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IMPORTANT – Service Cancellations

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, the leadership team and PCC of St James Mangotsfield have regretfully decided to suspend services in the Church building from 9th January 2021. This situation will be reviewed continually. Online services will continue and can be accessed by going to the St James Mangotsfield Facebook […]


Thoughts from Dianne Simms

This month we are very pleased to welcome Diane with us. She will be on placement at St. James until Easter, as part of her final year studies at Trinity College leading to ordination this coming year. Many of you will remember Diane, as she undertook a LLM placement with us a few years ago. It is good to welcome her back and we look forward to sharing ministry with her.

Diane says this: "Spend a Penny” was the jolly slogan on the tip of your tongues at St. James’ seven years ago when I came on a June placement while training for licensed lay ministry. And now I find myself here among you again, at Revd. Teresa’s invitation, in a church with not only the much needed toilet and smart new kitchen area, but a most beautiful light and spacious worship space. ‘How lovely is your dwelling place!’ sprang to mind as I gazed up at the angels last Sunday. God is good.

So what am I doing here again, you might well ask? Well, I’m in the second year of ordination training to become an ordained local minister in Fishponds at All Saints and St. Mary’s. Coming from a background in children’s work, co-ordinating school trails, a Messy Church and Holiday Bible Clubs, writing essays was a shock to the system, compensated by being among the lively student body at Trinity College- some of whom could be my sons or daughters! The essay research has been fascinating and I’ve answered questions such as: How did we get the Nicene Creed?, Why are there so many models of atonement?, What is the mission of the Holy Spirit?, among others. Our lectures continue online. Churches in my home benefice of All Saints and St.Mary’s Fishponds have been offering midweek opportunities for prayer on Zoom.

I wonder if, like me, during lockdown, you find yourself turning to God in prayer more often? There are amazing ancient and modern resources to help with that. I love singing - and because I was missing it, I decided to teach myself plainsong chant during lockdown. I love to use it to pray the Psalms at morning or evening prayer. There is a fragility about the music which seems to match the mood of the times we are in and brings me close to God in worship. (You might have heard the nuns in 'Call the Midwife' sing plainchant).

I have also discovered the Lectio 365 App devised by the 24/7 prayer movement and find it so refreshing to either listen to the audio or follow its pattern of prayer in the evenings. P.R.A.Y. Pause, Reflect, Ask, Yield. I will finish with a prayer from it for you to use today:
Jesus help me to receive Your blessing.
Help me know Your favour and Your presence.
Transform me from the inside out, whatever my
circumstance today. Amen.

I look forward to meeting more and more of you, to talking and praying together, whether online or in church. God bless, Diane Simms
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St James Church

St James Church, Mangotsfield, Bristol, BS16 9EW

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21 Richmond Road, Mangotsfield, Bristol BS16 9EZ


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