What is a “Home Group?
At present, six groups meet in various homes, as well as at the church. They each have different characteristics and formats. Such groups not only give people the chance to meet for Bible study and general discussion, but also allow us to get to know others who would otherwise be just familiar faces on Sundays. Groups can offer a valuable opportunity for friendship and mutual support. They meet monthly, or sometimes, more frequently.
A flourishing church is likely to have a network of home groups, a cause and a result of the church’s general liveliness. Suggestions for new Homegroups are actively encouraged.
Julia Trigg is our Home Groups Co-ordinator, and would welcome contact from anyone who is interested in joining a group, whether newly arrived in Taunton, or a long-standing worshipper at St. Mary Magdalene.
We meet approximately monthly, in the home of Roger and Julia Trigg, starting with a cup of tea or coffee and light refreshments at 7.30 and aim to finish about 9pm. Our discussions usually take the form of a Bible study of a single Book or theme (eg the Epistle of James or the Parables of Jesus) over several sessions or, occasionally, a “one-off” single topic such as Prayer or the words of Christmas Carols. Leaders will vary and will set the scene for that particular session, suggesting some relevant (possibly provocative!) questions, after which everybody joins in – although no one should feel obliged to do so.
The Stonegallows Group is a discussion group, usually looking at contemporary issues against a Christian background. Questions and doubts are welcomed and while the subject is well aired, conclusions are not always reached. The sessions start at 7pm with a bring and share meal. Discussion follows and we end with coffee at 9pm.
The Mount Home Group meets once a month on a Monday evening at 7.30pm. We begin with coffee/ tea, biscuits-sometimes cake! Our programme varies considerably from Bible study, to a discussion on a topical church related subject, watching a DVD or we may listen to music, poetry or a meditation. We close with some form of worship, which may be led by any of the members. Once a term we have a bring and share supper or we go out to a local restaurant. Enquiries are always welcome ,but at this moment in time we are full to capacity.
Why Manna? We liken our coming together to the Biblical story of the food God miraculously provided to the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. We are eight people, each on a life journey coming together fortnightly in a member’s home, to share a simple lunchtime meal of bread and cheese, fruit, and water to drink. Manna is a prayerful and supportive group, whose aim is to listen to God and each other as we study and pray. Recent material included Sam Wells book, “How then shall we live?”; the gospel readings for the following Sunday; and currently Cardinal Vincent Nicholls book “Hope in Action.” We pay a small subscription and periodically send a donation to one of the lesser known charities.
We are an assorted group of thirteen people, not all from St. Mary Magdalene’s, not all Anglicans, who meet fortnightly on Tuesday evenings. We have three blocks of seven to nine meetings per year, with breaks at Christmas, Easter and in August/September. Over the years we have become more confident in sharing more of ourselves, our lives and opinions, within the safety of the Group. Supporting one another pastorally is an important dimension of our activity. A summer bring-and-share buffet marks the end of our ‘year’. We approach our study in a variety of ways. It is predominantly biblical in nature, studying individual books or characters in both the Old and New Testaments. However, we also use secular books which stimulate discussion on a wider range of topics and contemporary issues. Occasionally we use DVDs. We try to ring the changes. Leadership of the evenings is shared, but no one is put under pressure to do more than they are comfortable with. We always end the evening with a time of prayer.
An afternoon group which meets on the last Thursday of the month at 2.30pm in the Coffee Shop area of the church, studying various books of the bible. The sessions are informal, lasting for only an hour.