Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Newsletter November 2018

Dear Friends,


Since our last newsletter, we have held our AGM for 2018 and elected the Secretariat. We will continue to send information from Bristol Cursillo unless you request that you no longer wish to receive newsletters as we are very keen to keep in touch with all 4th day community. Those of us who have continued to attend Group Reunions continue to find them very helpful and we would encourage you to think of trying to attend. If you currently do not participate in a group reunion and would like to do so please let Angela know so that we can arrange to make contact with others for you.


This newsletter includes:

     The results of elections at the AGM

     Reminder of planned Ultreyas

     Introduction to Hazel Tomkins, our new BACC Representative

     The Cost of Prayer from our Spiritual Director

     Lay Director report

     Advance notice of garden party


Annual General Meeting

We held our Annual General Meeting on 20th October 2018. The elections resulted in the following appointments:

Lay Director – Angela Smith

Treasurer – Tony Gardener

Secretary – Hilary Greene

Communications Officer – Hilary Greene

Palanca Rep – Hilary Greene

BACC representative – Hazel Tomkins

Co-opted member s– Jean Beech


We are delighted to welcome Hazel to the Secretariat and that Tony is willing to take on the role of Treasurer. Rev Alastair Davies remains as our Spiritual Director.




·         Wednesday 21st November 7.30pm at the home of Janet Browning, 4 Haweswater, Twenty Acres Road, Westbury, Bristol, BS10 6PU

·         Friday 22nd February 2019 7.00pm at St Mary’s, Hullavington – with National Council. Starting with a meal.


BACC Representative


Hello everyone.  I would like to introduce myself as the new BACC rep for Bristol Diocese. My husband Chris and I moved to Dursley four years ago to be near family having spent most of our fifty years of married life in the north of England around north Lancashire and the south Lakes. We made our Cursillo in 2003 on Blackburn 38 and were active in that diocese until our move. I hope I can fulfil the role entrusted to me and together we can continue God’s work wherever we are.


Many Blessings


Hazel Tomkins



The Cost of Prayer

We know that ‘Prayer, Study and Action’ form the basis of Cursillo; for us who follow in the way of Christ, this discipline is particularly important in our daily prayers and when we meet together in small groups or attend an Ultreya.

It is significant that prayer comes first, because it forms the gateway towards a vision of God for which we were created. When we pray we are united with Jesus in God’s work of reconciliation.  As St Paul says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our prayer and daily life are indivisible. When we pray, we do so just ‘as we are’, learning to accept ourselves and preparing to invite God into every part of our life.  

Prayer is both a journey and a reaching-out towards the heart of God; essentially an inner longing, a love affair with God. He comes in search of us. Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in him. When we discover his great love for us in our lives, so we come to acknowledge that through sin we have often marred his image in us; inevitably we are challenged to make a true conversion of life.  We should not see prayer as hoping to ‘get something ‘for ourselves, or others; perhaps security, or happiness or fulfilment.  At the heart of our prayer must be the surrendering of ourselves to God, so that by grace, he can work in us what he wills. Prayer incites in us a costly giving in love. 

‘Each person must decide whether they are willing to pay the cost of entering into a continually renewed and continually deepening relationship with God in prayer.  This requires positive detachment for those giving themselves seriously to the work of prayer. If prayer is learning to unite our wills with the will of God, then the cost must be the cost of Calvary’.

[Encountering the Depths. Mother Mary Clare SLG]


Rev Alastair Davies

Spiritual Director


From our Lay Director

As I write this I am preparing to visit Norwich for the BACC Standing Committee Meeting on Friday afternoon (16th November) and the Full BACC Council meeting on Saturday, 17th November.  I am delighted that Hazel, the new Bristol Cursillo BACC Rep, will be travelling to Norwich with me.  At the start of the Standing Committee meeting a short group reunion is held with attendees sharing one thing under either prayer, study or action.  On the Friday evening an Ultreya will be held with the Norwich Cursillo community.  On Saturday morning, prior to the full BACC meeting there is a worship including the floating group reunion.   Norwich is a long way but the benefits of networking with other Cursillistas from around the country, and the support offered by them and other members of the Standing Committee make the travelling worthwhile for me personally and Bristol Diocese as a whole.

