Since the very beginning of the Church, Christians have met in each other’s homes outside of a Sunday service to worship and to grow together in faith and fellowship. Here at St. James', we meet regularly in the form of a house group, which we share with the parish of Michaelston-y-Fedw.
What is a house group?
A house group is a place where…
- you can explore your faith in a relaxed atmosphere.
- friendships with those you see in church on a Sunday can grow and deepen.
- you can ask questions and discuss different topics, subjects and passages of Scripture.
- you can have fun and belong.
- community is nurtured.
How does a house group work?
House groups can be varied in feel and style, but all of them involve some key elements…
Praying together – House groups are a safe space to share what’s going on in our lives and to pray into the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s also a chance to bring before God the things that are on our hearts not just as a group of individuals, but also as a church.
Relating to one another – House groups are the perfect opportunity to grow friendships. Sometimes, we may decide to have a social evening as a house group together.
Eating together – Arguably one of the most important features of a house group is that food is often involved! We will always share light snacks and hot drinks. Jesus often ate with others as he taught and shared. We think this is a good model to follow when it comes to house groups! We may also share Holy Communion together too; the meal Jesus told us to share to remember his death on the cross for us.
Studying the Bible together – This is usually led by a house group leader or clergy. Even though one or two people lead it, everyone gets the chance to contribute to the discussion and share their own insights and questions with the group.
Singing together – Quite often (though not all the time) we may sing a simple hymn or worship song, which is easy to learn and pick up. It’s a way of worshipping Jesus but also encouraging each other with our voices.
In other words, we PRESS in to God as we explore together as a community of believers.
Why do we meet in smaller groups in the week?
In the Early Church, house groups were key to its growth and development. Many churches and parishes use house groups as a way of connecting Christians together and allowing them to explore and deepen their faith in an exciting, engaging way. We believe that setting up house groups is vital for us if we are to see our parishes not just survive, but thrive both spiritually and numerically.
Numerous studies and reports on church growth state that house groups are one of the main ways people become more committed to Jesus and His mission into the world as well as to each other. This commitment and deepening of faith grows the church.
The Bishop of Monmouth, the Right Reverend Richard Pain, explicitly stated at the 2016 Diocesan Conference that “nurture groups” (which includes house groups) should be a major part of the staple diet of parish life.
House groups are a biblical idea too…
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
House groups are therefore a way in which we can commit ourselves to the six biblical devotions that the Early Church held to, which encouraged them to grow:
TEACHING – being committed to God’s word through our Sunday worship and our meeting together during the week.
FELLOWSHIP – being committed to togetherness through groups, community events and serving each other.
HOSPITALITY – being committed to serving others through acts of kindness and local community projects.
PRAYER – being committed to prayer for ourselves and for others, including our local community, our nation and our world.
GENEROSITY - being committed to giving back to God and our community through finances, gifts, resources and time.
REPENTANCE – being committed to constantly pursuing a life that follows God’s design and purpose for us.
Who is the house group for?
In a word, anyone! The house group is for people who want to grow their faith, who want to know more about Jesus and who want to follow him closely. It is for people who are exploring Christianity for the first time and it’s also for people who have been Christians for a long time. No one is excluded from the house group.
It is also to be noted that this house group is a joint venture between the parish of Rudry and the parish of Michaelston-y-Fedw.
When does the house group run?
The house group meets regularly on the second Thursday and the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 7pm (for a 7:30pm start) until 9:30pm.
Where does the house group meet?
On the second Thursday of the month, the house group will meet in Rudry parish at the home of James and Anne Holt. Directions will be given to those planning to attend. Please use the contact form to enquire.
On the fourth Tuesday of the month, the house group will meet in Michaelston-y-Fedw parish, at the Cefn Mably Arms pub.