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 8 September. Help with sign up will be available after the Sunday morning services on the 8th and 15th September.

Most groups will then start in late September. 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.

Sarah Fitzgerald, Kathy Burns and Ruth Frost.

The 4U team is a team of four churches in the Marlow area with a single vision – ‘We are ordinary people led by an extraordinary God, whose love inspires us to welcome, to serve and to grow as we follow Jesus together.’

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 Groups

Wednesday Wonders

Studying “The night the angels came” by Chrissie Chapman

We will be reading and discussing this book about a midwife who set up a home for orphans in Burundi and witnesses many miracles of protection and provision under very difficult circumstances. ”Chrissie’s story is truly remarkable…may you be challenged and inspired!” Simon Guillebaud author and founder of GLO in Burundi. Led by: Arlene McIlwaine. More suitable for women
When: Meets fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8-10pm.Runs from 25 September to 11 December
Where: Bovingdon Heights, Marlow

Register for this group here.


Bible Study Group

The Apostle John. We are continuing to study John with particular attention to Christ’s “I ams”.

Led by: Joy Halton
When: Thursdays from 8-9.30pm. Dates to be confirmed
Where: Mieke Gaynor’s home


Thursday Fellowship

The ways in which Jesus used parables.

Using a cover-to-cover study guide, we will look at how Jesus used different types of parables to communicate to His disciples, the crowds who flocked to hear Him and those who opposed Him. Please be aware that the study guide for seven sessions costs £4.

Led by: Andrew and Christine Carter
When: Meets fortnightly on Thursdays from 7.30pm to 9pm. Runs from 26 September to 19 December
Where: Andrew and Chris Carter’s home in Marlow

Register for this group here.


Radical Discipleship

Studying Simon Guillebaud’s book: “More Than Conquerors.” We‘ll be watching a short DVD and looking at a chapter of Simon’s book each week.

Led by: Sandy Powell
When: Meets fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8-9.30pm. Runs from 25 September to 4 December
Where: Ruth and Andrew Scott’s home in Marlow

Register for this group here.


Bible Genres

Hearing what the Bible really says. The Bible only has one author – God Himself. But in human terms the Bible has many authors, each of whom adopted a different style of writing known as genre. Through worship, prayer and fellowship we will explore some of the major genres and reflect on what God is saying to us personally through His Word.

Led by: Sara Edwardes
When: Meets fortnightly on Mondays from 7.30-9pm. Runs from 23 September to 2 December
Where: Sara Edwardes’ home in Medmenham

Register for this group here.


Table Talk

Creating friendship and sharing around the table and an opportunity for women to share testimonies, treasured verses or thoughts over a bring-and-share supper.

Led by: Jeannie Hampton and Sue Peperell
When: Meets Thursdays from 7.30pm. Meets on 19 Sep, 17 Oct, 18 Nov, 5 Dec, 19 Dec
Where: Jeannie Hampton and Sue Peperell’s homes in Marlow

Register for this group here.


Activity Groups

Should We Be Afraid of Climate Change?

Climate change has been on the horizon for many years and the impacts are already starting to show themselves. Dave & Vanessa invite you to explore the science; the potential impacts; mitigation options and possible implications for society across the world, the UK and Marlow. The group will explore these topics with a mixture of information sharing and group discussion.

Led by: Vanessa & Dave Faulkner
When: Weekly on Wednesdays from 8pm to 10pm. Runs from 25 September to 4 December
Where: To be confirmed, depending on numbers

Register for this group here.


Open Mic Night

Come along to an Open Mic Night. Sing, or just listen, meet some people and have some fun!

Led by: Gill Taylor
When: Fortnightly on Thursdays at 9pm. Starts on 19 September
Where: Garibaldi Pub, Bourne End

Register for this group here.


Knitting Group

We are a group who get together to knit and natter and have been turning our knitted squares into larger blankets for distribution to areas of need both here and abroad via Knit for Peace UK; an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust. We also knit “beanies”; Teddies and recently have added “twiddle muffs” and pocket dolls. Non-knitters welcome to come along for a chat too.

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 8-9.30pm. Starts on 25 September
Where: Various people’s homes

Register for this group here.


Saturday Morning Coffee Club

Does what it says on the tin, a chance to get together for a coffee on a Saturday morning! No need to sign up (unless you want to). You will need to buy your own coffee!

When: Saturday mornings, 10.30-11.30am. Runs on 28 Sep, 26 Oct, 23 Nov
Where: Baroosh, Marlow

Register for this group here.


Park Run

Running and volunteering in Marlow. Join us at Marlow Park Run. Run, jog or walk 5k in beautiful Marlow. Meet new people, volunteer to help and bless our community. For more information about Park Run, how it works and to register, visit www.parkrun.org.uk/

When: Weekly on Saturday mornings at 9am
Where: Higginson Park, Marlow

Register for this group here.


Walking and Coffee

An opportunity to walk, chat and get to know each other and enjoy a coffee stop. Four legged friends are also welcome. We expect the walk plus coffee to take about two hours.

Led by: Alison Branch and Sara Edwardes
When: Fortnightly on Tuesdays from 10am.Meets on the following dates: Runs on 24 Sep, 8 Oct, 22 Oct, 5 Nov, 19 Nov, 3 Dec
Where: Venue to be confirmed before each walk

Register for this group here.


Book Club

We tend to find books which stimulate discussion with the majority of them having Christianity as a major factor. Everyone present is encouraged to have an input and express their opinions. For those who enjoy reading challenging books.

When: First Sunday of the month from 2.30-4.30pm
Where: Various people’s homes

Register for this group here.


