We are the Lee Abbey small missional community in Knowle West, Bristol. Our rhythm of community life includes daily prayers and shared meals. Here are a few highlights from what we got up to in 2016.
We hosted a day of prayer for the people and places of Knowle West, inviting people to come and pray, and they did, from 7am to 7pm.
Sunday school started at St Barnabas church after a year without any; community members Aggy and Ed @EdwardPalairet are now some of the leaders.
Chris Sunderland @wwingsleagles came to talk to the community, which helped with our thinking about how culture and systems do or don’t reflect our faith, using his inspiring examples of faith in action in Bristol.
We attended Knowle West Churches Together’s discipleship course during Lent.
We attended the Lee Abbey Movement Weekend, where we heard what God is doing at and through Lee Abbey Devon @leeabbeydevon, Lee Abbey London @leeabbeylondon, the other small missional communities, and Scargill House @scargillhouse.
Paul Hazelden @paulhazelden came to talk to the community about Christian social action in Bristol.
We led a choir which performed at the Good Friday open-air service
Filwood Hope used Lee Abbey House for their confidential meetings with clients, while the Princes Trust was doing some improvements to the Filwood Hope office.
We welcomed over 100 people to our home for our Open Day – on the menu: willow weaving, games, sports, guided tours of the community house, free Bibles, award-winning scones from Lee Abbey Devon’s tea cottage and fresh pizza.
We hosted ‘The Well:’ a monthly prayer meeting for people who live and/or work on the estate.
Our newest community member Richard attended the BAP where he was accepted to start training for ordained ministry.
Kim (a student at Trinity College @trinity_bristol) lived at Lee Abbey House for a month, while she was on placement at a local church
Visitors intent on starting small missional communities came to see what they could learn from our experiences (good and bad).
St Barnabas church’s summer fair was a great success, with help from members from the Lee Abbey communities in Knowle West and Devon.
We installed a prayer box outside our house for people to post prayer requests.
We served free tea and coffee at the Peace Picnic which was organised to show solidarity for the local residents who were victims of racist attacks on their homes and cars.
We helped Knowle West Churches Together offer free toasted tea cakes and prayer ministry at the local festival Knowle West Fest.
With the expert help of Jesse Rowe @jesserowefilms, we published a video on YouTube @youtube about our community.
Richard got married and left the community.
Ed and Aggy presented the aforementioned video at a gathering held at the House of Lords @ukhouseoflords.
Tim and Jill joined as community members.
For Halloween, community member James cooked fresh pizza in our front garden, where we all welcomed trick-or-treaters with chocolates, a blessing, and free pizza they saw being prepared.
The community visited Lee Abbey Devon, where we spent time together exploring themes such as ‘how is the Gospel good news (good and news) for our neighbours’ (and other challenging topics set by Ed).
Aggy assembled a musical ensemble for Knowle West Churches Together’s carol concert, and we gave out free Bibles at that event.
We knocked on neighbours’ doors (residential and businesses) to give them chocolates and Christmas cards.
A few things to look forward to in 2017
26-Jan We’re catering for The Noise @bristolnoise local networking meeting
28-Jan Filwood Hope’s 20th anniversary celebration
March Knowle West Churches Together Lent Discipleship Course (possibly lay-led this year)
04-Mar Community members Tim and Jill talking at a local Lee Abbey Friends Group
14-Apr Knowle West Churches Together Good Friday outdoor event on Filwood Broadway
22-Apr Lee Abbey Knowle West’s 25th anniversary – if you would like to help out on the day, please get in touch; roles will include preparing food, serving drinks, welcoming, etc. If not, simply let us know you’re coming.
01-May The Noise, for the first time in South Bristol… in Knowle West! A family fun afternoon in Filwood Park, and community projects to show God’s love in practical ways.