The Ark project will soon be opening a community hub on the ground floor of The Galleries in Bristol Shopping Quarter and project co-ordinator Jenny Bourne has been telling us more about their plans:
The Ark project
“The Ark project is an innovative and pioneering project that provides alternative ways of sharing God’s love and demonstrating faith. We provide opportunities to be outside our buildings and reach into communities to seek different ways of connecting and communicating with people.
“We believe in radical hospitality, unconditional welcome and we strive to foster good relationships with those with whom we work. We believe that it is through these relationships people can experience the love of God, we know from our previous work that people are willing to be open with us and share their feelings and thoughts about God and their faith. It is our aim to explore more unconventional ways of worship and engagement with faith, with the intention of investing in flourishing relationships that enable energising Jesus centred communities to be imagined and developed.
Your City, Your Space
“Working in partnership with David Wait, the manager of The Galleries shopping mall in Bristol City Centre, we have been given an opportunity to expand and reimagine the work of The Ark by creating an initiative called “Your City, Your Space”. We have been provided free access to a shop unit on the ground floor that will provide a space for conversation, for practical support and for quiet reflection.
“We are looking to develop a rhythm to our days so those visiting the unit and those who volunteer with us, will gain a sense of consistency and familiarity, which we feel is vital when developing relationships. It will be a space that reflects values of inclusivity and welcome and that provides people with an opportunity to engage creatively with faith in unexpected and unconventional ways.
The Ark project’s aims for Your City, Your Space
“We aim to work with agencies and our ecumenical partners to provide practical support (such as food bank collections, debt counselling, repair shop, etc.) so the love of God can be demonstrated in practical ways.
“We aim to be a place of quiet reflection for those who wish to come and decompress from the stresses of life, which are especially important in our current climate. We shall look to work with our workplace Chaplain and other agencies to offer meditation sessions and relaxation spaces.
“We aim to be present to all people whatever their backgrounds or faith experience. We shall communicate our faith through all manner of creative ways not relying totally on the spoken. We aim to encourage and foster a sense of curiosity and a space where people are free to explore and ask questions about God.”
To find out more about The Ark project, follow their Facebook page: facebook.com/TheArkBus