‘House groups’, ‘cell groups’, ‘care groups’, ‘cluster groups’; whatever different churches name them, the ‘small group’ is the working hub of any church. And so it is at St Helen’s; we have groups that meet in homes throughout the week, so we call them ‘home groups’.
At the moment there are about seven such groups meeting around and about Stapleford at various times during the week. Each one is different in style depending on the make up of the group, but they are all united in one aim, to go deeper in faith and be a safe place to explore life’s issues from a Christian perspective.
The idea is that we can get to know each other better in a small group, study the Bible, pray together and learn more about what it means to be a Christian sold out for Jesus in today’s culture. All that, and a large dollop of love, laughter, and all sorts of eating and social occasions thrown in for good measure. Home groups are where we really develop the idea of ‘church family’ caring for each other and working out our faith in practical ways, serving the church and hopefully, the community too.
Here’s what some people say about their home group
“It’s a great chance to ask question that you wouldn’t ask in church.”
“Lovely to meet up with friends in an informal setting and get more understanding of the Bible.”
“Other people’s experiences really speak into the learning we do together.”
“I can be myself, and its fun!”
“I really look forward to home group, to talking through stuff and finding out more about what God might say in a particular situation.”
“I used to feel really awkward praying out loud in company, but now I feel so much more confident about praying publicly.”
“Home group is where I started to make my friends at church”
“Our group started when we were too old for CYFA! Since then we’ve met most weeks and grown up together. We’ve been through each other’s weddings, now seeing babies born and baptised. Some have moved away, others have joined; we love to welcome new faces. We meet regularly for Bible studies and spend a lot of time chatting and laughing, and growing in faith. We call ourselves the ‘After Eights’ because we always start after eight o’clock, getting children settled down to meet before then is impossible!”