Prayer & Study Groups/Courses

Prayer and study groups
 

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Over the years there have been a number of adult prayer and study groups which generally meet for a short series. They are varied and can include prayers and studying the Bible. 

The groups offer:
• An opportunity to be with Christian friends in a more relaxed way.
• A setting to learn more about living as a Christian, hearing from the Bible and from one another.
• A safe place of acceptance and trust in which we can talk about the challenges we face.
• A ‘homebase’ for caring and mutual support.

Lent Courses 

Lent and Advent courses have run for many years but the Lent Pilgrim Courses started running in 2017 in the church. Each meeting generally begins with a simple supper, then a talk, then smaller groups discussions to continue the debate before re-forming for a final talk. One such Lent Group was focussed on everyday life and discussed topics ranging from sexuality to war and poverty. One was based on ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ on the subject of prayer. The 2019 Lent Course was initiated by the Archbishop of York and encouraged all to share in the Church of England’s LentPilgrim journey. Written by Bishop Steven Croft, co-author of the Pilgrim Course, the Pilgrim Journeys: The Beatitudes, provided a short daily reflection, a Bible reading, a prayer and suggested response. Throughout the season of Lent, the reflections were based on the Beatitudes, as taught by Jesus.   

Life Groups 

House groups were revived in the autumn of 2017 and called 'Life Groups'. They meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Thursday afternoons in members’ homes and there are usually 8 - 12 attending each group. As well as being together to reflect on the Bible, the groups have the opportunity to get to know each other better, and to pray together. The evenings begin with coffee and opportunity for people to talk about what God has been doing in their lives, or any 'good news stories'. They then move on to a bible study and discussion and finally pray together to close the meeting.

During the first series members read and discussed Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Derek led the meetings and "the group felt that it had been an enjoyable and inspiring time, giving us the opportunity to give thanks for our blessings, share concerns, and pray for ours and other people’s needs". 

These groups continue through the years with different topics covered each time. Three small groups meet through the year and considered themes arising from the Sunday's readings among many others. Examples are 'Your Course' investigating Easter with the impact of the Resurrection on our life, the church and the world, the Letter to the Hebrews, shadowing the Sunday lectionary readings, the Book of the Proverbs and our ‘frontlines’ and Exodus. The groups make way in Lent for the Lent Course, but recommence after Easter.

The following was written by a member of the group on 'Bringing the Bible alive!' "This autumn we have had a valuable series of home meetings of the Tuesday Life Group. This has comprised Bible study of Paul’s Letter to the Philippians led by Derek relating its meaning to our lives and the world around us today. In our small group we have come closer together through the opportunity of open and rich discussion in a non-threatening atmosphere. The group felt that this has been an enjoyable and inspiring time, giving us the opportunity to give thanks for our blessings, share concerns, and pray for ours and other people’s needs.  All this has enabled us to benefit considerably from this experience, and we hope that others in the congregation may like to join us or another group in the future."

From the autumn 2019 the group leaders took ownership and helped the courses develop. Julian’s group discussed topical issues, Derek’s group focused on Jesus’s parables and Scott’s group became a theological book group.

Other Groups 

Church members have often been encouraged to think about how their Christian faith can be taken into their working / family life. Approximately monthly someone speaks about ‘This Time Tomorrow’ at the 9.30am service. This replaced the long-running ’Faith at Work’ group, both activities being led by Rev Julian Reindorp. 

There has been a course for enquirers called ‘Quest’ and an eight-part 'Alpha' course was also held, the brand awareness making it attract newcomers.

Have a look at the page The History of our Prayer and Study Groups & Courses .
 

Study groups Study groups Study groups
A Lent Study Group   A Life Group