Zion is a Community Hub in Bedminster Down, where everyone is welcome.
We provide a warm safe space for community groups to run, our cafe is open every weekday and we put on an array of affordable events.
Although originally a church, Zion was bought in 2011 by Jess Wright, who lovingly crafted Zion into an essential and well loved hub in Bedminster Down.
As of the 12th May 2023, Zion became community owned!
There are 380 Community Share investors, including Cooperatives UK, who have invested in the buildings, alongside a successful Government Community Ownership Fund Grant.
Meet The Team
Meet The Directors
A BS13 resident with 20 years background in local government, Jim has been a Board Member since 2022 and is passionate about seeing the space continue to flourish and provide valuable services to the local community.
Charlotte has been a director at Zion since 2022 and has lived in Bedminster Down for a couple of years. She’s worked in a number of profit-for-purpose organisations and is currently Marketing Manager at Better Food.
Bedminster Down resident and Zion director since 2017. Hannah works in education and the community sector. She’s a mum to a primary aged child.
Royston is a local resident of many years and is a former Lord Mayor and retired lawyer. He’s currently involved with various charities in the City and some small business organisations, and is delighted to be a new Director of Zion.
Everyone at Zion is heartbroken to hear of the news of the passing of our friend and director, Andy Lewis. Andy was passionate about Bedminster Down and its community. This shone with every Local History Group he led, every person he spoke to and also being such an essential driving force in securing Zion’s future.
The History of Zion
Back in 2011, Bristol resident Jess Wright purchased an empty Methodist chapel with a loan from Triodos Bank. Once a focus for the local community of Bedminster Down, this historic chapel had been left derelict after the congregation could no longer afford to sustain it.
Jess wanted to breathe life back into this beautiful building, a real landmark in BS13. She also wanted to create a much-needed community centre in a residential area with few social or cultural venues. She wanted a place where people of all ages and backgrounds (especially those who were isolated or excluded) could meet to improve wellbeing on a personal and community level.
Using a small start-up budget of £5,000 (her own money), Jess began renovating the building. Thanks to the support of a small team of volunteers, Zion opened its doors to the community once again; this time as a small-scale café serving coffee and cakes, and offering a few extras such as film nights and kids’ creative sessions.
Over the past 11 years, Zion Community Art Space has become ever more popular. It attracts 15,000 people a year and is now open at least five days a week, offering:
- a daytime community café that serves freshly made food at an affordable price
- a broad programme of over 200 events and activities a year, ranging from quiz nights and children’s workshops, to live music, theatre, talks and food events
- regular daytime drop-in groups such as a Memories Café, Creative Writing Group, Local History Group and Breast-Feeding Support
- an indoor and outdoor private hire venue for weddings, parties and other celebrations
Zion is now VAT Registered. Registered Society number: RS0008818. VAT Number: 448 6130 85