In the Bristol Diocese group reunions occur regularly – usually on a monthly basis.  Other Cursillistas are keen to attend group reunions but diary and other commitments have prevented these happening on a regular basis.  I feel saddened by this and continually pray that issues can be resolved so that more regular group reunions occur.  Together with following a rule of life, the group reunion is the bedrock of Cursillo.  Quoting from the Group Reunion booklet from the Resource Manual (available to download free of charge from the BACC website):


At the heart of Group Reunion is a living experience of life in grace shared with others who seek to live by the same ideal, a realisation of what St Paul (Patron Saint of the Cursillo Movement) meant when he wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Cor. 12.77)     As is often said in Cursillo, ‘An isolated Christian is a paralysed Christian.’ Group Reunion can provide the mutual enrichment, support and encouragement we need if we are to persevere in our Christian discipleship in response to God’s call to us to be saints and apostles. By facilitating the sharing of personal experience of seeking to live a Christian life of piety, study and action, it can become a well-spring of transformation for group members and, through them, for the world God loves. In Group Reunion, the Body of Christ is made real to its members as they open their inner selves to one another and grow in mutual, Christ-centred love.

By meeting with other Cursillistas on a frequent and regular basis, relationships grow enabling trust, openness and honesty allowing those attending the group to support and encourage each other (this is a two way process of both giving and receiving support and encouragement) on our Christian Journeys for the benefit of Christ. 

Bristol Diocese has several Cursillistas who travel long distances to participate in group reunions and continually pray for a local group. Until we have an appointed 4th day co-ordinator I am trying to co-ordinate Cursillistas who wish to become part of a regular group reunion.   If you are not attending a regular group reunion please give this action prayerful consideration. 

The Cursillo Movement now encourages non-Cursillistas who are interested in the Cursillo movement to participate in group reunions prior to attending a weekend.  If you know of anyone who is a committed member of the Church who you think would be interested in the Cursillo method please do hold them in prayer and invite them to attend a group reunion with you.  In time, if they are interested in attending the weekend this can be arranged through the Secretariat, with the approval of their local priest, at a neighbouring Diocese which holds regular weekends.


Angela Smith

Lay Director



Garden Party

Unfortunately we had to cancel our 2018 garden party but the 2017 party was such a success, we are planning another one for 2019. This will be held in Tony Gardener’s beautiful garden in Sutton Benger and the provisional date is 13th July.

BACC Pages

The National Newsletter for Autumn 2018 has been published on the BACC website. http://www.anglicancursillo.co.uk/bacc-pages.php



Contact details:–


Hilary Greene, Secretary and Communications Officer

3 Rectory Close

Stanton St Quintin



SN14 6DT

01666 837850


Angela Smith, Lay Director

2 Stantone

Malmesbury Road,

Lower Stanton St Quintin



SN14 6BS

01666 837478



Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Draft minutes from the AGM on 20th October 2018




The AGM was held on 20th October in St Andrews Church, Chippenham.


Present: Rod Key, Angela Smith, Alastair Davies, Hilary Greene, Tony Gardener, Chris and Hazel Tomkins, Janet Browning


Apologies: Rachel Pound, Kate Crow, Pam Cowler, Richard Hovey, Peter Crick, Jenny and Steven Colby


1.    Welcome
Angela welcomed all to the meeting and thanked Rod for letting us meet in St Andrews Church.

2.    Minutes of AGM 2017
The minutes were agreed.

3.    Matters arising
Rod has grouped with Jenny and Steven once so far.
In her role as South West Area Rep Angela wrote to the contact she had in Gloucester Cursillo but received no response. Since then Gloucester Cursillo has wound up and transferred its remaining funds to the National Council. Angela tried to make contact again to offer support to any Cursillistas who wanted to continue involvement with Cursillo but still had no response.
We advertised the use of Easyfundraising for online shopping – 4 people have signed up and we have made £21. Hilary was asked to put the link in these minutes and to forward one of their emails to the directory.  Here is the link https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/panel/

