Independent groups

If you feel inspired, you can start your own Sycamore group! You don’t need to do it through a church or community.

Everything you need is available on the Sycamore website. It’s all “open access”, so there are no costs or sign-in pages.

If you are new to Sycamore, take a look at the Why Start a Group page here. You can also browse through the planning resources, the training resources, and the remote group resources. But don’t get too complicated: running your own group isn’t difficult.

There are many different ways you can start your own Sycamore group. Here are a few suggestions:

  • CLOSE FRIENDS: Ask one or two close friends to watch a film with you and have some discussion. You can do this in person or remotely. This is low risk! Find one or two likeminded people who will enjoy exploring the films with you. It doesn’t involve much planning or organising. If you enjoy the first film you can decide to work through one of he Sycamore pathways.
  • WIDER FRIENDSHIP GROUP: Take a risk and ask people in your wider friendship if they are interested in exploring Sycamore: friends, family, even colleagues. See who is interested. Then it needs a bit of planning to coordinate the group – physically or remotely.
  • FRIENDS OF FRIENDS: If you have a small network of friends who are interested in their faith, you can suggest forming a Sycamore group with them, with the intention of each inviting other friends, so that the network of people invited becomes larger, and so the group is helping to connect people who do not know each other before. Your initial group of friends can be the core group of the wider Sycamore group.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK: Invite friends and/or followers from your social media groups to join you in a remote Sycamore group. This takes a bit more planning, because you will need to have some idea of how the group will be organised before you advertise it. You can see the Remote Group pages here for advice.
  • INDEPENDENT “HOUSE GROUP” WITHIN YOUR PARISH: If you belong to a local church or chaplaincy, you could run your own independent Sycamore group: physically (in your home) or remotely. You may want to invite people you know from the parish, or ask them to invite other people that they know. You will want to liaise with your parish priest or chaplain about this, and get their advice and support – to avoid the impression that you are creating a “church within a church”. But this will be your own independent group, rather than an official parish group; just as you might start a prayer group in your home or start a local social outreach project out of your own initiative. If, on the other hand, you would like your parish or chaplaincy to run Sycamore, then talk to your priest or chaplain about that, and see if you can be involved in the parish Sycamore team. You can share your enthusiasm for Sycamore with the parish, and hope that they will be interested in taking it on as a parish project. A simple way of helping the parish understand Sycamore is to share the Why Start a Group page here, and the Planning Sections here.