The English word “foyer” is derived from foier, the French term for hearthside and projects an image of warmth, comfort, and hospitality. In the aftermath of the destruction of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, England, during World War II, the Anglican Church began a process of reconciliation that featured small informal gatherings to bring people closer together. They called these “Foyer Groups.” Many parishes in England and the United States have followed this tradition.
Foyer Groups were once a feature of life at St. Paul’s. At their recent retreat, the vestry discussed providing more avenues for people to be involved and feel truly connected to our community. Foyer Groups were mentioned and remembered fondly, and the vestry enthusiastically embraced the idea of once again offering this opportunity for parishioners to get to know one another and develop deeper bonds.
St Paul’s Foyer Groups would consist of 8-10 people (singles and couples) who meet once a month for a simple meal, a short time of prayer or reflection, and casual fellowship. It’s a chance to enjoy one another’s company and meet new people, a chance to exchange ideas and experiences in a friendly home setting. Foyer members often develop new friendships and deepen old ones.
Each member of the group takes a turn to “host” and other members take turns bringing the appetizer, main dish, bread, side dishes, beverage, or a simple dessert, or leading/sharing a prayer. Logistical concerns can be worked out among the members of each group. The focus is on friendship and sharing, not on staging elaborate sit-down dinners. Meals can be served buffet-style and be as informal as a picnic. These are casual gatherings of parishioners sharing a common bond of Christian love and concern for one another.
People are generally assigned to a group based on their availability to meet on a certain day. The aim is to have a diverse group of parishioners who don’t necessarily already know each other. St. Paul’s groups meet from October to May each year.
|8:00 a.m.||Holy Communion|
|10:00 a.m.||Holy Communion|
|5:30 p.m.||Holy Communion|
|8:00 a.m.||Morning Prayer|