Church Life

Church isn’t a building; it’s a group of people who believe in Jesus. At Grace Church, that group of people is a close-knit and growing family of around 70 adults and 45 children, at many different ages and stages.

Sundays@4

As well as sharing our lives together in various ways during the week, the highlight of our week is meeting together as a church family on Sunday afternoons.

We gather together for about an hour, to praise God and encourage one another with contemporary Christian songs, to listen to God as we hear a passage of the Bible explained and applied, and to talk to God in prayer, usually through one or two people leading these on behalf of the rest of us. There is also time to hear about news and events in church life.

No prior knowledge is assumed and no one has to do or say anything that they don’t want to. There are Bible-based teaching and activities for children during the Bible talk, and after the meeting we enjoy refreshments and a children’s picnic tea together until 6pm. Once a month we have an ‘All Age’ meeting, and once a month we share the Lord’s Supper. If such things are new to you, don’t worry, everything is accessible and explained.

There’s no dress code – just wear whatever you’d normally wear on a Sunday afternoon. As you arrive, someone will be there to welcome you.

Why not come and see for yourself? Join us any time from 3.45pm for a 4pm start. Click here to find us.

If you want to listen to a Bible talk, here’s one from our series in Genesis, looking at our image and identity.

Grace Groups

Sundays@4 is the time when the whole church family can meet together, and this is complemented by Grace Groups, which are the place to get to know a few people better, to care for each other, to revisit and apply what has been taught at Sundays@4, and pray together.

Most Grace Groups meet on a Sunday evening in homes across Cheltenham, which means that the main meeting talk is still fresh in our minds as we seek to apply it to our lives. It also frees up time and energy during the week to put into practice what God has taught us from the Bible. For those who prefer, a mid-week option is available, including one for mums. Each Grace Group usually has between 8 and 12 people in it.

If you’d like to know more speak to John our Lead Minister on a Sunday afternoon.

Children & Teenagers

For the central part of most Sundays@4 children head out to spend some time together to be taught the Bible in a fun and interactive way. The youngest children in the ‘Creche’ and ‘Scramblers’ have simple Bible stories and concepts taught on a rolling 2-year syllabus. School-age children usually meet in three groups (‘Climbers’, ‘Explorers’ and ‘Pathfinders’) to look at the same bit of the Bible as the adults so that families can share together what they are learning. This is part of what it means to be “The whole people of God under the whole Word of God together”. Towards the end of the meeting they join the adults again and have a chance to share what they have learnt with everyone. We enjoy the buzz of having many children in church life.

We have a Youth Group for those of Secondary School age.

All our children’s leaders have a valid DBS certificate and comply with our Safeguarding policy, available on request.

Students

If you are at University or College, and want to get stuck into the life of a family church, come along and see us. At Grace Church we aim to support one another in our daily settings, which includes opportunities for students to be better equipped for student life and beyond. We encourage you to join in with church life at all levels – serving on a Sunday, joining a Grace Group, enjoying hospitality in the homes of church members (a family will ‘adopt’ you if you want), meeting up with an older Christian ‘1-1’ to study the Bible, having specific teaching and training to suit your context. We have good links with the University of Gloucester Christian Union and UCCF.

Men

The men at Grace Church usually gather once a term to encourage one another. We have regularly headed to an annual Men’s Convention; we have Men’s Breakfasts to think through relevant topics; we have regular Friday Night Socials. John our Lead Minister aims to meet periodically with each man in church life to support them and (where applicable) their families.

We run marriage preparation, marriage refresher and parenting courses.

Women

The women at Grace Church usually gather once a term to encourage one another with a Women’s Breakfasts to think through relevant topics.

Many of the women at Grace Church who are around during the day meet each week in a home to encourage one another in their Christian lives. We read the Bible and pray together, and there are often babies and toddlers.

We have regularly headed to the Bristol Women’s Convention.

We run marriage preparation, marriage refresher and parenting courses.

Clusters

There is a strong commitment throughout church life to engage with the issues and pressures which people face in their daily lives. One way we seek to do this is to meet around the middle of each term to support, encourage and equip one another for the settings we are in day to day. Sometimes we hold specific training events for us all to think through particular topics, and at other times we meet by our ‘work type’ (teachers, civil servants, stay-at-home-mums and so-on) so that we can address issues which are more unique to our particular contexts.

Special Needs

We actively seek to make church life accessible to all, and make use of Special Educational Needs expertise within the church family. We have individuals in church life who benefit from extra support, and we do all we can to help anyone participate. The building at Dean Close is fully wheelchair accessible and has a T-loop. We are working towards making all text that we project ‘dyslexia friendly’ (we don’t have printed ‘service sheets’). We have Large Print Bibles available, and can provide Bibles in other translations too.

Comments are closed.