Happiness is the Holy Grail of contemporary culture.
A quick search on Google gives you 340 million hits for happiness. There are over 56,000 books titles in print exploring the theme.
The Happiness Lab is a six week experiment that enables delegates to explore what psychologists, doctors and faith leaders say will make people happier.
Based on a series of fly-on-the-wall documentaries delegates follow twelve people as they explore the following disciplines.
Episode 1: Focussing on gratitude and savouring
Episode 2: Practising acts of kindness
Episode 3: Learning to forgive
Episode 4: Investing in friends and family
Episode 5: Looking after your body and soul
Episode 6: Developing coping strategies
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith.
Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.
Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone's welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes—you name it. No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things in common:
and good conversation.
Check out the Alpha website
Working with local schools and youth groups, the vision of Caleb’s Mountain is about supporting children and young people by improving the environments in which they grow within a Christian context. The three main environments we focus on are the educational facility, the home and the community. Each impacts significantly on the quality of child and young person development.
Resolve to make a positive change in your life!
Resolve is a four-week course designed to help you make life-long positive changes. Each week, delegates explore what the experts have to say, talk to other delegates about what they think and engage in a variety of practical exercises to help them accomplish their goals.
The four videos feature a number of experts from various professions, including doctors, psychologists, professors and religious leaders. They also include advice on how to make sustainable resolutions and short vignettes to stimulate conversation.
Session 1—Looking after your body
Session 2—Strengthening your mind
Session 3—Inspiring your soul
Session 4—Deepening your relationships
Linking Lives was set up in June 2016 and is a volunteer led programme aimed at combating loneliness and isolation in our community.
Our Congregation are a mix of people from many traditions and backgrounds. We have an open and innovative approach to being Church and are eager to meet the needs of a diverse congregation, which has a wide age range and an interesting mix of people, including many young families.
10.30am Family Service
Sunday Morning Family Worship is our main Service. This is lively, well attended (about 80 plus), informal and welcoming. We use a mix of modern and older songs. The Preaching team share in leading and speaking. Most people remain for tea, coffee and chat afterwards. Most of the worship is from Mission Praise / New Wine genre, with an addition of a more traditional hymn used most Sundays. We are always open to the presence of The Holy Spirit, and believe in Spirit led worship.
6pm Evening Service
6pm is our “Sunday @6” Service which is youth orientated (although not exclusively youth!). This is led by our Youth leaders and Youth Worker, and worship is led by the Youth band, who play more up to date worship songs. There is a shorter and more informal sermon often addressing issues relevant to youth, and the service is then followed by tea, coffee and hot food.
There are about 20 children between the ages of 0 and 14 who regularly attend on a Sunday morning. The congregation are used to children appearing in different parts of the building at unexpected moments!
For the very young we have a crèche with a sound proof room. The room has a window and an audio feed of the service if so needed to minimise any feelings of isolation. The J-Squad children attend one of two classes on a Sunday morning. The youngest group caters for pre-school and infant age children (pre-school to Year 2). Next we have a group for the younger juniors (school years 3-4), and then a group for top juniors (years 5-6).
There is also an 11-14 years group on a Sunday morning for the younger senior school children. There is some overlap between the top juniors and the youngest seniors as we allow the children to move on when they feel able and ready. Therefore the top junior group may have some year 7 children, and the 11-14 group may have some year 6 juniors.The 11-14 group is then a stepping stone to the Church's Youth and Young People's activities.
The J-Squad leaders normally make use of Scripture Union material as the basis of each lesson. However, each class is free to use whatever material they feel appropriate for that day. The aim of the J Squad is for the children to meet with Jesus, have fun and enjoy coming to church. We also have other activities outside of the normal groups such as barbeques, picnics, swimming and trips out.
St. James presently has regular attendance from 18 teens that turn out for the different groups on offer.We currently offer a youth oriented service Sunday evening where young people are involved with the worship group, projection and sound desk. There are usually 12 young people in attendance for this. We have food provided by volunteers after the service and a time for the young people to socialise. In September 2014 an evening bible study has started meeting in the homes of the volunteer youth workers. This was started on request from the young people whoattended Soul Survivor. The youth worship group meet on Monday evening to practice and also follow ing Soul Survivor there has been a request to try and set up prayer triplets.
We recognise the busyness of the lives of teenagers and we aim to support them in every aspect of their spiritual, home, social and educational life.
Luncheon Club for those aged over 60 meets once a fortnight on a Friday in the church (until the church centre is completed). Church volunteers can provide free lifts.
A lovely two course meal with a cup of tea or coffee is provided and this is followed by a time of worship with two hymns, prayer and an excellent Christian speaker.
We run a Monday morning sessions with Under 5’s continue and has become a place where Mums and Grandparents enjoy meeting up while the children enjoy the freedom to just play - as well as story time and songs.
Currently held in the church until our church centre is completed.
Whether you are regular member of our congregation, thinking of becoming one, or just looking for a church to visit whilst on holiday in the Forest of Dean - you are very welcome.
On this website you can find all kinds of useful information, from listening to our recent sermons, through to upcoming events, notices and how to find us. Please feel free to get in touch for any further information.
After ten years of planning and fund raising, construction of our new church centre began in July 2017 and is now open.
The centre now houses our church office, as well as being a space and facility for both the church and our community
Now into its tenth year of going into school and taking the Tuesday assembly. Open the Book is a weekly enactment of bible stories and continues to be one of the regular highlights of the children’s week.
The puppet team continue to visit schools both locally and further afield in the Forest. Performances have also been given at Bream Early learners, Hewelsfield Church and St Briavels Church.