Prayer, Involvement & Invitation

In May and June, we have significant events as a church., all about Prayer and Invitation.

Thy Kingdom Come: We are joining with Christians in this diocese and throughout the world ,from Ascension Day to Pentecost, specifically for more people to know the love of Jesus in their lives.

‘Party in the Garden’ & Invitation Service :
We are organising special events for our community, friends and families, to invite them to St Matthews.

Your Church Family Needs you!
Please can I ask you to prayerfully think about what you can do to help build the Kingdom of God in this season. What you can do, and how you can be involved.? We really need everyone’s help and involvement as much as we can. Please speak to me, Richard or Chris. Thank you!

Ian Tomkins

‘For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another.’

Romans 12Open Link in New Window

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An Easter Message from Ian

Dear Friends

‘The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said’…… ‘Go quickly and tell his disciples’.

Matthew 27.5-7Open Link in New Window

I am writing this on the morning following session 5 of our Lent course this year, ‘Talking Jesus’. During this session we heard accounts from five people, who told of how God had changed their lives, giving them hope where there was despair, purpose and meaning when they were lost, love when previously they had known no love. They were deeply moving personal accounts of how God’s story of creation, fall, redemption and hope connected with people’s own life stories, transforming their lives.

Each one of us has a life story, and when it connects with God’s story, we too discover the comfort and joy of knowing we are precious to and loved by the creator of heaven and earth.

As a Christian church family at St Matthew’s, we long for those around us, our families, friends, colleagues and communities, to know and experience this saving love too, to know ‘strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow’ that comes with knowing Jesus Christ, our risen Saviour.

During this year, as a church we are particularly focusing on encouraging a culture of invitation. As the ‘Talking Jesus’ evenings have reminded us, you and I are the right people, in the right place, at the right time to invite others along to church to experience God’s love for themselves. We all have a unique and special faith story that we can share which will connect us with our family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

People want to be invited to share our lives and our faith. This year, alongside much that already happens week by week we will have two special opportunities to invite others to our church:

  • Party in the Garden on Saturday June 15th
  • A special Invitation Service on Sunday June 23rd.

I ask us all to be thinking about who we can invite and then to pray for them.

Please also pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be a church family with roots down in Holy Scripture and our faith in Christ, and walls down to our friends, neighbours and communities.

‘Do not be afraid; I know you are looking for Jesus…he has been raised…Go and tell…’

As we celebrate the Good News of the risen Christ this Easter, may you and many others who you love and pray for, know the hope and love of the risen Lord Jesus.

Deborah and I and our family wish you a very Happy Easter.

Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel.


Revd Ian Tomkins, Vicar.

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Good News, of Great Joy, for all People

Dear Friends

As the waiting through Advent nears its end, we anticipate with growing excitement, the celebration of Christmas, the coming into the world of Emmanuel—God with us, Jesus our Saviour.

This will be our first Christmas with you as a family since I started as vicar of St Matthew’s only three months ago, and we hugely look forward to meeting many more members of our communities and visitors to St Matthew’s during this time.

We have greatly appreciated the warmth of your welcome and your prayer for us—thank you. Thank you too, to all who give so much supporting the ministry of St Matthew’s.

At my institution as vicar, Bishop Lee Rayfield shared what was on his heart for St Matthew’s, that we would go deeper in our relationship with God, with each other and with our communities. In my conversations with many of you, I am hearing this same desire—to strengthen the foundations of who we are and what we do: firstly, by going deeper in our knowledge and experience of God’s love. Vital to this is prayer. Secondly, by strengthening our relationships with each other. This will form the basis for reaching out into our communities.

This is a wonderful message of hope for the future, both for our church family and also for those with whom we long to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Christmas gives us fresh opportunity both to continue deepening our own relationships and also to share what is so precious to us with others. The coming of Jesus is good news—the BEST news, of great joy, for ALL people—and especially for those who struggle, those who feel lost and numbed by life, and those who grieve.

As we understand more about how we totally and utterly rely on God’s grace for all we are and all we do, we build that strong foundation for all that God has in store for us.

Thank you—to all of you, for who you are and what you bring to the life of this church family.

We are truly blessed to be together, and I am filled with hope for the future.

May you, your friends and families know Emmanuel, God with us, this Christmas time and in the year to come.


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Letter from Ian

I am very excited to be the new vicar of St Matthew and St Nathanæl Kingsdown. I firmly believe that God has his hand on our time together and on my strong sense of call to serve this parish. Some of you will know me from my time spent supporting the church during two vacancies and from my work for the Diocese of Bristol. To others I will be new. Deborah and I are looking forward to getting to know you all.

Before becoming your vicar, I have been the Advisor for Ministerial Support for the Diocese of Bristol, working with wonderful friends and colleagues in the diocese and supporting and encouraging those who so faithfully serve as our clergy across our diocese. It has been a huge privilege and I am so thankful to them all.

A little bit about us… We have lived in Bristol since 2010, when we moved here from Bradbourne in Hertfordshire where I was the Rector. We have three children, Alexandra (26), Christopher (24) and Nathaniel (17). I was brought up in Swindon and I support Swindon Town FC (sorry Bristol!).

We both love gardening and music. I enjoy sport and exercise, enjoy all things to do with history, especially reading historical biographies and we have a real heart for living in, supporting and helping to build our local community.

We hold you in our prayers and know that you have been praying for us. Thank you. We continue to pray for God’s grace and guidance as we begin this new journey together with a real sense of optimism and hope.

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