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St Albans Small Christian Communities

Small Christian Communities


Most of these groups started through “At Your Word, Lord”, the Westminster Diocese programme of renewal. This helped members to share with one another their understanding and experience of the gospel and other aspects of their faith. The aim of the Small Christian Communities is to support our mission statement by growing in faith together, building community and evangelising by sharing our faith with others

Small Christian Core Community
The groups are now supported by the Small Christian Core Community.  The roles of this
core group are to maintain details of the Small Christian Communities, to provide new materials, to plan celebration events, to provide training and encouragement for leaders, to enable sharing between groups, to promote the groups in the parish and help them to grow and multiply, and to liaise with other groups in the parish and diocese.

SCCC Member
Stan Grabecki
Mike White

Please contact one of the above Small Christian Core Community members if you would like further details or if you have any feedback from your Small Christian Community.

What are SCC meetings like?
Groups generally meet regularly from once a week to once a month, for an hour or two in members’ houses. Group size varies between about 6 and 12 members.  There is no fixed format for meetings, but most will include a combination of prayer, listening to the Word of God, sharing our beliefs, reflecting on how we can respond, and socialising.  Some groups use the CaFE video faith exploration courses, the faith sharing materials from the Prayer Time book or a wide range of other resources available in the parish.  During Advent and Lent some groups have also followed the Diocesan programs – “Christ Among Us”, “God is Love”, and “A Holy Nation”.  Many parishioners have become more confident to share their faith with others through witness, actions, ministries and prayers..

Current Groups:
Anne Green                     Jim Brook
Richard Exact
                Pat Williamson 
Stan Grabecki          Steve Pickard    
Mario D'Andrea              Dominic Watts   
Mike Walsh             Peter Berners-Lee

Maureen Grabecki        Michael Brennan
Eamonn Pugh           David Edwards

Sara Nash

How accurate is this list?
Any group may change the day, time, place or frequency of its meeting. Therefore this list might not be completely up-to-date. For the latest information contact the person named above

Fancy joining a group?

Many of the groups welcome new members although some may be unable to do so due
to limitations of meeting space or for other reasons. Check with the contact person.

Want to start your own group?

For help in starting a group of your own contact one of the Small Christian Core Community members

How it all started

Do you remember what happened in our parish back in October 2003? Did you get involved in the great diocesan renewal programme that was At Your Word, Lord? This provided us with opportunities to revitalise various aspects of our parish life and to renew our personal Christian lives. The part of the programme that affected most of us was the setting up of Small Christians Communities or house groups, each with typically six to ten parishioners meeting weekly for the six weeks of the season during Lent and autumn to study and share. In its heyday our parish could boast of up to 26 SCCs with about 200 parishioners taking part.
As the AYWL programme came to an end so the impetus to continue meeting declined somewhat, but even today in our parish there are many groups that continue to meet. They come together to share their understanding of Scripture, to pray, to study Church documents, and to learn from and encourage one another. Some of the groups use the many excellent audio-video resources (cassettes, DVDs, CDs) that our parish possesses and makes available to parish groups and individuals. Mike and Sylvia White look after these resources on behalf of the parish and would be happy to see them more widely used. They have even produced a 15-page catalogue of all the resources.

The group we belong to has been meeting on and off for the past seven years.  We continue to follow the themes set by Westminster diocese and use its daily meditation and group reflection booklets. Outside of the two seasons of Lent and autumn we decide what we should study. We have particularly been inspired by many of the CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) Videos/DVDs that were developed in the wake of the popular Alpha programme. These are professionally produced adult faith formation modules given by world-class Christian religious teachers. They lend themselves to being studied in a small group environment and provide in a very digestible form the sort of formation that our bishops have endorsed.
We have also been enriched by Father Raniero Cantalamessa’s course “Drink from the Wells of the Church”, enlightened by Professor Marcellino D’Ambrosio’s series on the Early Church Fathers, challenged by J. John’s teaching on the Ten Commandments, blessed by Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s straightforward teaching in “Catholics Listening to God”, and edified by so many other gifted formation leaders. 
We would encourage anyone who is not part of a small group to think about joining an existing one or creating one with some like-minded friends (maybe parents of small children, retirees, teenagers). The resources are there. The blessings are many (growth in confidence in sharing faith matters, leadership opportunities, socialising).

In our group of twelve or so senior citizens we don’t always have the answers although we do always have the questions. And we never let our ignorance get in the way of a good discussion! Anyway, we enjoy the companionship. We think the diocese came up with a winner with small communities.

If you are interested contact:

Stan Grabecki 765549/grabecki@hotmail.com


Mike White 854596/whitemw@talktalk.net

Joan and Mario D'Andrea

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