St. Bart’s Riverside is a congregation of St. Bart’s Church, which meets ‘offsite’ in a school hall. We are a congregation of around 90 people.
As we celebrate our third anniversary we are taking the opportunity to reflect upon the journey so far and all that God has been doing among and through us, as well as reminding ourselves of what we believe God has called us to do as a congregation.
Bath Riverside is a housing development that will eventually be home to around 5000 people, and is already home to over 2000. Our vision is to offer those people easy access to a church family, and to share with them the hope of the gospel. Given that the population here will exceed many existing parishes we believe that the presence of a local church is a priority.
The difficulties that we experience in realising the vision God has given us predominantly stem from the absence of any community space within the area. Current information relating to the plans of the council and the developers suggest that there is little prospect of there ever being any such facilities. This leaves us at the fringes of Riverside, meeting a small distance away from the area and separated by the busy A36.
We have been both delighted and grateful for the way that God has grown us as a congregation, numerically – but more importantly in terms of our growth in relationship with Him and each other. We give thanks for the blessings of being a family, and for His faithfulness in provision that enables us to meet and worship Him together. Our prayer now is that God will provide us with the space and opportunity to be a more imminent presence in the area, and His servants to those living there.
Revd Michael Farrier
Curate, St Bartholomew’s, Bath