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 have very much missed meeting together during the pandemic, and look forward to normal service being resumed as soon as we feel it is safe to do so.
If you would like more information about this group, please email Ann via the Parish Office.
We are a Bible study group that meets on the third Monday of each 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’ve continued to meet via Zoom during the COVID crisis. In July 2020 we went to the 8pm communion service then met, socially distanced, in Diana’s garden.
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.
If you would like more information about this group, please email Jane via the Parish Office.
We usually meet from 8pm to 9.30pm, apart from the first Wednesday of the month, during term time. 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 lever. We meet in individuals’ homes for worship, study 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. There is a valuable social side too; we start each meeting with refreshments and at the end of each term share a meal together. Although our meetings generally follow a similar pattern, occasionally we break out of the mould by sharing communion together. This can sometimes be very different from communion services in church – our last communion together, for instance, was a silent one!
We have been meeting online once a fortnight since the beginning of September 2020, for our usual fellowship and prayer, finishing with the service of Compline.
If you are interested in being part of a group like ours, please email Karen via the Parish Office.
We have been meeting on Zoom since March 2020, every Wednesday, from 7pm until 8.30pm. When meeting face-to-face the group ends some time after 9pm.
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.
Owing to limitations of space, the group will be at maximum capacity when lockdown restrictions are lifted. However 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. This series has been suspended for 2020.
In normal times, the talks take place monthly 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.