Holy Yoga and Mindfulness – Worshipping God in body, mind and spirit

Modern day yoga is an amazing way to use your whole body, strength, mind and soul that your maker has given you, as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. Join a weekly Christ-centred practice and through a series of postures, breathing techniques, and God-led meditations, experience for yourself His peace, understanding and joy in your life no matter what. Yoga is non-competitive and accessible to all ages. This will be a beginners class. Please check with your GP if you have any health concerns. Yoga mats, blankets and lavender eye-pillows will all be provided.

Led by: Chrissy Longley
When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays from 1-2pm
Where: All Saints Marlow Church Hall

Register for this group here.


Courses

The Alpha Course

Explore life, faith and meaning. The phenomenally successful Alpha Course is running again in Marlow Bottom and Marlow. The course gives an opportunity to explore the really big questions of life and time to think through the big issues. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, run over 10 weeks. Each session has a video that looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. All Alphas have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation. There will be two separate courses running this term, one in Marlow on Tuesday evening and one in Marlow Bottom on Thursday evenings.

The Marlow Alpha Course
When: Weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7.45pm to 9.45pm.Runs from 1 October until 10 December. (No meeting 29 Oct)
Where: Meetings will be in All Saints’ Church, Marlow

Register for this group here.

The Marlow Bottom Alpha Course
When: Weekly on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.Runs from 3 October until 12 December
Where: Meetings will be at 274 Marlow Bottom

Register for this group here.


Growing as a Disciple

A six-week course to explore going as a Christian, looking at Mark’s Gospel and different ways to grow in our faith. Ideal for post Alpha, but all welcome.

Led by: Jane Chaffey
When: Mondays at 7.30pm. Runs from 16 September to 21 October
Where: All Saints Marlow Church Hall (Upper room on 23 Sep)

Register for this group here.


Principles of Deep Water Fishing

A four-week bible study course to explore more deeply what it means to be a Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world. As the disciples were encouraged by Jesus after a fruitless night’s fishing to out their nets out into deeper waters so we are encouraged and challenged to take a risk of faith in our discipleship.

Led by: Sarah Fitzgerald
When: Mondays 7.30-9.15pm. Runs from 14 Oct to 4 Nov
Where: Sarah Fitzgerald’s home in Marlow
Contact: Rev Sarah Fitzgerald on 01628 481167

Register for this group here.


The Prayer Course

We will be going deeper into prayer, using video, Bible study, discussion and, of course, actually praying! For women only.

Led by: Sami Watts
When: Mondays 1.45-3pm. Runs 9 Sep, 23 Sep, 7 Oct, 14 Oct, 21 Oct, 4 Nov, 18 Nov, 25 Nov, 2 Dec
Where: 165 Marlow Bottom

Register for this group here.


The Prayer Course

A simple guide for ordinary people – this is what the Prayer Course is about. Each week there’s a video to watch about an aspect of prayer, then discussion time followed by a chance to put some of what has been talked about into practice. Probably best described as a course for Christians wanting to build their confidence in prayer and in praying both in private and in public. For a complete picture go to www.prayercourse.org

Led by: Graham Watts
When: Tuesdays 8-9.30pm.Runs from 24 Sep to 19 Nov (no meeting in half term)
Where: 165 Marlow Bottom

Register for this group here.


Communion Preparation for Children

For children not yet confirmed but wanting to take communion. What does it mean to be a Christian? What is baptism? What is Communion? … and how do we live as a Christian? We 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. Please do feel free to contact one of the clergy to talk about this further before signing your child up for it. To complete the course all three dates must be attended.

Led by: Graham Watts
When: Sundays from 3.30-4.30pm.Runs 6, 13, and 20 October
Where: All Saints Marlow Church Hall

Register for this group here.


Advent Course

Make some space in this busy season to prepare to celebrate Jesus coming and invite him to come into our lives. We will look at the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary in the time before Jesus’ birth; the parts of the story that often get overlooked in our Sunday readings and Christmas celebrations. Each session will include a time of quiet and peaceful reflection as well as studying the bible stories, discussion and prayer.

Led by: Sarah Fitzgerald
When: Mondays 7.30-9.15pm. Runs from 25 Nov to 16 Dec
Where: Sarah Fitzgerald’s home in Marlow

Register for this group here.


Delving Deeper

Six-week course looking at one of the gospels and exploring different ways to study and reflect upon scripture.

Led by: Jane Chaffey
When: Mondays at 7.30pm. Runs from 28 October to 2 December
Where: All Saints Marlow Church Hall (Upper room on 25 Nov)

Register for this group here.


Taste Life

Breaking free from eating disorders. For those suffering from eating disorders and their carers. The Tastelife course runs over 8 weeks and provides information about the nature of eating disorders and tools to help on the journey to recovery. It is non-threatening, educational, and encourages a self-help approach that really works. It allows participants the chance to talk and work together to explore issues openly and honestly. Tastelife is a registered charity and the course is accredited by Brighton University. Find out more at www.tastelifeuk.org. There is a charge of £40 per person to cover the cost of handouts and takeaway materials for each session. To be paid either before or at session 1.

Led by: Ruth Frost
When: Weekly on Tuesdays from 8-10pm. Runs from 1 Oct to 26 Nov
Where: All Saints Marlow Church Hall

Register for this group here.


Life Stage Groups

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
Where: Meets in various people’s homes

Register for this group here.


Ladies’ Lunch

For widows or ladies on their own. Predominantly older ladies who enjoy meeting others for lunch and discussion. Over lunch we discuss topical questions, relevant news, personal worries. We meet in various locations including homes, pubs and restaurants. The first meeting is at the George and Dragon on 11th Sept when venue for second will be decided on.

Led by: Sue Glyn-Woods
When: Dates are arranged to be convenient for the majority
Where: Various locations including homes, pubs and restaurants

Register for this group here.