4.    Annual reports
The reports had been produced in a booklet this year. Angela asked in anyone had any questions of points to make. Alastair reported that he and Angela had met with Christopher Bryan, the Area Dean for North Wiltshire and had been invited to the Deanery Synod marketplace held in June. Angela said as a result 2 people came along to the Ultreya in Cricklade in September.
Rod had a query about the plans for the National Meeting Council in Chippenham in February. Angela explained that they arrive on Friday, go out for a meal then attend an Ultreya – which we will organise and which is currently booked into St Pauls in Chippenham. Angela will finalise the arrangements. She mentioned that when the Council met in Doncaster 70 people came to the Ultreya.
Alastair commented on the accounts. He noted that our income is covering the main outgoing of the BACC subscription. He encourages the setting up of standing orders by Cursillistas who wish to make regular donations.
Tony said he could probably host a garden party in 2019 – provisionally on 13th July. There are no Open Gardens in Sutton Benger in 2019 so there will be no clash.

5.    Adoption of accounts
Alastair proposed and Janet seconded the adoption of the accounts as presented in the annual reports booklet. We thanked Rachel for all her work as treasurer.

6.    Elections
We had one written nomination – for Hazel as BACC rep. The current post holders willing to stand again were proposed and elected:
Lay Director – Angela Smith
Secretary and Communications – Hilary Greene
Palanca Representative – Hilary Greene
Angela proposed and Hilary seconded the election of Hazel as BACC representative – she was duly elected.
Tony volunteered to take on the role of treasurer. Alastair proposed and Hilary seconded so Tony was duty elected.
Angela will continue as 4th day representative. Jean Beech and Chris Tomkins will be ex-officio members of the secretariat.

7.    AOB.
Angela organised a card to give to Bishop Viv as she is enthroned today as Bishop of Bristol. She will invite her to our next Ultreya in Bristol on Wednesday 21st November.

8.    Next secretariat meeting
to be arranged. Angela will contact Rachel to arrange a meeting when she can do a handover to Tony.


The meeting closed at 11.13am.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Annual Report for the AGM on 20th October, 10.30am St Andrews Chippenham

Annual Report
For the Annual General Meeting
20th October 2018
of Anglican Cursillo in the Diocese of Bristol will be held on
Saturday 20th October 10.15am for 10.30am,
followed by an Ultreya at approx. 11 am
Venue – St Andrews Church, Chippenham
10.15 am refreshments
1.            Apologies for absence
2.            Minutes of AGM October 2017
3.            Annual Reports
·         Lay Director & 4th Day
·         Spiritual Director
·         Secretary and Communications
·         BACC Report
·         Financial
4.            Adoption of Accounts for the year ended 30th September 2018
5.            Elections of officers
·         Lay Director
·         Secretary
·         Treasurer (vacant)
·         BACC Rep (vacant)
·         Palanca Representative
·         Grouping and Ultreya facilitator (4th Day rep) (vacant)
·         Communications officer
·         Committee member(s)
6.            Any other business (to be notified to the Lay Director at least 7 days before the meeting)
7.            Date of next secretariat meeting
If you are unable to attend, please send your apologies to the Secretary, Hilary Greene. secretary@bristolcursillo.co.uk or 01666 837850

