St Mary on the Quay, commonly referred to as ‘SMQ’ has been one of the greatest treasures that I discovered during my stay in Bristol - firstly four years spent studying at the University of West of England (UWE) and then four years spent working in the City following my graduation. Referencing my opening sentence, by considering SMQ as a hidden treasure, then the Young Adult Prayer Group (YAPG) at SMQ can definitely be considered as the ‘Diamond encrusted gem’ in the midst of the treasure.
As young adults – whether you are studying, working or based in Bristol; I truly believe the YAPG is a unique platform for young adults to come together as individuals regardless of background and nationality, and collectively grow in friendship and understanding of God and one-another. Gathered as a group on Saturday evening - sitting around a table, through participating in a short prayer, this then facilitated our ability to discover friends in-the-waiting through socialising over drinks (predominately tea) and biscuits – all within the background setting of the Church.
You may come across the saying, ‘the older you getting, the harder it becomes to find and build great friendships’ – with SMQ and YAPG; I found this saying to be outdated and discovered the opposite! It’s not often in life and relatively easy, that we can meet a number people from varied background and nationalities, and yet share the same fundamental aspect – our faith, hope and love of God and His Church and this is what I saw and experienced with the YAPG.
Over the years, collectively as group, we have organised various meals, birthday parties and trips - ranging from tours around the City, visiting nearby landmarks and places such as Bath to even going aboard; Paris! – these are memories that I will always remember and treasure with a smile.
If I were to summaries why the YAPG is the ‘Diamond encrusted gem’, the answer would simply be; the people, both present and past members - the many, many and many kind and talented individuals that joined and continue to join together to truly represent God in our midst! And it is for this reason, I encourage any young adults existing or new to the Parish to consider coming along to the YAPG on Saturday evening in Church middle-hall at 7:30pm. And for existing members to keep showing the hospitality and friendship that truly makes us Christians and make the YAPG truly unique.