At St Margaret’s, there are a range of opportunities for developing our understanding of the Christian faith and how it applies to our daily lives.

Sermons

At the 10:30am service on Sunday, the sermon aims to explore the meaning of the Gospel set for the day and see how it applies to our daily lives. The readings are those set by the Church of England, so on a particular Sunday most Anglican churches will be using the same readings. Having more than one priest attached to the parish enables us to have a variety of people giving the sermons in each month. We try to encourage all people to develop their faith and develop a shared understanding of faith through dialogue. The clergy of the parish meet each week to discuss the Gospel for the coming Sunday and the relevance of the message it contains for today.

At Evening Prayer on a Sunday, there is normally a sermon or reflection on the readings. At this service the exposition of the Bible readings may be more factual, exploring the origin of the readings and the context of their day.

Bible Studies & Discussion Groups

During Advent and Lent, a series of Bible Studies are circulated to members of the congregation for their own use at home. Over the course of four or six weeks, a theme is presented using a series of Bible readings for each week. Themes in past years have been the Beatitudes, Forgiveness and the nature of Love. If you want to join in this scheme, please ensure that the clergy team have a record of your e-mail address for the distribution of material.

In addition, there are a number of discussion groups arranged for members of the parish to join in. In Autumn 2016, the theme for a series of discussion groups will be the nature of love from a Christian perspective. This will be an eight-week series offered at a variety of times and locations in the parish.

Critical Explorations

Critical Explorations is a discussion group meeting monthly on a Monday in the first half of the month at 7.45, aiming to end about 9.00. The aim is to explore interesting, problematic, and challenging ideas in Christian Tradition and Scripture, and also to expand our knowledge of these areas, with expert guidance from Trevor Williams. The idea is to complement, not compete with, the more spiritually-oriented meetings already available in the Benefice, with something with a more academic (in the best sense) emphasis. Our basis is ‘You shall love the Lord your God…with all your mind…’, but no prior knowledge is required, and no one will be required to contribute. Please feel free to come along and give it a try if you think you might be interested. For further details, contact edmund.weiner@kellogg.ox.ac.uk.

Confirmation Preparation

We may have a strong desire to develop our understanding and commitment to a life of faith at various stages of our life. At various times in the year, confirmation classes are arranged to enable a deepening our faith, different classes are organised for children, young people and adults. Usually the course will give an opportunity for people to discuss the meaning of the sacraments of the Church as well as discover the nature of the Bible, the structure of the Church and give an opportunity to explore various ways of prayer. If you are interested in joining the confirmation preparation, whether you have been confirmed or not, please talk to one of the clergy.

Quiet Days

Quiet Days are an ideal opportunity to take some time out from the pressure of everyday life and spend some time being quiet and allowing your spiritual batteries to be recharged. Quiet Days usually have a particular theme, often something that is seasonally appropriate. Short reflections on the theme are interspersed during the day so as to provide food for thought and reflection. The day begins and ends with a short time of prayer and some relaxing music. Various resources are available throughout the day along with some refreshments. A quiet day makes no demands you, it simply offers time and space for body and soul to recuperate and be refreshed.

Two quiet days have been arranged for the autumn of 2016, both at St Giles’ Church. On Saturday 15th October, the theme will be ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and on Saturday 26th November the theme will be ‘Light and Darkness’ especially as it relates to the Advent season.

For further details, please contact Revd Georgie Simpson – Georgie.simpson1@gmail.com or 07803 031 977.