Minutes of AGM 2017
The AGM was held on 11th November in St Pauls Church, Chippenham.
Present: Angela Smith, Alastair Davies, Richard Hovey, Hilary Greene, Jean Beech, Tony Gardener, Steven and Jenny Colby, Chris and Hazel Tomkins
Apologies: Karin Needham, Rachel Pound, Kate Crow, Pam Cowler,
1.    Minutes of AGM 2016
The minutes were agreed.
2.    Matters arising.
Alastair queried minute 5 ‘Richard has spoken to Alastair about the Spiritual Director role. Alastair understands that as Cursillo is lay led, the only way he can serve as a priest is as Spiritual Director’. Richard clarified this to the effect that the only way Alastair could serve on the secretariat was as Spiritual Director but he could be part of Cursillo as a priest in any other capacity. 
3.    Lay Director’s report
Angela provided a written report – already circulated. Alastair commented that we are in a better place now than 12 months ago and thanked Angela for all her work.
4.    Treasurer’s report
Rachel provided a report which Hilary read out – see attached to these minutes. The current balance at bank is £256.02.
Richard asked about the suggestion of monthly donations by members of the secretariat to support the finances of Bristol Cursillo as part of their apostolic action. He asked if there was a suggested amount. Angela said it was up to individuals. Alastair explained that monthly donations would enable Rachel to make a budget. Angela reported that since becoming Lay Director, she has received a lot of benefit from the National Council and in acting as South West rep. Richard felt that he didn’t want the situation that the secretariat’s donations are the only way that Bristol Cursillo can continue so he wondered about a wider approach to general membership. All agreed that this would need an explanation of what BACC does so that the annual subs are not seen as a levy, but as a contribution. This issue will be taken up by the secretariat.
5.    Elections
We had no written nominations. Angela asked if those in current roles were willing to continue. All agreed. She explained that we don’t have a 4th day rep – this post is particularly important following a weekend so that new cursillistas are prayerfully put into groups and the 4th day person keeps in touch with all cursillistas. As a result of personal contact, we have had people coming back to grouping this last year.
Angela is happy to continue in this role for now but it would be good to have someone dedicated to this role.
Chris and Hazel both said they would be happy to serve on team if we had a weekend.
6.    AOB
New groups

Rev Rod Key from St Andrews in Chippenham has said that he would like to group during the day. This could suit Jenny and Steven, except on Wednesdays. Alastair asked Angela what she had in mind for regular groups. She replied that at the moment we have 2 groups established, one on Mondays and one on Wednesdays, both in the evening. Membership tends to be:
Monday: Karin Needham, Alastair, Angela, Tony, Rachel
Wednesday: Richard, Jean, Hilary, Kate Crow and Pam Cowler.
Angela is planning to try and contact existing cursillistas in Gloucestershire.
Meeting with Area Dean
Alastair and Angela had met with Christopher Bryan, Area Dean for North Wiltshire. He was unable to commit to anything at present. Angela may contact the Area Dean for Chippenham, Sally Wheeler.
The next secretariat meeting is to review publicity.
7.    Fundraising
Chris mentioned easyfundraising.org – if you sign up, it gives donations to your charity for online shopping.
8.    Next secretariat meeting
Monday 27th November or 4th December at 10am. Angela will confirm with Rachel.

