Who are we?
We are a mixture of people who have been Christians for many years, new Christians, and people who aren’t sure about the Christian faith but who want to find out more. We aim to explore the relevance of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection in a way that is accessible to all, and we welcome people of all ages, stages, and walks of life. If you are new to church or have lots of questions, you will not be alone, and we aim to be a place where questions and doubts can be discussed freely. We range in age from babies and families through young (or older) professionals to the retired.
What to expect
We meet together to get to know and love God better. That’s why at the heart of our meetings there is a talk that unpacks a portion of His Word, the Bible, so that we can hear what He has to say to us. After the talk there is always the chance to make comments and ask questions. We sing hymns and songs of praise. A member of the congregation will lead us in prayer. You can join in with as much or as little as you like, and all the details of the service are on the service sheet that you will be given as you come in.
As well as getting to know and love God better, we also want to know and love each other better and so on a typical Sunday you will find that people start to arrive 15 minutes before the meeting to grab a tea or coffee and a pastry, whilst taking the opportunity to catch up with others, and that after the formal part of the service, people typically stay to chat over more tea, coffee and pastries before heading off for lunch, often together. Every couple of months we have a bring-and-share lunch after the service; if you arrive on one of those Sundays, please feel welcome to stay and eat with us as we’d love to get to know you better.
People start arriving from 11am for a cup of tea or coffee and a pastry. Those with children under 11yrs old will take them to the children’s activities in the adjacent church hall a few minutes before the service starts. Our main meeting gets underway at 11.15am and we usually finish by 12.30pm, at which time you can slip away but we encourage you to join us for another cup of tea/coffee and a pastry or cake.
Children and Young People
We long for our church to be a genuine family where people of all ages and stages mix together and help one another learn to be godly friends, parents, husbands, wives and colleagues. However, we recognise that some stages of life have particular needs, so the children have their own groups in which they have fun together and learn about Jesus in ways that are appropriate to their age. We have a strong contingent of children and have groups for ages 0-11 including a creche for the youngest. The children’s work is run in the adjacent hall and we advise that you take your children over 5 minutes before the service starts.
- 0-2 yrs — Creche
- 3-4yrs — Mini Junior Church
- 5-11yrs — Junior Church
When you arrive a team of welcomers will make sure you know where to go.
Everyone who works alongside children in any capacity at Emmanuel completes detailed registration forms, has references checked and has a current Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).
If you’re a student in Bristol, either at Bristol University or UWE, we’d love you to join us. Church is a family, made up of people of all ages, and we would love students to feel part of that wider church family.
We have tea, coffee and pastries available from 11am, and again after the service, and we enjoy the extended time to catch up with each other and to say hello to newcomers.
We don’t have a dress code. The church building can sometimes be a bit cold so you might want to bring a jumper!
Car parking / transport (Church of the Good Shepherd)
If you are coming by car, there is a small car park attached to the church that you can use. However, please be mindful of the parish congregation leaving around the time we start (we are guests of the parish of St Andrews and Bishopston and the parish congregation meets before us at 9.30 am). There is also some on-street parking on Bishop Road in front of the church and plenty more on King’s Drive towards the rear of the church.
As well as gathering all together on Sunday afternoon, most of our members meet in smaller groups of 10 or so people, on a Sunday or Monday evening. In these smaller groups there is the chance to dig deeper into the Bible passage that we’re looking at in the main meeting and to help each other to apply what we are learning about God to our lives in the week ahead.
Sign up if you want to receive our weekly emails and join a small group.
Teaching and talks
Talks recorded at Emmanuel services can be found on our talks page.
The preaching programme and other significant dates can be found on the term card.