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Church Life

Young People and Children

We have a team of fantastic volunteer youth and children's workers who put on a variety of activities for young people and children.

During the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday mornings we run group learning activities in separate age groups from Reception to Year 9 in the Church Hall. Parents are encouraged to bring their youngsters to the Church Hall at 10:40 a.m. before going to church themselves. The children will be brought back into church at about 11:35 a.m. for the final part of the service.

These groups take place most weeks except for special Sundays and the 4th Sunday of each month, when a special All Age Service takes place in the church for adults and youngsters together. These groups also take a prolonged break during the school summer holidays. Please check the specific dates page for further details on which Sundays the groups meet.

Please contact the the office if you would like to know more.

Youth Group

There is a small group of young people of secondary school age who meet together for a mixture of social activity and Bible study on Sundays. They also plan evening social events. We have a long-term link with Swindon Youth For Christ, and have had number of YFC One placement workers based at St Mary’s over the years. Our young people often attend Impact, the Swindon Youth for Christ event, and a number are also part of the Junior Team of X:site, helping to run this Scripture Union celebration for Key Stage 2.

Please contact the the office if you would like to know more.

Housegroups

At St Mary’s we encourage people to be part of a Home Group if they can. It is an opportunity to get to know a group of people better than is possible in the larger group of church services. Based in houses around the area, Home Groups meet together to support each other through life and encourage or even challenge one other. There are groups on various evenings and during the day.

The idea is simple, that we:

  • Share – eat and laugh together, and support one another in difficult times.
  • Discover – study the Bible and teachings of Jesus to and how they apply to our lives
  • Bring Life – work together to tell others about Christ

People who are part of a Home group have said that it has been one of the best things they have ever done and it has really helped them develop as a Christian.

If you would like to join a Group, contact the clergy.

Men's Group

The Men's Group at St Mary’s offers a number of different opportunities for the men of the church to get together and enjoy each other’s company. We meet together for meals, social events and even to get a few jobs done around the church or local area. As a church we support the work of Christian Vision for Men, a movement dedicated to bringing men to know Christ. Indeed, every June a large group of us travel to just outside Highworth to CVM’s annual ‘Gathering’, where over 1000 men camp out in a field, have fun and worship together. (Sometimes it even stays dry!)

As well as offering a chance for us all to meet socially, ultimately the group is to help us support each other in our growth as disciples in our lives today.

Please contact the the office if you would like to know more or go to the CVM website.

Bell Ringing

We have a small group of ringers who ring the Church bells from 10.15 to 10.45 am on a Sunday. We practice on Mondays 7.30 – 9 pm (not the second Monday in the month). New recruits are always welcome.

Please contact the the office if you want to know more

Choir

St Mary's is affiliated to the Royal School of Music. The choir consists of a small group of four-part singers. We sing Anthems & Hymns at the 9 am Service and on special occasions such as the Christmas traditional carol service and weddings when requested. We meet in Church on Thursday evenings from 6.45 pm to 7.45 pm for practice.

Music Group

The Music Group meets every Friday at 6:45 pm in St Mary's to worship and practice the songs for the 10:45 am service on Sundays and occasional services such as baptisms and confirmations as required. We also use the time to learn new songs and pray together as we look to lead people in worship. The 10:45 am service usually involves a mixture of hymns, well-known and contemporary songs and the music group is keen to learn new material in a range of styles.

Most weeks, the group consists of a drummer, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard and vocalist(s), ably supported on the sound and vision desk, projecting the song words and liturgy using Song-Pro. Recently, we have been encouraged by having several new people join the group including those who lower the average age considerably! We are always looking for people who are interested in joining the group - whether that be playing, singing or the technical side.

Please come and meet us either on a Friday evening (6.45 pm to 8.15 pm) or hear how it all works on a Sunday at 10:45 am.

Pastoral Care

The Parish has a Pastoral Visitor’s Scheme based on areas around the church so we hope that each member can feel cared for. There are five pastoral areas. People outside these areas are ‘assigned’ to one of them. Each area has 4-5 Pastoral Visitors. Everyone who comes regularly to any of our three congregations and those on the Electoral Roll, should have been given a card with details of their Pastoral Visitors. This means you can know there is someone you can contact if you would like a visit, or you are going into hospital or if you want someone to pray about a situation.

If you do not know who your Pastoral Visitors are and you want to be part of the scheme, please contact the office.