Lay Director’s Report
In preparation for this report I read through my report from last year and note the following:
The Secretariat have continued to meet most months – although we did have a short break over this summer.
Two regular group reunions have continued on a monthly basis, Wednesday evenings and Mondays. The Monday group now tends to meet in the morning and has been enriched by the attendance of Chris and Hazel Tomkins who live in Dursley. It was hoped to start two further group reunions in Chippenham but for various reasons this has been slow in getting off the ground. I have noted that in other Diocese the Lay Director is invited to attend other Group Reunions within the Diocese to offer support and to maintain personal links. I think this is a good practice from which our Diocese would benefit – especially if the additional groups become established.
It is positive that we have been able to continue to operate more than one group reunion per month. Group reunions are the bedrock of our 4thDay as Cursillistas as they provide mutual support and encouragement from others in the group which enables us to grow in our Christian life. I would like to encourage all Cursillistas associated with the Bristol Diocese who are not currently attending a group reunion to contact me so that we can structure the groups to enable more people to benefit. If you are already attending a group I would request that you prayerfully consider inviting non-Cursillistas who would benefit from the encouragement to Christian life that the Cursillo method offers. Cursillo has moved a long way from the secretive past and now actively encourages non-Cursillistas to be part of Group Reunions and Ultreyas to familiarise themselves with the Cursillo method prior to attending a weekend. The National Council also stresses that non-Cursillistas can continue to benefit from attending these events even if they are not able to attend a weekend.
We have not been able to run a weekend in our Diocese this year but maintain links with the Oxford Diocese and if we have anyone who wishes to attend a weekend it is possible for them to attend one in that Diocese. The next one being held is on 16th – 19th May 2019.
We continue to circulate a monthly prayer list via email. Those who have requested prayer continue to benefit from the prayer support of other Cursillistas.
As in 2017 Tony Gardner kindly offered to host a Garden Party in his lovely garden. Unfortunately in the week running up to the party Tony was admitted to hospital and we had to cancel the event.
During this year we have planned and held Ultreyas in various points of the Diocese which were advertised to the wider community in the relevant area and to which non-Cursillistas were invited. So far these have been held in Hullavington and Cricklade and a third is planned for Bristol at 7.30pm on 21st November.
Over the last two years Rachel Pound has carried out sterling work as our Treasurer, and Bristol Cursillo is now once again able to claim gift aid from HMRC on donations. Unfortunately Rachel is having to stand down as Treasurer and I would personally like to thank Rachel for all that she has accomplished during the last two years.
Tony Gardener has been our BACC Rep for a number of years and is also standing down. Thank you Tony for all that you have done as our BACC Rep over the years. I feel that both the BACC Rep and Bristol Cursillo benefit greatly from having a presence at full BACC meetings which are held twice a year. The full BACC Council meeting in November and the AGM in May each year.
Due to Rachel and Tony stepping down we have two vacancies to be filled on our Secretariat from the AGM. Also during the last year I have combined the roles of Lay Director and 4th Day Rep. Ideally it would be beneficial to split these roles so that they are covered by different Cursillistas. Please prayerfully consider putting yourself forward for one of these roles at the AGM.
I would also like to thank other members of the Secretariat for their hard work and support over the last year. Hilary Greene has faithfully and tirelessly undertaken the roles of Secretary and Communications Officer as well as handling the duties as the Palanca Rep. and maintaining our website. Jean has been a very insightful, prayerful and supportive member of the Secretariat and Alastair has supported and inspired us as Spiritual Director.
Earlier this year I registered Bristol Anglican Cursillo with Easyfunding.org and encouraged our supporters to register so that when spending on line with named retailers donations can be earned for our cause without any cost to the individual. Although, to date, only four people have signed up for this we have received donations of over £20.
Our AGM and Ultreya is being held this year in St Andrews Church in Chippenham and I would like to thank the Rev. Rod Key for his support and for offering St Andrews as our venue this year.
As we move forward into the new year I would like to encourage you all to take advantage of all the benefits that the Cursillo method has to offer in your spiritual life and the encouragement and support that other Cursillistas are willing to provide. In February 2019 the National Council are meeting in Chippenham and there will be an Ultreya on the Friday evening, 22nd February, which they will attend. Please make a note of this date in your diary. I would urge you to attend this event, meet with, and be encouraged by the people who represent the Cursillo Movement nationally.
Angela Smith, Lay Director.

Spiritual Director’s Report
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want ever to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world”.
[Mary Oliver. ‘When Death Comes’]
We talk a lot in Cursillo about ‘The Fourth Day’ – without I suspect really giving it the importance it truly deserves. But it is the Day of Resurrection; the moment when we start living our lives each day by responding to the love of God. During the past year, we have continued to meet faithfully in small Groups, and grown in numbers; there have undoubtedly been moments of transformation, yet also some “Good Friday” experiences. We need both, if we are to grow in the love of Christ, and experience the renewal in the Spirit for ourselves, and for those for whom we pray.
At the closing Eucharist of the National Ultreya at Chelmsford this year, the Bishop of Barking invited us to walk in the way of the cross to the altar, yearning for wholeness in a broken world. Having received the Bread of Life, and Cup of Salvation – we return to our daily lives, walking in newness of life; with the mark of Resurrection upon us. That is the meaning of the Fourth Day!
Rev Alastair Davies, Spiritual Director

