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.
Connect for spouses
Connect is the group responsible for organising activities for the spouses of Trinity students.
We aim to incorporate spouses and families into as many aspects of college life as possible, and to help adapt the demands of study and college life to the demands of family life. Although Connect exists primarily to serve the spouses of those studying at Trinity, all members of the college community are welcome to join us where possible. In addition to the regular weekly offerings listed below, we offer special termly worship and ‘Marriage and Ministry’ evenings.
We hope to:
- give spouses (both male and female) and children a sense of collective identity
- introduce you to others who are in a similar position and to provide a place of spiritual nurturing and expression within the college community
During term term time Connect meets together fortnightly at college (usually in the chapel) between 7.45pm and 9.45pm for ‘ReConnect’, a time where we can spend time reconnecting with each other and with the Lord. Join us for tea and coffee first, at 7.45pm and then spend some time in worship and prayer. Throughout the terms we will have some speakers too–hopefully, something for everyone! Trinity does not hold any compulsory events for students on Monday evenings, to enable spouses to attend. Monday night is your night! Every other Monday we meet together in our home groups–see below.
We meet in college chapel from 11am until 12.45pm. Come and enjoy coffee and cake, worship, teaching, Bible study, opportunity for prayer and ministry time. You can leave young children from 11.15am in the a crèche. Many of us stay for lunch with the rest of the college family afterwards (get your student partner to book you in the day before).
Friday Tots (toddler group for all!)
This is a chance for us to meet together in a relaxed environment for coffee and cake on Friday mornings, between 10:30-12:30pm in the Clifton Building. There are activities for children, as well as singing, snacks, and occasionally we meet out and about in Bristol. Whether or not you have children, we welcome all, so please do come along.
One of the many blessings of being part of the Connect community is the support offered through membership in a home group. You will be assigned a group at the start of term, and getting to know members of your home group can really help your transition into Bristol and college life. Home groups are a safe place to journey in faith through testimonies, Bible study, prayer, and social activities, too.
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.
For the entire Trinity community, there’s also a very active Facebook group for general support, socialising ideas, and local information and advice.
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.
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 @Bristol planetarium and hands-on science centre, the Aquarium, a large zoo 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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