small groups 4u

Make new friends, learn something new, and grow closer to God

We think that Small Groups are central to the community life of our church outside of Sunday gatherings. We believe scripture teaches that the Christian life works better in community. Small Groups are also an important place where we can relate our faith to all of our lives, the things we do and face every day. They meet regularly in homes and venues across the locality.

There are lots of different groups to choose from, but the essence of every group is the same – to provide places to make new friends, learn something new and grow closer to God.

The Small Group structure is designed to make it easy for us all to sign up. Many groups will be branded new each term. Some groups may only last for just the three months’ duration of a term, whilst others will run continuously from term to term until the leaders choose to rest. This means attendees don’t have to feel tied to one group forever, giving them opportunity to possibly try a different type of group each term. Others however, especially as they connect deeper into the community of the church, may begin to deepen relationships by staying with just one group for a longer season beyond a single term – it’s always up to the attendees – we might make recommendations along the way, but the decision ultimately rests with them.

Information about the groups will be available on the church database and the website from Sunday, 6 January. Help with sign up will be available after the Sunday morning services on 6, 13 and 20 January.

Most groups will then start in late January / early February. If your chosen group is full then please look at other possibilities. If you are a member of an existing group that is listed you still need to sign up.

If you have any questions, please email smallgroups@4u-team.org and we shall endeavour to help you in your decision.

Types of group

General Groups

General groups will meet in homes, worship together, discuss a book in the Bible or follow a particular programme and pray for one another. General groups include an element of fun and social activity and aim to provide a greater opportunity of going deeper.

Ordinarily these groups will have a strong discipleship edge and be strong on pastoral care.

Some of the general groups will opt to meet for more than one term consecutively for those with a desire to form longer-term friendships.

Activity Groups

Activity groups are those groups led by leaders around a special interest or hobby. This could be simply gathering a group of people in a coffee shop and discussing a book that the group is reading together, or people meeting up each week to go for a walk, ending with a drink in a café or pub, doing craft or doing a sporting activity. Activity groups gather like-minded people around a common theme. Activities are limited only by the imagination and passions of the leaders – sports, nature, hobbies, food, movies, outdoor pursuits, crafts and seasonal activities are just some of the possibilities. At some point discussion can also include prayer needs or the Sunday sermon, etc.

Courses

Each term we aim to have different courses running. These courses will include things like Alpha, marriage courses, prayer course, evangelism, etc.

Our hope is that these central courses will be easy places both for larger numbers to attend, but also a familiar space for newer church members to come along to.

Life Stage Groups

It is recognised that at particular stages in life it is helpful to meet with others who are at that same stage. The aim therefore is to have groups such as those for young adults, parents of young children, and older people who value a daytime group.

These groups may operate in a similar way to the general groups, and the leaders will send through details of the study they will be using each term, in advance ready for the Small Groups’ guide.

There may be a more pastoral element to some of these groups, in line with the needs associated with that stage of life.


General

Bible Study
A Fruitful Life – A Study From Galatians

We’ll be listening to a sermon series given by Malcolm Duncan, based on Galatians. All titles begin “The Life of…” and cover Kindness/Goodness/Patience etc.

Led by Sandy Powell.

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8pm-9.30pm. Starts on 16 January.
Where: Marlow.
Contact: Sandy Powell on 01628 486502 or 07941 521577.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Wednesday Wonders
Four Great Loves

This group is continuing with Bible study on Four Great Loves LifeBuilder bible study series. Loving God’s word, loving God’s people, to love God’s purposes in the world and to love God.

Led by Arlene Mcilwaine.

More suited to women.

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8-10pm. Starts on 16 January.
Where: Bovingdon Heights.
Contact: Arlene Mcilwaine on 07881 027207.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Bible Study Group
James – Faith in Action

This group meets regularly to discuss biblical topics and to pray together.

Suitable for all adults.

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 7.30pm.
Where: Homes across Little Marlow and Bourne End.
Contact: David Baldwin on 01628 525086.


Eat, Pray, Love
Food and Fellowship

Many of us are working full time and involved in a lot of evening and weekend activities so this small group is a chance to relax with a simple meal, discuss the issues we face in a safe environment, pray for each other and the world we live in and share the immeasurable love of Jesus.

