Relationship is at the core of the gospel message, so it’s no surprise that people often judge the truth and value of that message by the quality and integrity of the community which proclaims it.
We try to make sure that Kingdom values are threaded through every part of life at Trinity, from coffee breaks and shared mealtimes to chapel services, lectures, and small groups. That’s not an easy task, but we invite you to join us in it: come and get stuck in to a community seeking to reflect God’s Kingdom.
Meet our Student Exec
Our Student Exec is here to advocate for, build, and continually improve both the student experience and community life at college. Read more about our current student leaders >
Connect for spouses
WHAT IS CONNECT?
HOW IS CONNECT RUN?
HOW IS CONNECT FUNDED?
THE CONNECT WEEK
Through Connect we hope to provide some time and space to develop friendships and deepen our faith. As well as the Monday and Wednesday sessions involving worship, teaching and prayer, there are small groups and the opportunity to form prayer triplets. For those with little ones (or not!), there is Friday Tea & Tots. Below is what a typical week for us looks like for us.
Monday Evenings: Small Groups and Reconnect. During the first half of the autumn term, Connect will meet weekly at College (in the chapel) between 7:45-9:45pm. The aim will be to get to know each other and form relationships that can be deepened in small groups and prayer triplets. After the first half term, the rhythm of Connect will change to meeting in small groups three weeks of the month, and all coming together again to meet for “Reconnect”, where we will gather for worship and teaching once a month. The college doesn’t hold any compulsory events for the students on a Monday evening which hopefully means that you are free to attend a small group or the Reconnect meet-ups.
Wednesday Mornings: Connect on Wednesday. Wednesday mornings are an opportunity to meet together, worship, pray, engage in Bible study, and listen to speakers on a variety of subjects. We meet weekly at college starting at 11:15 for an hour and a half. If you have young children with you, a well-supervised crèche is provided by the student pastoral groups, on a rota. Many spouses stay at college to join with the students for lunch afterwards (remember to get your student partner to book you in the day before).
Friday Mornings: Tea & Tots (Group for everyone–including little ones). A weekly “coffee morning” where all Connect members are welcome to come and share tea and cake! There are plenty of toys and organised activities for the little ones, including singing, snacks and crafts. This is another popular day for spouses to stay for lunch which is due to in no small part to the fabled “fish and chip Friday”.
Small Groups: One of the many blessings of being part of the Connect community is the support that is offered through membership of a small group. Small groups will start to meet on Monday evenings after you have had some time to settle into the new rhythms of Bristol/college life, and everyone will have the opportunity to be in a small group. We are hoping to be able to offer different types of small groups in the new academic year (e.g. female-only, male-only, and mixed groups) as we want to make small groups as accessible for as many people in the Connect community as possible. Small groups are a safe place to journey in faith through sharing testimonies, Bible study, prayer, and social activities too!
Prayer triplets: We encourage all Connect members to find themselves a couple of people with whom they can form a prayer triplet. We believe prayer triplets can be a valuable place for sharing your life more deeply with a couple of other members of the Connect community. They provide a safe space to share and pray with each other on a regular basis. We hope that triplets begin to form in the first few months of college, although the Exec is more than happy to support you in finding a group.
Our commitment to shaping leaders in community means that we put a lot of emphasis on spending time together during the college week.
Some of the best moments of spiritual formation and theological questioning happen when you’re not in the classroom but just enjoying the company of others on a similar journey to yours. One of the main forums for that is the chance to have lunch together as a community every week day, the cost of which is included in full-time student fees. There are also regular socials throughout the year, giving you a chance to see how well your fellow students dance, how skilled they are at roasting marshmallows over a bonfire and how useful they can be in a pub quiz team.
Most of our social events are masterminded by our Student Exec, a small number of students who are elected each year to help coordinate key aspects of community life. The Exec also represent the student voice to staff, faculty and the trustees, enabling good communication between the different parts of the community and giving everyone a chance to participate in and shape college life.
We have a college football team, the Trinity Tigers, who always love new players to join them in their weekly pursuit of victory in Bristol’s intramural league. Recent match results suggest the Tigers may be taking their community commitment to humility a little too literally, but it’s still a good way to keep fit and have fun. Or for days when you can’t face the great outdoors you can always take a break from studying to play ping pong in our games room, which also has table football and a full size snooker table.
Families at Trinity
Our students’ spouses and children are a valued part of the Trinity community, and we offer many different opportunities for families to experience and enjoy college life together.
Meals and Worship Together
The daily chapel and weekly Communion services are open to spouses and once a term we also run an all-age Communion specifically designed to engage your whole family. Spouses and children are always welcome at mealtimes too, for only a small cost, and we have plenty of high chairs and child-friendly plates and cutlery.
We have our own Ofsted-registered day nursery on campus which, as well as serving the families of Trinity students, is also open to the public, so it offers a great chance to get to know other families in the local area. Muddy Boots Day Nursery offers care between 8.00 am – 6 pm and the children of full-time Trinity students are able to attend for a significantly subsidised fee.
Further Education for Spouses
If your spouse is curious about the things you’re learning at college then they’re welcome to audit some of our classes for free (which means they can come to the lectures without having to do any of the assessments.) If they’re really keen and want to take classes for credit they are eligible for a 50% reduction on fees for many of our programmes, whether they just do a few modules or actually enrol on an accredited course.
Meet our chaplains
During the 2016-17 academic year, we introduced three chaplains into the college community.
Each chaplain is in college once a week, but can meet up with students at other times as well. They offer a listening, impartial ear to students, as well as a willingness to pray with and for them, whether students are wrestling with personal issues, or just needing a space to vent.
We know that where and how you make your home has a big impact on what you’re able to gain from and give to the community during your time here, and that’s especially true for those relocating to Bristol to study with us.
If you’re going to be attached to a local church as part of your study programme we’ll work hard to make sure you live in or very close to your context parish; if you’re bringing a family with you we can help you think about local schools and family-friendly areas; if you have a specific part of Bristol you’re already connected to or want to engage with we’ll do our best to explore all the possible local living options.
In addition to the many properties Trinity owns or leases, most within a three-mile radius of the college, we can also house up to 30 people in our on-site accommodation. In an average year a close-knit community of between 15-20 students live in the Carter building, our main living area on campus, in addition to the students and families in the small number of houses situated within the college grounds. (Read more about life in Carter from our student Carter Rep.)
We would love to talk more with you about which of our accommodation options would suit you best, so feel free to ask us about it at an Open Day or just contact our admissions team to find out more.
Living in Bristol
Bristol is a lively student city, home to the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, so it has a good network of buses, plenty of parks and open spaces, great shops, several interesting art galleries and museums, lots of theatres and live music venues, a beautiful cathedral and more good restaurants than anyone on a student budget will ever be able to get through!
Given Bristol’s proximity to the Welsh border you can imagine that we get our fair share of rainy days; however, when the rain stops you’ll find we’re wonderfully close to Bath, Wells, the Somerset and Devon coasts, the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, Oxford and the Cotswolds and, of course, the well-watered lushness of south Wales itself. You’ll also find Bristol to be a very family-friendly city, with the At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo, free museums like the MShed and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (your children will love the fossils and rock collection), and the annual hot-air balloon fiesta and kite festival.
Trinity is in a quiet residential area, with easy access to the city but nicely removed from its busyness by being set up on a hill with views across the Severn estuary to the Welsh hills. We’re also very close to the Clifton Downs, a large grassy and wooded area ideal for walking or running, from which you can see the Avon Gorge and the famed architecture of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
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