House groups play an important role in the St. Mary’s Church community encouraging faith through fellowship in the informal setting of the host’s home. There are currently 10 house groups that meet on a regular basis. Six of the groups gather in the evening; four others, including two for young Mums, meet in the morning to better accommodate schedules of its members.
Each of our house groups is very different in feel from the others. Some focus on Bible study and will use material such as the Lifebuilder series to work through an Old Testament or New Testament book. One daytime group recently used John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress as a focus for their thinking, and ended up drawing a most elaborate map of Christian’s journey to the Celestial City! Other groups are more at home looking at a work of theology or the writings of a number of modern theologians.
In some of the groups, there are members from other churches, and in all, over one hundred people are involved in the different groups, some meeting weekly, though more are fortnightly. All learn and grow in their faith as a result: the almost universal experience of those who attend is that they benefit most from the fellowship enjoyed. The caring and supportive relationships, which are formed between members, are a significant part of the fabric of the St. Mary’s Church community.
The leaders of the house groups meet each term with the House group co-ordinator and the clergy to review what is being studied and raise any concerns that they have. We would love for more people to join the groups and we hope that newcomers will feel welcome to do so.
At special times of the year, such as Lent, we meet for a more rigorous weekly study of a course chosen by Churches Together in Beaconsfield.
These and other special ecumenical gatherings, give house group members the opportunity to better understand the faith and practice of other denominations.
All church members are encouraged to attend a House Group for fellowship, support, learning, prayer and deepening faith. As well as the existing groups listed, some of which are actively seeking new members, we will form new groups at different times as the need arises. For help in joining any of these, please contact
Here are the groups currently running and a few words on their format from the groups themselves
Meets weekly, at 10am for 10.30 in Burkes Road. It’s ideal for the active retired of both sexes.
Meet weekly during term time in Seeleys. Emphasis is as much on fun, fellowship and support as on study. Recent topics looked at include Images of God, Ephesians and Pilgrim’s Progress. Mixed ages and ideal for mums with babies.
Tuesday - Ecumenical Group
Meets weekly at 10am in Westfield Road.
Meets fortnightly, at 10.15am in Penn Road. We study the Bible and Christian devotional works. Currently we are all ladies, but men are welcome too.
Friday – Eden Group
Meets fortnightly; rotating hosting and sharing facilitating sessions as we are able. We are a group of mixed ages, from young mums to grandmothers. We are ecumenical, although mainly St Mary’s with a few from St Thomas‘. We explore our faith in creative ways, rather than academic study, eg a meditation followed by sensory activities or crafts. New members are always welcome.
Meeting fortnightly at 8pm and rotating hosts, our house grup is a secure and respectful environment where heads and hearts are given full rein to deepen faith and understanding. It provides an atmosphere of friendship and trust where we can discuss frankly the sustaining core of our beliefs and faith (and our doubts). The combination of our individual experiences and discussion of both Bible passages and books, stimulate refreshing new trains of thought and a deeper understanding of what faith means to us, so that together we are able to consider the application of Christian teaching in our daily lives. The group has been in existence for many years, with various comings and goings, traumas and bereavements, all of which have made us a strongly bonded group.
Tuesday – Muriel’s Group
We are a group of mainly retired ladies who meet fortnightly in Grove Road. Gentlemen very welcome to join us. We decide together what we would like to study and try to incorporate questions and areas of members‘ interest in our agenda. Recent subjects have been Rowan Williams‘ sermons and Living Faithfully by John Pritchard. We often look at Bible passages. We meet in term time and often have a service or social occasion at our final gathering. Our emphasis is fellowship and study.
Meet fortnightly at 7.45pm rotating venues around homes. Mixed gender membership of 12 people, some relatively new to St Mary’s and some longstanding. Four new members in the past year. Discussions have included the Book of Genesis, Christian responses to world events, recent sermons, and Christian Revivals. Do come along to one of our meetings.
Meets fortnightly, at 8pm rotating venues around homes. In this large mixed group, members take it in turn to lead discussion of topical world issues, as decided for next meeting.
The group meets fortnightly in members‘ homes during school term time at 7.45pm for 8pm over coffee and biscuits. Hosting and leadership are shared among volunteers. Our studies are bible-based and follow various different series of books, although we have been known to deviate from the subject. Fellowship and support also form a very important part of our group. We are a small group seeking new members. Do come and join us.