Led by Pat Reading.

When: Wednesdays from 8-10pm on the following dates: 23 January, 6 February, 20 February, 6 March, 20 March and 3 April.
Where: Marlow.
Contact: Pat Reading on 07718 911837.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Activity

Eco Church

In 2018, St John the Baptist Little Marlow gained a prestigious Eco Church Silver Award and All Saints Marlow gained an Eco Church Bronze Award as a result of our on-going actions to care for God’s world, in how we look after our buildings and land, in how we engage with our local community and in global campaigns, and in our personal lifestyles.

We want our parish to keep moving forward in our understanding and actions, so we would love you to join our small group if you want to help us to care for God’s creation locally and globally.

More information about Eco Church can be found here.

Led by Paul Taylor.

When: Thursdays from 8pm on the following dates: 24 January, 7 February, 21 February and 7 March.
Where: TBC.
Contact: Paul Taylor on 07712 033388.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Pub Theology

This group will take an in-depth look at four theological concepts: (i) the incarnation, (ii) the atonement, (iii) the resurrection and ascension and (iv) the final victory of God.

We will be using the book Café Theology by Michael Lloyd as our guide. Before each session everyone will read the relevant chapter and we will discuss it over a pint in the pub in Marlow (venue to be decided based on the size of the group).

Each chapter is between 30 and 45 pages of reading and will be very thought-provoking. Luckily you have two weeks between each session. If you have the discipline to read a little and often or have time to read for longer periods then you will be fine – it will be worth it – these key concepts form the bed rock of the Christian faith and an investment in them will be a real investment in your faith for the future.

Led by Rev Roland Slade.

When: Wednesdays from 7.30-9pm on the following dates: 13 February, 27 February, 13 March and 27 March.
Where: TBC.
Contact: Roland Slade on 07449 330581.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Knitting Group

We come together to knit and natter and in the Autumn the mission group took our “beanies” to Romania. The fish and chip vests and more recently the small blankets made up from all our squares are sent out in aqua boxes to disaster areas.

Non-knitters who would like to just come along for a chat are most welcome too.

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8-9.30pm. Starts on 30 January.
Where: Various people’s homes.
Contact: Julia Stacey on 01628 484514.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Board Game Cafe

For anyone who enjoys playing board games. A chance to come and play some old favourites or learn new board games, meet new people and have a fun afternoon! Refreshments will be available to purchase. under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

There will be a small entry charge, £3 per adult, £2 per child, family entry £10. This will include the cost of your first drink (tea/coffee/squash/hot chocolate) and any extra funds raised will be donated to the church.

When: From 2-5.30pm on the following dates: Sunday 27 January, Saturday 2 March and Saturday 23 March.
Where: St Mary’s Church, Marlow Bottom.
Contact: Sami Watts or Graham Watts.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Worship Team All Together Time

We’ll be joining together for worship, prayer, some training and learning new songs.

Optional trip to the pub afterwards too for some social time together.

When: Sunday from 7-8.30pm on the following dates: Sunday 6 January, 3 February and 3 March.
Where: All Saints’ Church, Marlow.
Contact: Gill Taylor on 07720 707339.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Courses

Marriage Preparation

The Marriage Preparation Course is for couples who are exploring the idea of getting married and for those who are already engaged. It’s also suitable for those in their first two years of marriage.

The course is designed for those who want to give their marriage the best possible start, whether they’re exploring marriage for the first time or have been married before. The course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Each session includes refreshments and cake, a practical talk, and a time for discussion between you and your partner. Background music ensures that you can chat in complete privacy. You will never be asked to share anything about your relationship with anyone other than your partner.

The evenings are designed to be fun and to give you lots of great discussions together.

Led by Dave and Helen Bull

When: Wednesdays from 7.30-10pm, runs from 27 February until 20 March.
Where: All Saints’ Church Hall, Marlow.
Contact: Parish Office on 01628 481806.

Click here to sign up for this course.


Churches Together Lent Study
Migration and Movement

We will be following a study course produced by USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel). The course explores the movement of people across the globe with personal stories from the world church. There will be several groups with members from different churches.

When: Daytime and evening groups meeting for six consecutive weeks during Lent, starting on 11 March.
Where: Various homes.
Contact: Tony Threlfall on 01628 471610.

