Bristol Community Gospel Concert
10th May 2018
On the evening of Saturday 14 April, several churches in the St Paul's area of Bristol, gathered to celebrate a series of community gospel concerts.
The event was organised by Councillor Dr Carole Johnson, the local councillor for the St Paul's area and was sponsored by Bristol Energy. Councillor Johnson was especially passionate about her vision for the community, and so for several months she had engaged the various local churches in healthy discussions to encourage community cohesion.
South Bristol church and Bristol Central church, which sits in the heart of St Paul's, were both involved. There had been several discussions between Pastor Royston Smith (local church pastor), Dr Carole Johnson and Mary Philip (Community leader). Among other projects, which Councillor Johnson highlighted, was the Winter Night Shelter for the homeless, which the church gladly embraced and executed over a six-week period (led by Beverley Thompson and her team).
On the night of the concert, several artists from the churches, performed special items of music. These included Jodene Francis, Kirsten Khonje, Angela Victor and Mortel Henderson who sang 'I Know My Redeemer Lives' to amazing rounds of applause. Several items of gospel music were also sung by Renewal Choir, a local group, made up of different faiths across Bristol.
In addition to the singing, the Bristol Central Community Ministries team of five, provided free samples of local healthy snacks made from dips of tasty hummus, carrots, celery and cucumber sticks, with herb and coriander, as well as garlic biscuits. The concert attendees were also treated to a selection of grapes, honey dew melon, water melons, and cantaloupe fruit bowls.
During the break the crowds of about 150 quickly scooped up the dishes and some came back for second helpings. There was lots of positive feedback. One lady was so impressed and commented, "I am a vegan and usually when I go to events like this I never partake of the food because it is always a meat dish. However, I can eat tonight as it is a plant-based diet. For this I thank you."
The church members also took the opportunity to give out 50 goodie bags, with literature such as Steps to Christ and Desire of Ages.
According to Dr Carole Johnson, it was a great success, and she is planning another event in the south of Bristol in the not too distant future. As has now become the norm, the Bristol Seventh-day Adventist churches demonstrated their commitment to community involvement and engagement, in order to be relevant and demonstrate the love of Christ to the people of Bristol.