Prayer and Bible Study Groups

There are a variety of prayer and bible study groups active in the Parish, which are listed below. Many have continued to meet during lockdown and some have now resumed meeting in person. Each section contains up-to-date details. Perhaps you can find one which would suit you? In addition, there are “pop up” groups which are formed from time to time, for example during Lent.

Some members of the congregations subscribe to the Bible Reading Fellowship in order to follow its programme of daily readings and reflexions. New subscriptions are welcome for anyone interested.

If you would like more information about this group, please email Janet via the Parish Office.

Anglican Cursillo is a movement within the Church providing a method by which Christians are empowered to grow through prayer, action and study and enabled to share God’s love with everyone. Some Parish members attend one of the local Cursillo meetings in Bicester, and St Mary’s Kidlington has been used as a venue for a large Cursillo gathering.

If you would like to know more about the wider Cursillo movement, please visit www.anglicancursillo.co.uk

If you would like more information about the Cursillo group in our parish, please email Jan via the Parish Office.

This group gathers for a time of silent prayer – “Meeting in Silence with God”.  The Julian Meetings is an international organisation named after Julian of Norwich. She most likely took her name from the church of St Julian where during the fourteenth century she lived in a cell attached to the church, and as a mystic is known for both her prayer life and her writings.  Usually we meet monthly on a Saturday morning at 10.30am in members’ homes. The meeting starts with the opportunity to share prayer topics and we are then led by a reading and music into a time of silence. The total length of time is just under an hour. Coffee and chat follows, and twice a year we have a bring and share lunch. We are an ecumenical group and welcome new members.

We very much missed meeting together during the pandemic, and are so pleased to feel safe enough to restart meetings at 10.30am on the third Saturday of each month, from June 2022, at the home of one of the group.

If you would like more information about this group, please email Jan via the Parish Office.

We are a Bible study group that meets once a month. We have taken topics, characters or books of the Bible (Ruth, Philippines, David, for example) and share insights and consider how what we have read may be applicable to our lives today. There is tea or coffee, friendship, conversation and prayerful support too, and new members would of course be very welcome.

We are currently meeting at St John’s every third Monday from 8pm-9.30pm.

If you would like more information about this group, please email Diana via the Parish Office.

Our group has been going since 2012.  Some people are regulars, some come occasionally, and we welcome newcomers.  We meet every Monday evening at 6.30pm. We meet in the Lady Chapel at St Mary’s Kidlington, in summertime, and  in the refectory in winter.

The core of meditation is breath awareness.  In every religion, the breath can be seen as sacred.  Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.  The word Spirit is itself akin to inspiration and expiration –  a breathing practice.

We usually begin with a short poem or piece of scripture.  We sit in simple silence for forty minutes, relaxing the body and letting go of all thinking, as far as this is possible, just counting the breath as it flows in and out of the lungs.

In meditation we seek to forget the self and become one with all the universe, and with God. Meditation is joyfully simple.  No-one is good or bad at meditation.  At its heart is compassion.

If you would like more information about this group, please email Giles via the Parish Office.

Our group meets twice a month on a Tuesday afternoon to join in prayer and fellowship. We always give time for a catch-up with each other which is an opportunity to share in a confidential way. When we originally formed some three years ago, we were led by clergy but now we take turns amongst ourselves to guide our sessions.

We used to meet in one of our houses to discuss a Bible passage or another stimulus to thought, and follow this with a period of silent and spoken prayer. Sometimes we will study a book, such as “The Great Divorce” by CS Lewis, and we’ve looked at three of the booklets written by Bishop Steven, the most recent being “Principles of Deep Water Fishing”. We’ve also followed Advent and Lent courses and lately one on the environment. Members of the group will sometimes bring along a poem that has meant something to them so we will discuss that. We also try to have a Quiet Day away at least once a year. We aim to be friendly, welcoming, respectful and supportive of each other, and new members are always welcome.

We have been able to continue meeting every two weeks, usually via Zoom but, when weather and regulations permitted, socially distanced in a garden. We are now planning to continue on Zoom for at least a while longer as this means some less mobile members can continue to join in.

If you would like more information about this group, please email Margaret via the Parish Office.

This group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 7.30pm to 9.00pm.
The idea of a group like this is for a few people from the larger congregation to meet together on a regular basis to get to know one another on a deeper level. We meet in individuals’ homes for worship, discussion and prayer. One of the most important parts of our meetings is fellowship, and the opportunity to share our concerns and to support one another in prayer. Each month we will discuss a topic or theme using scripture to guide us.

If you are interested in being part of a group like this one, please email to the Parish Office.

We have been meeting on Zoom since March 2020, every Wednesday, from 7pm until 8.30pm. We have restarted face-to-face meetings, and these will be running weekly from 1st June 2022 from 7.15pm. The venue will be either St Mary’s Refectory or one of our homes. 

We choose a new Bible study series every four to six weeks, which could be a Bible book, character or theme. Recent series include the book of Acts, lesser-known women of the Bible, and character studies of the Old Testament patriarchs.

During the evening, we also support one another by praying for each other, and share refreshments before and after the study. We occasionally have a meal together too. 

Do get in touch with Liz via the Parish Office if you are interested.

Kidlington Theological Forum

The Forum began in December 2017 with a year-long series of talks exploring “Theology through the Church Year”. The second year of the course focused on aspects of Christian Doctrine, exploring what Christians believe. The 2020 series was due to look at issues of ethics and public policy, seen from a Christian perspective, again led by a distinguished group of speakers. Inevitably, it did have to be cancelled but we are pleased that it will restart in October 2021. Planned talks are:

October 10th 2021: Professor Nigel Biggar, Regis Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, University of Oxford: ” Thou shalt not kill: Is war ever justified? “
November 21st 2021: The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Lord Bishop of Oxford:  “Artificial Intelligence: Opportunity or Threat?”

Talks take place at St Mary’s Kidlington, from 11.30am -12.15pm, after the main Sunday Service – all are very welcome.

If you would like more information about these talks, please email the Parish Office.

We have occasional pop-up groups to focus on a particular theme, such as Living Faith – a course for those wishing to be confirmed or who are new to Christianity.

During Lent 2022 we will be holding study groups looking at the national course “Living in Love and Faith”; click here for more details.