Click here to sign up for this course.


The Alpha Course
Life. Faith. Meaning

In this course, we explore questions about life, faith and meaning through small discussion groups. We will share a meal together, watch a film, hear from others about their journey of faith, and have plenty of time to discuss questions and share our points of view.

When: Tuesday evenings from 19 March to 11 June (no meetings on 16 April, 23 April or 28 May).
Where: TBC
Contact: Parish Office on 01628 481806.

Click here to sign up for this course.


Beginning to share your faith

A gentle introduction to sharing your faith with others.

Generally we don’t find it that easy to share our faith with others. It can sometimes be so daunting that we don’t even start trying. This short course aims to start us off in sharing our faith.

We will look at the Bible, hear from others, think about our own journey of faith, discover God’s story and have fun along the way!

When: Wednesdays from 8-9.30pm on the following dates: 16 January, 23 January, 6 February and 13 February.
Where: Marlow Bottom
Contact: Rev Graham Watts on 01628 440106.

Click here to sign up for this course.


The next step in sharing your faith

Becoming more confident in your evangelism.

A short course for those already sharing their faith with others even if it is only occasionally.

We will think about the world views that are prevalent today, how to identify them and lovingly deconstruct them. We will also look at some of the stumbling blocks to faith that people have and how we can help others get over them.

When: Tuesdays from 8-9.30pm on the following dates: 26 February, 5 March, 12 March and 19 March.
Where: Marlow Bottom
Contact: Rev Graham Watts on 01628 440106.

Click here to sign up for this course.


The Pilgrim Course

Pilgrim is a discipleship course from the Church of England. It aims to create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day. Pilgrim aims to equip people to follow Jesus Christ as disciples in the whole of their lives.

Pilgrim takes a different approach to other Christian programmes. It approaches the great issues of faith, not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers.

The primary focus of each session is a group of people engaging with the Bible together. It draws deeply from the Christian tradition and is inspired by key texts which sum up the heart of the Christian message.

Course 1, Turning to Christ; explores the heart of Christian belief through the six questions candidates are asked at baptism.

Suitable for those wanting to explore the Christian faith and what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. Suitable for those new to faith and those further on the Christian journey but wanting to keep travelling.

When: Mondays from 7.30pm, runs from 11 March until 8 April
Where: All Saints’ Church, Bisham
Contact: Rev Sarah Fitzgerald@ on 01628 481167.

Click here to sign up for this course.


Toolkit
Ancient wisdom for life in the modern world

We will be exploring spiritual disciplines such as celebration, prayer, slowing down, service and study that will better equip us to lead lives that are centred and content in a frantic world.

For women only.

This course will run as both a daytime group and an evening group (with the same content).

When (daytime group): Mondays from 1.45-3pm on the following dates: 14 January, 28 January, 11 February, 4 March, 18 March and 1 April.
When (evening group): Fridays from 8-9.30pm on the following dates: 11 January, 25 January, 8 February, 8 March and 22 March.
Where: Marlow Bottom
Contact: Sami Watts on 01628 440106.

Click here to sign up for the daytime course.

Click here to sign up for the evening course.


Life Stage

Communion Preparation for Children
The preparation course for children to be admitted to communion before Confirmation

This course will look at the questions: What does it mean to be a Christian? What is baptism? What is Communion? … and how do we live as a Christian? It will look at these questions in ways that are appropriate to the ages of the children involved. The parent/carer who comes with the child will be fully involved in what happens on the course.

This is a course for children who their families, in consultation with the clergy, feel are ready to take communion. The child needs to be accompanied by a parent or carer on the course.

Please do feel free to contact Graham or one of the clergy to talk about this course further before signing your child up for it.

When: Wednesdays from 6-7pm, runs from 13 March until 3 April.
Where: Methodist Chapel, Marlow Bottom.
Contact: Rev Graham Watts on 01628 440106.

Click here to sign up for this group.


Young Adults

A small group for young adults to both socialise and study the Bible together. Suitable for young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Everyone welcome whether you attend church or not.

Led by Ruth Frost.

When: Fridays from 7.30-10pm, runs from 11 January until 12 April.
Where: Meets in various people’s homes.
Contact: Ruth Frost on 07470 082010.

Click here to sign up for this group.