Small Groups at St Mary's......where truth meets life
St Mary's Small Groups provide a safe and encouraging place to learn from the Bible, to have fun together, to share our Christian journeys and experience, and to offer and receive prayerful and practical support in a confidential setting.
As St Mary's continues to grow across our five congregations, it's becoming ever more important to find ways of connecting and belonging, and we are aware that getting to know people in the hurly burly of a big church is a real challenge, especially on Sundays.
This is where small groups can come into their own - their greater intimacy can offer a particular sense of belonging, and can become a place to forge mutually strong and lasting relationships.
What will a small 'family' group be like?
The ideal is a group membership of no more than 12 – we know that Jesus called 12 disciples to become his close companions, so there's a sound precedent to follow! Each group is led by one or two people, who ensure that the group functions well, but in many cases members share responsibility for hospitality, worship, prayer, teaching and social activities.
An easy way to think of these different elements is as 'The 4 W's':
Welcome: probably sharing refreshments and catching up on what's happened since the last meeting
Worship: a short focused time - making space for God to speak and be Lord
Word: some Bible based study
Witness: where truth and life meet as action in a Godly response to what has been learned
You are likely to find all these W's in a group, maybe with a different balance or focus at different times.
Groups also sometimes hold socials, when other family members or interested people might be invited to join in.
Is there a group for me?
We can offer a choice of daytime, evening, weekly and monthly groups, which cover all age groups. Most evening groups meet on Tuesdays, but we are doing our best to vary this by gradually growing the number of Wednesday groups.
If you would like to experience a small group, we will do our very best to find the right one for you.
If this glimpse of small group life has whetted your appetite, why not have an informal chat with the small group coordinator. Rev Catherine Butt, who can be contacted via the office or via the contact details in the monthly Good News magazine, or perhaps chat to someone you know who is already part of a group? For more information, do pick up a copy of the 'Small Groups at St Mary's' booklet, available in church or from the office.