April 2018: Thought For The Month

March 29 2018

Our unchanging God

In last month’s ‘Fishponds Voice’, Lizzy, the vicar at St Mary’s and All Saints,talked about being new to Fishponds and the impression the area has made on her.  I, on the other hand, have lived in Fishponds, in fact in the same house, all my life.  Not many people can say that these days. I grew up to the sight and sound of steam trains and the coal shunting yard, later followed by diesels, at the bottom of my garden.  The area around my house was full of small factories, the Bristol Pottery, Parnall’s, Weber’s Chocolate Factory, Adlam’s Engineering Works. Palmers Biscuit Factory and Robinsons Paper and Cardboard, all now gone. Quite a change!  In their places we have Car Sales and supermarkets,Morrisons, Aldi and Lidls.  Our local cinema, Building Society and Post Office are now restaurants, the Full Moon is now the New Moon and my railway trackis a path for walkers and cyclists.  Schools have become Academies and one has become a Surgery.  We still have our local park but most of our shops have changed hands over the years and gone are the grocers and butchers where my mother used to shop. although Holmans, the jeweliers is still there, celebrating its hundred years in business this year.  

The churches have changed as well.  When I was born, there were three Methodist churches in Fishponds.  The one that stood on the corner of Wharf Road, the Primitive Methodist, was destroyed in the war and is now a block of flats.  The other two, Ebenezer, known as the Clock Chapel, which has now also been turned into flats and Trinity, which stood on the site now occupied by the Poundstore, came together in 1967 and a new church was built in Guinea Lane. I was brought up at Trinity and still have fond memories of that building, but other members have joined us over the years from other backgrounds and we have now celebrated 50 years in our ‘new’ building.

So things change, we can see it all around us. Buildings come and go. Familiar faces also disappear and new ones take their place, but the glorious message of the church is that whatever happens with us and around us, God never changes.We have just been celebrating the great festival of Easter.  Through the sacrificeof his son Jesus, whose death and resurrection we have been remembering, Godhas shown his great love for us.  He has promised that whatever may happen in our lives, whatever changes may take place, through good times and bad, he will always be with us and on that we can depend.