041268603200

Sunday 19 February Sunday before Lent—Green Exodus 24:12-end 2 Peter 1:16-end Matthew 17:1-9 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Morning Worship 6.30pm 630 Praise St Nix 10.30am Communion St James 10.30am Communion St Peter 4.00pm Evening Worship (Book of Common Prayer) Sunday 26 February 1st Sunday of Lent—Purple Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11 St Mary 8.15am Communion 10.30am Communion 6.30pm 630 Praise St Nix 10.30am Morning Worship St James 10.30am Morning Worship St Peter 4.00pm Communion (Book of Common Prayer)


Join a community of women in St Mary’s Church at 11am every Friday (term time only). Mammas Club is a drop in café for you and your family. Come along and enjoy the company of other women on the journey of parenthood. We will have tea, coffee and light bites!

Third Saturday of every month 10am at St Mary’s Youth Centre. Come for breakfast with the children. Toys and chat, share precious time with the little ones.




Morning prayer in Yate Parish

Do you find prayer a little difficult? Would you like some inspiration? Go to the Yate Parish Facebook page to join in Morning Prayer led by our ministry team. You can watch live at 7.30am Monday to Saturday, or watch at any time later in the day. Many people have found it a great start to their day.


Weekly at St Mary’s

Thursday Communion at 10.00am


Compline @8pm

Before the lockdown happened, we had recorded the saying of Compline. We ask that each evening at 8pm we light a candle in our window and pray together for our nation using the words of the Compline service - it takes just over 5 minutes.

Visit the parish website and click on the recordings to listen; you will find the words of the service there too.



bottom of page