Bishop's Anniversary Visit
St Saviour's Church, Coalpit Heath
Bishop Viv, the Bishop of Bristol, is visiting St Saviour’s Church to celebrate their 174th birthday (174 years since the church was consecrated).
The area around the church was, at the time the church was built, dominated by the coalmines from which the area gained its name. The mine workers were generally uneducated and unruly. The collieries provided the work and the alehouses the recreation. The long working hours in the coal mines made it difficult to attend St Peter's Church (in Frampton Cotterell), situated on other side of the hill.
From "The Churchgoer" published some time in early 1846, we are told that 4 years previously, three men, members of the Church Building Society, alighted from their carriage on the common at Coalpit Heath and, accompanied by an old man and a respectable resident, proceeded on foot across its little wooded heath to find "a place for the Lord, a habitation of the mighty God of Jacob."
They had not walked far when their attention was attracted to a smooth spot of glade, adjoining the road and the lark, starting up at their feet soared heavenward, singing his song of gladness, as though he would invite with his sweet omen the selection of that very spot for the sacred structure..." and they decided that here the future Church of St. Saviour's should stand.
The Church of St Saviour was consecrated on Thursday October 9th 1845 by the Lord Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol in the presence of about 40 clergy and a congregation of 500.
The Church Records, which have been passed to the Bristol City Archives for safe keeping, provide a fascinating picture of life in the parish a century ago. These can be seen by visiting the Records Office (at the Bond Warehouses, Bristol) or copies viewed by arrangement in the church.
This summer the whole of the parquet floor of the church has been renovated, sanded and oiled, following a flood from a radiator leak in January. The church, which is Grade 2* Listed, is now looking fantastic and it will be a great opportunity to see the new floor, as well as to meet our new Bishop.
Children are welcome every Sunday and we usually have a special (Children's) Breakfast Club on the second Sunday of the month when we meet slightly earlier, at 9:45am, to enjoy Coco Pops or chocolate spread on Toast (it can get very messy!). On the first Sunday of the month the children carry banners in our procession round the church and do readings or other activities. On Monday mornings we run a toddler group. We have an adult social at midday on Fridays – a soup lunch, which proves very popular, especially with the elderly or lonely. Do pop along!
Everyone, whether you live in the parish or further afield, is invited to join us in this service of celebration and thanks with Bishop Viv. We look forward to seeing you.