12th July 2019
Mission to the Cities with a slightly different approach was demonstrated on Sabbath 6 July, with the Bristol Central Adventist church Community Ministries department embracing the opportunity to witness and demonstrate God’s love in a practical way. The annual St Paul’s Carnival was back, where it was predicted that an estimated 100,000 would attend from all over the globe. Indeed thousands flocked the small area of St Paul’s to experience the atmosphere and see the festival’s floats and parades. Several makeshift kitchens and open-plan food stalls were erected everywhere along the roadsides to sell food, water and other commodities hoping to satisfy the desires of the huge crowds. According to the organisers, it was a time to showcase the Windrush generation and the contribution they have made to this country at a critical time in its history.
Bristol Central church sits at the heart of St Paul’s, where the church has been established for the past 60 years. As Community Ministries leader, Mary Philip’s aim was to create a platform for dialogue to establish a working partnership with Bristol City Council and other organisations in order to support initiatives that will deliver essential services relevant to the St Paul’s community. Over the past 7 years, Mary has been working in collaboration with organisations such as Rethink Mental Health, Community Access Support Group (CASS), Montpelier Health Centre, Eastville Health Centre, Race for Life, The Inner-City Community Support Group, and Health Watch to name a few.
Councillor Dr Carole Johnson, councillor for the Ashley Ward, was approached by Mary Philip in 2016 to see whether the church could create a working relationship with herself to support the work that she does in the Ashley Ward.
Several meetings were held resulting in the church agreeing to operate a health hub to facilitate the following: