Growth Groups at St Philip's
The group meets about every two weeks on Monday evenings for 1½ hours (no longer!), and we nearly always study a book of the Bible. We sometimes use a study guide; sometimes a combination of guides and commentaries; and sometimes nothing except our own ideas to help us tease out the deeper meaning of the text. Conversation is varied, diverse, light-hearted, serious, and sometimes directed towards the topic under discussion with great insight! You are most welcome to join us and give the group a try. Contributing is not compulsory; in fact it is often quite difficult to get a word in edgeways.
We began 2016 by finishing off our study of 1 Peter. Then we spent 4 sessions on 2 Peter and finished the season with 1 John. As a generalisation, we were reminded and surprised at the richness of these epistles, which are rather under-utilised.
In the Autumn, we began again with 9 sessions on Ephesians, some of the theology of which we found quite challenging (as do most people). This calendar year we have begun a study of Matthew’s Gospel, using Tom Wright’s ‘Matthew for Everyone’ to stimulate our thinking.
Do join us. The group is theoretically 12 strong at present, of which about 8 or 9 are usually present.
Vicarage Growth Group
Twice a month, up to nine of us meet at the Vicarage from 1.30-3.00 p.m. to drink tea and coffee (brewed by the Vicar), share fellowship and learn more from the Bible and from each other. After Easter last year we read Philip Yancey’s “The Bible Jesus Read”, an introduction to the Old Testament, which stimulated a lot of discussion and a recognition that we have a lot more to learn about this part of the Bible. Our placement student, Sue Hadden, took a significant part in leading these sessions. It was really good to have her with us.
In the Autumn we used the new “Life Explored” material; from the same team as “Christianity Explored” and “Discipleship Explored”, this was a multi-media experience which encouraged us to think about our priorities, what it is that we hold most dear. Challenging.
More familiar, but still stretching in its own way, our study of the Lord’s Prayer through Lent has drawn on the Church of England’s “Pilgrim” material. We have decided to follow this up with the next book in the series, on the Ten Commandments. If you are available and would like to join us on a Thursday afternoon, please speak to me. Peter Mackriell
Orchard Way Growth Group
The Orchard Way Growth Group met on average about every two weeks during the year. Attendance has been consistent at around five to ten people each week. We try to mix the materials to keep it fresh and always have good fun too. The group feels like a family and we look to support each other in whatever we are going through. A key focus this year was the Know Your Church, Know Your Community exercise which was convened by Wendy Robertson from Chester Diocese Church House. The project was run over 4 months and involved gathering and analysing a range of material to help us understand our church and community better and consider how we can best engage in mission in the future. A short report is attached at Appendix A. Other topics studied during the year included bible studies on prayer and a book on the Ten Commandments. We are currently working through a bible study book by John Scott on the Book of Acts. We also had some socials including a trip to Chris Spray's pub in Chirk and meals at Christmas time. These provide good opportunity to invite a wider group of people in addition to the usual attendees. We would be very happy to have any new people join our group. Please do get in touch if you are interested.
Paul & Keren Coney