Homegroups play an important role in the life of St Mary’s. They provide an opportunity for members of the congregation to worship, pray, study the Bible and explore their faith within the context of a safe and friendly environment. Group members are able to support and encourage one another and, in many cases, find ways to express their love of Jesus through involvement in the wider community.
The disruption to normal life caused by the lockdown and closure of St Mary’s for most of the year made the role of homegroups even more important than usual in 2020.
Our homegroup members range in age from young parents to great grandparents. We currently have 93 members, men and women, spread across 11 groups. This compares with 76 members and 10 groups a year ago.
We meet in most cases using Zoom, sometimes via telephone, Whatsapp and email. Members hate not being able to meet in person, but love Zoom because it has meant that meetings could continue through the lockdown.
Most groups meet once a week and have spent time on a wide range of study material including “Mission Shaped Living”, the book of Ruth, The Acts of the Apostles and Mark’s Gospel.
We’re really encouraged at how some homegroups have been able to engage with the wider community, even during lockdown.
One group, who previously hosted a monthly “Friendship Hour” meeting for elderly folk, took the initiative of distributing Christmas shoe boxes to all of their members. They also arranged gifts for 150 support workers at Pembury Hospital.
Another group has led the development of Men on Wednesday, a group of men who meet to share time together and discuss a wide range of topics. Numbers here have increased from 10 to 23 over the past 12 months. We hope and pray that these activities will yield opportunities for us to share our faith more widely.
New homegroup members are warmly welcome, whether you are male, female, older, younger, and wherever you are on your journey of faith.
There are daytime and evening groups, and we can help you find one that feels like home.
COVID hasn’t stopped us meeting – by Zoom, or when weather and regulations permit, outside.
Email John Perkins to chat about joining a group or to find out more. Or call him on 01892 863239