Are you interested in joining a home group? Have you found yourself questioning things or wanting to learn more about the Christian faith? These home groups are for anyone living in or near the Goring Gap. If you would like to develop your knowledge and love of God, we encourage you to join a home group. Contact the Vicar via the web editor.
Our weekly home group started after the Alpha course. We meet weekly for:
- Fellowship: we aim to love and know each other more deeply, sharing our hearts and lives, praying for one another, asking questions, and bearing each other’s burdens to help one another thrive.
- The Bible: the Bible is central because it holds the words of life. We read the Bible together to learn, enjoy, and apply in our lives. We read faithfully and expectantly, anticipating God to speak and move each time we open his book. "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name."
- Prayer: prayer will be our means to everything. We will be a people of prayer, always adoring, always confessing, always thanking, always asking.
Advent and Lent groups
Advent and Lent courses are attended by a number of people from every church in the local area. That is, the Anglican churches of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke; the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St John, and Goring Free Church. Several other people come from surrounding parishes too.
Everyone meets in small, friendly, house groups (usually five sessions) to share their journey towards Easter and Christmas. Each Group Leader uses a set Course Book to help and guide group members. The culmination of each of these courses is an Easter or an Epiphany celebration, giving everyone an opportunity to meet together. One of the most valuable aspects of each course is meeting with fellow Christians from different churches. Many new friendships have formed as people come to know and understand each other through their discussions and fellowship.
The St Andrew’s United Benefice Prayer group meets on the first Tuesday of the month in St Andrew's Church in South Stoke from 2.30-3.30pm.
The group meets to pray together for matters of concern and thanksgiving. In particular prayers are offered for the St Andrew's development appeal; for the local community and for those who are ill or in need. Prayers follow an established pattern but are informal in nature. Everyone is welcome to come to any of these meetings.
St Thomas' Choir is a robed four-part choir, currently numbering twenty enthusiastic adults and nineteen trebles. The adult choir sings at three morning services and one Evensong each month, and the trebles join them at least once a month for services and festivals.
Choir members participate in the Royal School of Church Music's award scheme ranging from white through to gold award holders. In addition to our regular Church services, we venture further afield; recently we joined the massed choirs for Prom Praise at the Royal Albert Hall, and have sung Evensong at Romsey Abbey, Christ Church Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral. We sing at a number of weddings each year, sometimes uniting with the choir of St Mary's, Streatley.
Under the leadership of our Director of Music, Michael Howell, our repertoire includes many of the English Cathedral favourites in addition to larger scale works such as The Messiah and the Fauré Requiem, to which we often invite other local singers to join in as part of St Thomas' musical outreach programme.
Our social life is not neglected either. At various times during the year we gather for tea parties, garden parties, meals out and visits to the theatre. Choir life is never dull!
Choir practice is on Friday evenings from 6.30 - 7.30 for trebles, and from 7.00 - 8.15 for adults. For any change to the normal schedule, check the calendar. We are always interested in knowing of singers, adults or young people (age 8+, boys and girls), who might like to join the choir -- contact Elizabeth Parkinson via the web editor.
St Thomas' Church Orchestra play for the 9:30 family service several times each year. There are players of all ages and experience. We are keen to encourage those who have recently started to learn (or re-learn) instruments, as well as experienced musicians. We rehearse for about thirty minutes before the service although we can provide music earlier in the month for those who wish to do extra practise at home.
Instruments in the orchestra include the violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, recorder, saxophone, cornet, trumpet, trombone and piano. If you play one of these instruments or have a different one you can offer, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Elizabeth Parkinson here via the web editor.
Pick-a-Flick is a sociable monthly filmshow event, much enjoyed by the retired people of Goring, South Stoke and Streatley.
Pick-a-Flick is held on the third Thursday of every month (except August) in The Canterbury Room of St Thomas' from 10.30-2.00pm. A wide variety of films is shown, often ones requested by the audience. Subtitles are used wherever possible. Delicious homemade soup, crumble and custard are served after the film by a lively band of volunteers. Pick-a-Flick costs £3 and transport can be arranged if required. This is a United Benefice initiative.
Newcomers in the area are always welcome to come along. Check the calendar for changes to the normal schedule or, for any other queries, contact Jenny Boyd here via the web editor.
Click here for forthcoming films.
St Thomas’ has recently launched a Children’s Church Trail, designed by members of the Goring Decorative and Fine Arts Society (GADFAS). The Trail is aimed at children aged between 8 and 12 years, but is of interest to people of all ages!
Children and families of our own congregation and families visiting the church will find it a rewarding and enjoyable activity. The questionnaire is fun to complete, simple in layout, is in a child-friendly design and leads the child around the church exploring the history, architecture and furnishings. There is an answer sheet with interesting and well researched information for accompanying adults. We very much hope that lots of families will take part; it could be a cheerful occupation for a wet day in the summer holidays!
We are a team of ten who arrange flowers in church throughout the year and come together to decorate St Thomas’ for the major festivals. As well as taking part in these very cheerful occasions, we derive particular pleasure from being invited to decorate the church for weddings.
We would welcome new flower arrangers to join our team. Contact Jenny Boyd here via the web editor. You do not need any particular experience, rather a love of flowers. If you need help to get started we shall be happy to provide it. Do join us in this very enjoyable and satisfying activity.