Filwood Hope’s 20th anniversary

On 28 January, Filwood Hope celebrated its 20th anniversary with a lively and well-attended Knowle West Churches Together service held at St Barnabas Knowle.

Fr Richard McKay – Filwood Hope’s patron who is now a priest in a different part of Bristol – shared some powerful words:

“I have never experienced as much ecumenical partnership in 45 years as I did in Knowle West.”

He recalled how this started small at first, with prayer gatherings, which in time led to the formation of a Churches Together council that encouraged Christians to:

“get out of our buildings, meet people where they are, owning our faith and offering the fruits of it in service and undemanding friendship.”

Christian unity has to be the basis of our action, our mission:

“Let they be one that the world may believe” Jesus (John 17:21)

And specifically about Filwood Hope, he recalled:

  • some of the challenges: “Together we built. Bricks were stolen. Tools disappeared”
  • the reward of “being among the people”
  • and a recognition that Filwood Hope will need to adapt to future challenges:

“Marginalisation, sadly, had a long future ahead of it”

“Knowle West is changing. The way to serve will change, the way we ‘wash feet’. But the call to serve will remain the same.”

One of the clients who had been homeless briefly recalled his situation and circumstances and the impact of Filwood Hope’s help on his life and current prospects and concluded with:

“Their doors are open, their hearts are open and their minds are open”

Another client shared her own experience in the video below (recorded at Lee Abbey House):