As you might well remember from about 3 years ago, or not, Tithings Groups are the way in which St Paul’s organises the bulk of its pastoral care and support. (St Nick’s achieve a similar goal through their House Groups- and if you are part of that Church and not in a House Group then what are you waiting for? Have a chat to Liz).
Tithings take their name from an Anglo-Saxon tradition of small communities which were supportive of each other and accountable for each other. In about 2019 we encouraged the whole congregation to sign-up, put them in groups of about 10 and they started to meet. Some of the groups didn’t really take, but many of them did, and they proved a helpful encouragement throughout the pandemic and since.
The aim is to allow people to get to know each other, to spend time together, and to support each other when there is a crisis or a problem. Different groups do different things- some meet at a coffee shop, some meet at home: some have a clear focus on poetry or art, others meet to chat: some are still meeting online. Each group has been allowed to find its own way and work out what suits them. There are lots of other ways of getting support and making friends in Church but Tithings are one guaranteed way to do that.
Over the last few weeks we have been talking to people and finding out what they have been doing. Some groups are working well, others are not. Thank you to everyone who replied to Louise and to me because that gave us a good sense of what is going on and what to build on.
- If you are in a group and would like a member of the clergy to come along to join you and to touch base then do let us know- we would love to join in with you.
- If your group is not really working and you would like to be connected in to another group, let Louise know.
- If you have joined the Church more recently and have never signed up, again let Louise know and we will do our best to start off some news Tithings Groups. Or call her if you would just like to find out a bit more information.
- If your group is going ok but it could be better then please, again, speak to a member of the clergy and we would love to think things through with you.
- We can also get you to talk to people from groups that are working well to inspire and encourage.
(Bertie is currently sunbathing on the roof of the Walter Chapel and can’t be disturbed. He has a little umbrella and a little glass and a little cheese wheel for afternoon snacktime. I am not expecting to see him anytime soon.)