Manna interview: Encouraged in faith

31st August 2023

Dr Marjay Pallant, All Saints, Trull talks about growing as a Christian thanks to her membership of Small Groups.

What’s your experience of Small Groups?

As a student I was dipping into church on Sunday with friends. They invited me to join their Small Group meeting and I found I was learning more in that group. As my faith matured I started paying attention on Sundays a bit more, but have continued to attend Small Groups ever since.

What’s your current Small Group like?

For the last six months we’ve been meeting for dinner every Wednesday then having a bit of worship, Bible study and prayer. Normally 10 young adults attend. I feel we enjoy a greater sense of community as you see people for more than just a ‘Hi!’ after a Sunday service. You talk to people about their week and the continuity allows for a bit more of an in-depth relationship and ongoing prayer.

What do you like about meeting like this?

I enjoy having something in the week to encourage me in my faith – and to have time with God with other people. If you can only do Sundays, I think it is fine as well, but personally I find it really beneficial to do more.

Does it help you grow in faith?

Absolutely. The ongoing prayer helps, as does the Bible study session. You don’t tend to discuss a sermon very much after a Sunday, but we try and do a study based on the sermon series, so we basically cover it twice which I think is really good. And you get to grow as an individual as well. Although there are three of us who are the recognised Small Group Leaders, we have a rota for leading sessions so everyone’s skills can grow. Recently we supported one of our members to lead his first session, he’s off to university in September and I’m sure he’ll end up leading a group there. 

Any message for something thinking about joining or starting a Small Group?

Just do it! And don’t be discouraged if you join one and you don’t get on with it, try another group. Keep an open mind and remember that you are not just there to receive but to give as well. If you want to start a group, speak to your leadership at church about how to proceed, but don’t think ‘oh, I’m not qualified to do that.’ There is no qualification needed and you will be more able than you think. You just need to be able to talk to people and host them in your home.

What about safeguarding?

Our Small Group Leaders have undertaken safeguarding training and know who to go to in our church if we have any questions or concerns. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it is better to be overprepared to deal with a situation rather than underprepared.


This article featured in the September 2023 edition of the Manna mailing.


Visit our Small Groups page for information and resources.

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