Spiritual formation


What lies in our hearts directs our lives. Loving God and being devoted to him is not something that can easily be faked – congregations are rarely fooled.

Leaders who want to ride the rough and the smooth of life and ministry, and still remain devoted to God above all other things, need patterns of prayer and worship which will help sustain them across the years. That’s why we’re so intentional about our disciplines of prayer and worship at Trinity, not only learning more about their histories, forms and purposes but practising them together daily.

As a community we pray our Bible; we pray our theology; we pray our mission and ministry. But, ultimately, we pray because of the amazing presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who meets us when we come before him, giving a point and a purpose to it all.

 

Times of worship

eucharist-croppedWe begin each day with a chance to worship and pray together in our morning chapel services, from 8.30-9am.

This serves as both a sacred act of worship and a formational time of learning: groups of students take it in turn to plan and run the services, so that everyone has a chance across the year to both lead and be led. We also have weekly Communion services, into which a more extended time of teaching is incorporated.

Our services often take the form of Common Worship, but we also make use of other traditions and styles of worship from the simple expressions of the Iona and Taize communities to the weighty liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer. We also have several Creative Weeks, where the innovation of the community is given free reign, and it’s both a privilege and a learning opportunity to be able to worship God in such diverse ways.

Quiet times and personal reflection

As a whole community we engage with a weekly spiritual formation programme, consisting of a 50-minute session on a key topic relating to Christian discipleship followed by an hour of silence, meant for personal contemplation and prayer.

We also have one quiet day every term, each involving different opportunities for personal and corporate reflection, prayer and spiritual growth.

Three times a year, we organise retreat days for students–the first often includes bringing a guest speaker to college, for the second one students choose from several options how they would like to spend the retreat day, and the third is a day spent away from college in their pastoral groups.

Pastoral groups and prayer triplets

Every member of the Trinity community has the opportunity to be in a pastoral group of about 8-10 people, often the students with whom you serve in your context church, and a college tutor.

The groups meet for two hours every Wednesday, dividing their time between worship and prayer, theological reflections, serving the wider community in practical ways and simply socialising and enjoying one another’s company.

As well as these larger groups, the forming of prayer triplets is encouraged throughout the community, so that we’re able to offer one another truly personal support and accountability.

Latest blog posts

Meet our new Student Exec 2018-19

Meet this year’s Student Exec! These students will be working to advocate for, build, and continually improve both the student experience and community life at college. To learn more about each of their roles at college, just click here.

View our new prospectus

Many thanks to all the students and faculty members who helped in the creation of our new prospectus. We hope you will share it with those around you, particularly anyone considering theological education. For those who would like to receive print copies, please email m.stratis@trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk.  

New book honours John Nolland

Last spring, Bloomsbury T&T Clark published a volume for its Library of New Testament Studies titled The Earliest Perceptions of Jesus in Context in honour of Trinity Tutor in New Testament Rev Prof John Nolland’s contribution to the field of New Testament studies. This collection of essays from top New Testament scholars was edited by […]

Why is peacemaking so hard?

During Lent this spring, our faculty preached through the Beatitudes, which also form the basis for Trinity’s Community Values. Below is an adapted version of Tutor in Pastoral and Ministerial Studies Rev Dr Helen Collins‘s sermon on ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’. You can listen to the audio […]