Bristol Christian Fellowship
Bristol Christian Fellowship (BCF) is a network of churches, located in the Bristol region of the U.K. There are currently three churches which make up the network: Resound in North East Bristol; Thornbury, located just north of Bristol; and Aardvark, which meets in Cotham, central Bristol. It is part of the Evangelical Alliance and the Pioneer Network.
History of BCF
Bristol Christian Fellowship began life over forty years ago, with a group of Christians looking to express church in a different way to the church models they had experienced. Bristol Christian Fellowship grew out of the 'charismatic movement' and 'house church movement', in the late 1960s. It emerged in an organic way, through various people encountering God in new ways and seeking an honest and authentic form of Christian community. Two groups, which initially met in houses in Olveston and Patchway, merged to form what became BCF.
During the last forty years the shape and meeting patterns of BCF have changed many times. The church has maintained its presence in the north of Bristol and in Thornbury, with other churches joining us along the way. In recent years BCF had been meeting as one group in east Bristol, but in 2009 significant changes were made to the structure of the church. It was at this point that BCF started meeting as the three different expressions of Resound, Thornbury and Aardvark. These three groups have formed separate churches which come under the 'umbrella' of Bristol Christian Fellowship. BCF is now a network of churches rather than a church in its own right.
Between 1984 and 1992, BCF had its own school, Oakhill, which was run by BCF members.
Although the BCF Network functions as a single charitable trust, leadership is primarily located a local level within each church.
Previous leaders have included: Dave Day, Neil Edbrooke, Steve Hepden, Nic Harding, Lloyd Pietersen
Some ex-members have been critical of BCF and there have been questions raised over whether in its history BCF had been a "cult". Some ex-members have also found the church or members of the church in the past to be abusive or authoritarian. However, many current and former members dispute these claims and have experienced the church to be extremely positive.