Secretary’s and Communications Report
After some expert tuition from our previous Spiritual Director (and webmaster), Richard Hovey, I have managed to keep the website up to date this year with news of Ultreyas and our newsletters. We have published 2 newsletters during the year, one in December and one in June. These were published on the website and also delivered to cursillistas on our Directory, either by email or by post. Please see www.bristolcursillo.co.uk
GDPR came in this year and we have taken steps to comply. We designed a consent form for people to complete if they were happy for us to contact them and included this in our postal communications. We have used a message on our emails to enable people to unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive communications.
Hilary Greene, Secretary and Communications Officer
BACC Report
In May this year I completed my first year as the South West Area Rep. which included being part of the National Council. This has been a very rewarding role and I feel that both I and Bristol Cursillo have benefited from this role and the networking with those from other Diocese.
As part of my role I attended the National Ultreya in Southwell in September 2017, the Full BACC meeting in Bicester in November, the National Council meeting in Doncaster in February this year, the AGM in Swanwick, Derbyshire in May and the National Ultreya in Chelmsford in September. The AGM in May clashed with the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle and the program was rearranged to give an extended lunch break enabling delegates to watch at least part of the proceedings!
At the AGM the new BACC promotional video was launched and a link to this is available on the BACC website. If you have not already watched this and invited others to do so I would recommend that you do so and see how Cursillo has encouraged and enabled those who are part of this uplifting movement.
The AGM also saw the launch of the revised Resource Manual. Many months of hard work by a dedicated team preceded the publication of this manual but the result is a more user friendly set of information. These manuals, including a ring binder, can be purchased from the BACC Resource Officer for £20 plus postage or they are all available from the BACC website free of charge.
As part of my role as Area Rep I attended an Ultreya at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in the Oxford Diocese and gave the witness talk at that event. It was the first meeting that I had with most of the Cursillistas within that Diocese and am pleased to say that since then I have been able to build on that meeting over the last year.
 I also met up with Roberta Smith of Exeter Diocese and attended the Exeter Diocese AGM in November when Roberta and Alison Crozier became joint Lay Directors. Roberta was a great encouragement to Bristol Cursillo when she was South West Area Rep and I was glad to be of some small support in return.
Because of my role on the National Council I was invited to be part of the CLW team as Gofer at the workshop in Newbury last month. As part of my role I was invited to give two of the talks. I found being part of the team for this event hugely rewarding – although a little scary. The other (experienced) members of the team were very helpful and encouraging to this rookie which made a vast difference.
I have now completed the first half of my three year post and hope to create further links with those Cursillistas in other Dioceses in the South West during the second half of my tenure.
Angela Smith, South West Area Rep

Financial Report
Thanks to regular donations from some Cursillistas we have not had to fundraise to pay the BACC subscription this year.
There are a couple of items that are not included in these accounts: -
·         Payment to Jubilate Communications (£42) for the banner – the cheque has not been debited from our account at time of preparation of accounts.
·         Tax refund for Gift Aid donations – I have experienced various issues with submitting the claim but am hoping this will be resolved soon.
Rachel Pound, Treasurer

Accounts for the year ended 30th September 2018
BACC subs
St Paul's - Room Hire
Bank balance 1/10/17
Bank balance 30/09/18

Nomination form for Bristol Anglican Cursillo Secretariat Membership
I wish to nominate______________________________________________________
for the office of _________________________________________________
on Bristol Anglican Cursillo Secretariat
Name _________________________________________
Signature  ______________________________________      
Posts on Secretariat are:
Lay Director
4th Day Representative
Palanca Representative
Communications Officer
BACC Representative
Committee member