It feels rather strange writing in Autumn about an event that happened in Summer for you to read in Winter; however, we just couldn’t let such an amazing event go unmentioned.
This Summer’s first-ever ‘Love Bristol’ Festival was an expression of Christian love and care for the people of Knowle West, Hartcliffe and Withywood estates.
The event was two years in the planning, and churches came together with local residents and community groups wanting to see positive change in these areas. A strategic planning office was established in Knowle West, which soon became a hub of activity; it even had its own live radio station where local people were invited to give interviews ― including yours truly!
Activities on the actual Festival site, based at Hengrove Park where the old Bristol Airport used to be, ran from 26-30 July 2006 and catered for all ages.
There was something for everyone from sport to music to crafts and loads more, including a welcoming and much-visited prayer tent with soft furnishings, candles and boxes of tissues.
Over 5,000 people enjoyed the main event that took place on the final day. Local families came to sample all that was on offer. I (Rita) painted dozens of children’s faces. (Sadly, I cannot claim to have painted the two policemen pictured below left!)
During the five day Festival, Martin drove delegates from venue to venue in the Love Bristol bus, while I helped at several youth events.
A tremendous amount was achieved, with 100 projects being completed by 700 enthusiastic delegates, many of whom were teenagers and young adults from North Bristol Churches all sharing their time and talents in bringing God’s love to the people of South Bristol.
They painted murals, re-decorated schools, church halls and community buildings and did litter picking, garden clearance and graffiti removal. They encouraged local young children to join them in music workshops, did extreme sports coaching and helped at holiday clubs. And they prayed and worshipped God together.
Something is happening in Knowle West and the surrounding estates. We believe God is motivating his people to work together to bring many into his Kingdom; there is evidence all around us.
These are exciting times!
Please pray that the spirit of the Love Bristol Festival continues to be the catalyst for God’s purpose here.
Thank you for all your prayers.
Martin & Rita