Who We Are

Hay Hill is a friendly, welcoming and vibrant church in the centre of Bath, with an open and inclusive theology. Our community has a full range of ages, with a high proportion of young families. We have a strong sense of vision, and many who speak prophetically. We passionately believe that we are blessed by God to be a blessing to those around us.

Guy Chevreau: Open Our Eyes to See

It was our privelege to have Guy Chevreau with us as our guest preacher on Sunday.  Guy encouraged us to pursue seeing with spritual eyes so that we could see what God was doing around us and how we could play our part in buliding God's kingdom.

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Dave Magill: The Lost Sons

 Guest speaker, Dave Magill, shared from the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He focussed on how the story affected the pharisees who would have been listening to Jesus and how we relate to the characters of the two brothers and the Fathe

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Community Sunday: Food

February's Community Sunday fell at the start of Fairtrade Fortnight. John and Mark looked at the subject of food, first of all highlighting some of the issues around fairtrade, and particularly cocoa. In the Ivory Coast many children are trafficked to work in the harvesting of cocoa  and the fairtrade movement is something that can help to stop this.

We then discussed how the idea of the old testament sacrificial system made us feel. For many, the word 'sacrifice' is synonymous with the killing of animals to gain God's forgiveness; a troubling and 'primitive' system. But in the discussion, some ideas came out: a party, and a meal shared with God. Compared to other contemporary cultures who were always scared that the gods were angry leading to more and more extreme mitigation, Israel's God set out a clear way to wipe the slate clean and worry no more. In the NT, the writer to the Hebrews calls out the whole system as being purely for the consciences of the people, and having no power of its own.


Community Sunday: Love Your Neighbour As Yourself

 

In January's Community Sunday, we were looking at the second part of what Jesus said were the greatest commandments in Mark 12. After last week looking at loving God with everything you are, this week was 'loving your neighbour as yourself'... which is really inseparable from the first part.

John and Mark focussed particularly on a currently much-maligned group of people in the world: Muslims. We had a quiz with the simple question: Bible or Qu'ran? that highlighted that there are difficult and violent verses in both books, as well as very positive, transformational words. It demonstrated the danger of quoting verses here and there with no context, and little understanding of the culture and period of history in which the books originated.


Declan: Contentment

Declan, looks at Mark 12:28-34, The Greatest Commandment, which he belives  gives us a challenging instruction on how to live our lives.  The search for contement is something we all go through in our lives.  Declan believes this commandment, spoken by Jesus and recorded by Mark, is a powerful tool, even the key to helping us in this lifelong search.

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Gaynor: Introduction to Mark's gospel

As a church, we are reading through all the first four books of the New Testament ('the gospels') throughout the first four months of the year, and everyone can join in with that!

In the first teaching Sunday of the year, Gaynor gives an overview of the gospel according to Mark, illuminating the writing style and approach of the book and looking into what the key phrase 'Kingdom of God' means, based upon what Jesus said and what he did.

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Mark - God's Presence: Incarnation

Mark's talk from the Advent season brings the autumn term focus on God's presence to a conclusion by considering the wonderful mystery of incarnation. Mark suggests that incarnation was not a new idea when God "became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood" but that it is the way that God has acted throughout history, and continues to do so today.

What does it say about God's attitute to humanity that He became a man? We consider God speaking through humanity, God's image in humanity, His glory in humanity and His presence in humanity... supremely in Christ, and in Christ in us. Humanity is worth rescuing; worth restoring, and God will stop at nothing to make us believe it.

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Restoring Confidence

Over the last two Sundays, I have introduced Hay Hill to an important growing movement within the church. Many significant public figures have been calling for a better understanding of the Bible, and in particular a change in attitude to what is the right way to read it. At Hay Hill, one of our current three strands of vision is building confidence in sharing faith, and I would contend that it is often a loss of confidence in the Bible, at a time when it is widely dismissed as irrelevant, which can undermine any confidence in sharing our faith with others.

In the US, former pastor and now author, commentator and activist Brian D McLaren is concerned that for many, there are two ways to read the Bible: their way, and the wrong way. He has produced a diagram that I find very helpful, and he talks about it here. It shows the many ways that the Bible can be read by a faithful community, and endorses the formative process of people of different mindsets reading the Bible together and valuing other perspectives.


Dr Ernest Lucas - The Living Temple

Visiting speaker Dr Lucas talks about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem through the eyes of the prophet Haggai, in the context of the big story of the whole Bible, and with an eye on what we can learn from this story today.

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Nigel Coles - Here Am I

 Nigel Coles, our Area Minister, came and spoke to us.  Hear what he shared here.

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