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
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.
Bristol’s Wild Goose Café, a Crisis Centre Ministries project led by Trinity student Jonnie Angel, provides unconditional acceptance and practical services to those who’ve become marginalised. Its ministry is also having an impact on Trinity ordinands. At the beginning of 2011, Jonnie Angel was an operations director for a property management solutions corporation with an […]
This summer, we’ve sent out 52 ordinands, independent students, and research students, and we look forward to the ways in which God will use their preparation here for his purposes. Below is one of our leavers’ stories. For five years, Craig and Gemma Gaudion were leading a Salvation Army church in Liverpool as lay ministers. […]
This summer, we’ve sent out 52 ordinands, independent students, and research students, and we look forward to the ways in which God will use their preparation here for his purposes. Below is one of our leavers’ stories. Laura Faturoti had spent fifteen years working in Chatham, the second most deprived area of Kent, as a […]
During the spring 2018 term, students were offered the opportunity to take a new 10-week class focused on the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The class, which was taught jointly by Tutor in Theology and Ethics Rev Dr Jon Coutts and Tutor in Christian Doctrine Dr Justin Stratis, worked chronologically through Bonhoeffer’s writings, […]