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If ‘Making Disciples’ is about making Jesus known, then ‘Growing Disciples’ is all about helping one another live as followers of Jesus. We have a number of ways in which you can find support, be encouraged, discover more, get involved, ask questions—all aimed at helping each of us grow in our faith and become ever more passionate about developing our relationship with God.
It’s an exciting journey as we try to follow Jesus’ example and take steps to get to know Him better. It’s about how we live our lives (serving others, helping to make disciples, standing up for justice, making God central to everything we do) and about intentionally seeking ways to grow in our faith.
We’re all different, we’re gifted differently and our personalities and characters are different, plus we’re all at different stages in our relationships with Jesus, so the way we each engage will also look very different. Wherever you’re at—we have something to offer. Do get in touch to find out more—we would love to see a real hunger developing among all of us to grow spiritually, to feed and nourish our faith, and to enable God to move more powerfully in each of our lives.
Jo Morris firstname.lastname@example.org 0117 968 2486
There are several small groups that meet informally in people's homes for Bible-based discussion, prayer, and fellowship. They're fun, sociable, and a place to develop strong friendships. They meet on different days of the week with various regularity for assorted age groups—and all warmly welcome new people who would like to try their group. At the moment, we also have people in place ready and excited about leading two new groups, particularly aimed at anyone in the early stages of exploring their Christian faith, who may or may not have attended an Alpha course, but who would like the opportunity to ask questions and find out more. If you are looking to join a small group (or start a mew one!) then we'd love to hear from you—please contact either David Baker (email@example.com, 0117 968 3227) or Jo Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org, 0117 968 2486) for more details.
Open Learning Groups
There are currently three St Mary’s Open Learning groups. Participants in these groups study the Bible using course materials supplied by the GOLD Project (Group-based Open Learning Discipleship Project). The aim of the course is to encounter God in and through the study of the Bible. The combination of systematic home study followed by regular group discussion enables us to get to grips with what the Bible says and to see how we can apply that in our daily lives. To find out more about Open Learning, or to register for a group, please us the contact us page.
Prayer Cells and Prayer Links
We would like to encourage everyone to be part of a prayer cell of three or four people who meet regularly to pray and support one another spiritually. Another way in which we do this is through St Mary’s Links, an informal cross-generational pairing of individuals or couples or families who commit to support one another through prayer and friendship. These are exciting, fledgling new initiatives at St Mary’s, so contact Jo Morris (0117 968 2486) if you would like more information, or are interested in joining a cell or making a link.
Growing in prayer
We host weekly sessions to pray, including Sundays at church at 8:30AM, bi-monthly preceeding the PCC meeting at 6:45PM in the James Chapel, and prayer for youth work each Tuesday morning. At times we have coordinated prayer walks along the roads near the church to pray for residents. For one week each year, congregation members volunteer set amounts of time to come in to church and pray, mainly for our mission partners, in what all together becomes a week of continual prayer. If you would like to be involved in this, contact Angela Cattell (0117 968 3069) or Mike Stewart (0117 968 2776).
There is a group of 18-35 year olds that meets together for food and fellowship.
Gamma, a group for the more senior members of St Mary’s, meets at 10:30am on Thursdays for refreshments and starts Bible study and discussion at 11:00am. We plan to finish at 11:50am to give those who wish to, to have the opportunity to go to the Parish Lunch in the Church Rooms. For more information about Gamma, call Jenny Robottom (0117 968 1054).
Every Thursday St Mary's hosts a luncheon at 12.15pm for all who want to meet together and enjoy food and fellowship. Thursday lunch is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
This is a group that meets in the main hall on the last Wednesday of each month at 2:45pm for a general interest talk followed by tea and cakes until 4pm. For more information, call 0117 968 4296.
Bible Meditation Group
The Bible Meditation Group meets twice monthly 2:20pm on Tuesdays in members' homes for a reflective time stimulated by readings, music, and art, followed by a sociable half hour. If you're longing to make space to be quiet and listen to God, do come along. Contact 0117 968 2170 for further details.