St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park

Men's Society

A Society member writes:

Men's SocietyOf the many groups which St Michael’s runs, the Men’s Society is proving a great success, if a little unconventional in its format. The group meets close to the Church – in the closest pub, to be precise – and the proceedings are focused more on fellowship than on overtly Christian content. There are no opening or closing prayers, no agenda and no formal membership. All men are welcome whether they are St Michael’s regulars, newcomers or simply men who fancy an evening of beer-drinking and seemingly inconsequential chat. Indeed, should any women choose to test the principle of male membership no-one is likely to object!

At the regular meetings, thirty or forty ‘members’ gather in The Tabard on a Monday night to meet, mingle, make new friends and discuss whatever takes their fancy over a few pints. It is a chance for us all to expand our circle of friends, and to get to know people we would not otherwise have a chance to talk to. I always find that is time well spent at St Michael’s, where the congregation has a way of revealing surprising jobs and achievements and extraordinary life stories.

Despite the setting and the lack of formal structure, there is no doubt this is a form of Christian Ministry. Friendship and mutual support are visible features of any healthy Church. At one of the meetings Father Kevin was asked whose idea it was to gather in the pub, so close to the Vicarage? ‘Mine’, he answered emphatically. And whose idea was it to meet on a Monday evening– when Tuesday just happens to be his day off? ‘Mine,’ he responded with satisfaction. Fr Kevin is particularly proud that at the inaugural meeting in October 2010, The Tabard ran out of beer. The bar staff are now forewarned, and the feat is unlikely to be repeated without serious collective effort.
It has been suggested that the Men’s Group should be known as ‘The Society of Saint Amand’, after the 7th Century French bishop and patron saint of beer brewers and bar staff. But that is a matter for careful consideration and discussion, perhaps over a pint or two.

If you are interested in joining to the Men's Society or would like to find out more do speak to Father Kevin or come along to a meeting - dates are announced in the pew sheets and on the website