There are many parish groups that are part of the common life of the Abbey. You are welcome at any of these groups.
The Pastoral Team organise social events for the congregation. These are important to help us all get to know each other better. If we know each other better, we can care for each other better. So the Pastoral Team is also responsible for the Pastoral Network, literally a network of those who belong to the Abbey community and named people throughout St Albans who care for their locality as Abbey Neighbours.
There are also five Lay Pastoral Assistants who work with the clergy in visiting, taking Communion to the housebound and in general pastoral care.
The Root Group are young people preparing for selection to the ordained ministry. Each year two or three ‘Roots’ live in community working with our pastoral, children and young people and education teams.
Every Monday and on some other days of the week a lunch club of our more elderly folk meets in the Abbot's Kitchen. Over good food friendship is shared and people can be cared for. Volunteers help to serve each meal and to befriend the members.
Members of our congregation assist with leading our readings and prayers of intercession at the 9.30am Parish Eucharist. The readers and intercessors are supported by the clergy. If you would like to find our more, do speak to a member of Cathedral Clergy after one of our services.
The guide for intercessors is available to download below.
House groups provide an informal setting and space in which members of the congregation study part of the Bible or related literature. The groups study as they wish and are supported by the cathedral clergy. They meet throughout the year in the informal setting of individuals’ homes, and number anything between four to twelve members. Some groups meet in the mornings, others in the evening; weekly, fortnightly or monthly.**
Members of the groups seek to follow these principles:
- We are all on a journey and nobody knows all the answers;
- We respect each others’ views;
- We express our own opinions with generosity and gentleness;
- We give space for all to share their thoughts or remain silent, as each individual chooses;
- We respect the confidentiality of any personal information that is shared.
Key benefits include:
- A comfortable environment in which to get to know other members of the congregation;
- Spiritual growth with the opportunity to discuss the scriptures;
- The discipline of regular in depth Bible study;
- Fun and mutual support.
Times and venues of the groups are below. If you would like to find out more or sign up to join a group please contact Dawn Knight on 07795 117312, email email@example.com
** Information about House Groups meeting in 2018 can be found here.
During Lent 2018 the House Groups will be meeting weekly to study a course prepared by the Clergy on the Psalms. Copies of the material will be available from your group leader
There are currently two sessions of meditation each week at the Cathedral. Everyone is welcome at either session, and there is no charge.
Mondays (not in August) 7.30-8.15pm a silent meditation group which is affiliated to the World Community of Christian Meditation meets in the Studio in Sumpter Yard. Sessions open and close with a brief prayer or teaching. For more information about the WCCM, please see www.christianmeditation.org.uk. This session is followed, fortnightly, by a contemplative study of the gospel, lectio divina, until 9pm. Anyone is welcome to come to either or both.
The Studio (near the entrance to Sumpter Yard from Holywell Hill) is also open for silent meditation between 8.30-9am on Fridays (not in August)
If you would like more information, please contact David Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to have a gifted and dedicated guild of sewers and embroiderers who help beautify the Abbey. Their work ranges from running repairs to clergy cassocks to intricate work on glorious vestments. They meet each Thursday in the Thicknesse Room in the Deanery.
The Abbey Afternoon Fellowship gather together on the first Wednesday of the month, (each month except January and August), between 2.30pm and 4.00pm, meeting during 2018 in the Chapter Room in the Deanery.
A programme of speakers is arranged and the Fellowship offers simple friendship and social opportunities for older members of the congregation to come together for input followed by simple refreshments. The December meeting is a social gathering for the Christmas Season.
Further information may be obtained from Paul Jellings 01727 869236 or Joyce Winn 01727 867625.
June 6th: Stephen De Silva, Who's Buried Here? Abbey Stories and Legends
September 5th: Sarah Keeling, A New Museums for St Albans
October 3rd: Julia Low, Cathedral Guide
November 7th: Caroline Godden, King Offa and the Anglo Saxons
December 5th: Christmas Social
February 6th: Canon Abi Thompson, Fellowship
December 4th: Christmas Social
Other 2019 speakers are TBC.
Abbey Women's Group
This vibrant and friendly group welcomes all women in the congregation to meet regularly in good company for fun and support. All women are welcome to be involved whether they have been coming to the Abbey for a while, have recently joined or would just like the excuse for an evening out. They run a full programme of monthly events ranging from local social evenings out to craft events and talks on specific topics of interest to the group.
St Albans has one of the most historic peel of bells in the world. There is a dedicated band of ringers who practice on a Tuesdays evening and ring for worship every weekend and on special occasions. Full training is provided.
Every Friday the Abbey is bustling with the workers of the Flower Guild. Their work glorifies God through the gifts of his creation, helping with worship and pleasing the visitor.
As part of the worldwide Mothers Union this group has an important role promoting family life. The Abbey Mothers Union takes on several significant projects each year to support a wide range of mission and ministry. One of it's main projects is supporting the St Albans Child Contact Centre. Click here for more information or e-mail: email@example.com
Each second Sunday there is a Traidcraft stall available after the Parish Eucharist.
For details on any of the groups please contact Anthea Bickerstaff in the Cathedral Office, 01727 890233 or firstname.lastname@example.org