National Gathering and AGM – Bristol
Fri 16th June 2017 to Sun 18th June 2017
The summer Gathering and AGM will take place in Bristol this year, marking the retirement of Professor Peter Toyne as FCM Chairman after 15 splendid years in the post. Bristol is a fitting venue as Peter attended university there and was a server and newsletter editor at St Mary Redcliffe (some things never change!). The last National Gathering in Bristol was in 2001 and the most recent grant was £25,000 in 2010. In addition to some wonderful choral music and an opportunity for a bit of sightseeing, our weekend will include visits to four very different churches: Bristol Cathedral, Clifton Roman Catholic Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe, and Christ Church in the Old City.
The weekend will begin at 1.30pm on Friday (12.30pm for DRs) with a short coach ride to Clifton to visit the late twentieth-century Roman Catholic cathedral. Following a talk, organ demonstration, tour and tea, the coach will take us via a scenic route to visit Brunel’s historic steam-powered sailing ship S S Great Britain with a return by ferry or on foot. On Friday evening, we attend Bristol Cathedral where the cathedral choir will perform their summer concert. Saturday begins with tours of Bristol Cathedral and we then move to the Old City where the AGM and lunch will take place in the traditional church of Christ Church with St Ewen. After Choral Evensong back in the cathedral, and a little free time, we meet in the beautiful Palm Court room at the Bristol Marriott Hotel for our Festal Dinner, where we will celebrate the chairmanship of Peter Toyne. On Sunday morning we attend the famous church of St Mary Redcliffe, where there is a choice of Choral Matins or Sung Eucharist, or both. Lunch will be taken at The Bristol Hotel on the harbourside before returning to the cathedral for Choral Evensong. There is disabled access at all venues with the exception of Christ Church, where there are about six steps to enter the building. Anyone arriving early in Bristol might be interested in the Clifton Music Festival: – http://www.cliftonfestival.com/what-s-on.html
By road: By the M4 and M32 from the east and the M5 from the north or south. Please be aware that roads in and around Bristol are very busy and almost all city centre hotels charge for parking where available.
By rail: Temple Meads station is the nearest to the centre. Frequent trains run from Paddington in London, taking about 2 hours and there are frequent cross-country trains from other parts of England. From the station take bus services 8 or 9 to the city centre or College Green, or a taxi to your hotel.
The Marriott Royal is holding some rooms for us at £121 (single) and £131 (double) per night B&B. Please ring 0117 925 5100 and quote ‘FCM’. The Bristol Hotel (0117 923 0333) is offering us B&B at £115 (single) and £125 (double). Again quote ‘FCM’. Most city centre hotels are a similar cost – very central are: Radisson Blu (0117 934 9500) and Ibis Bristol Centre (0117 319 9000). Bus services in Bristol are very good if you stay further out of the city and there are three park & ride sites in the area.
The summer Gathering with the AGM in Bristol will be our opportunity to say a grateful farewell to our amazingly energetic chairman, Peter Toyne.
The gathering will include visits to Clifton RC Cathedral, St Mary Redcliffe, and Christ Church with St Ewen in the old town, in addition to Bristol Cathedral itself.
Download a booking form or the programme. Please note that the booking form should be printed out and returned no later than 19th May, together with a stamped addressed envelope (C5 large letter stamp)
Contact: Rosemary Downey
Location: Bristol Cathedral