What to expect when coming to a service for the first time…
(for a main worship service – there are a few differences with Messy Church or Informal Worship) We mostly use the main door at the spire end of the church, at the meeting point of all the paths. A ramp is available right next to the porch and this door is always open too. Someone will be there to welcome you, and on a Sunday morning, to help you up the steps if needed. You will receive a warm welcome inside. People gather for the main Sunday service from 10.30am. There are no reserved seats!
Someone will greet you with a smile and make sure that you have a copy of our service booklet and the current newssheet. They can introduce you to someone who will guide you through anything you are not confident about and will invite you to join us for Fairtrade real coffee or tea after the service.
Can children come?
Absolutely! Children are always welcome in church. There are books and activities for them in church, space to chill out at the back, and most weeks they can go through to junior church in the Green Room during the sermon and be taught together.
Children going out to junior church return in the peace, and take part in the offertory, carrying bread and grapes for us.
Please do not hesitate to come and join us just because you do not have money for a collection and wish to avoid embarassment. Many of our regular worshippers give by standing order and others put their gift on the collection plate as they come in, so not everyone puts something on the plate when it is passed forward during the service.
If you would like to give, and you pay tax, we would be doubly grateful for any gift to be in a gift-aid envelope (available on request).
How does it start?
After the vestry prayer, the choir and ministers gather at the back of church, where there is sometimes an introductory sentence before we announce the first hymn. Hymn numbers are on a board at the front and in the newssheet you will receive.
What do I need to watch out for in the service?
We generally sit or kneel to pray, and stand to sing hymns, say or sing the Gloria and for parts of the Eucharistic prayer. Please sit if you struggle to stand, that is quite acceptable. As a friendly congregation, people will be happy to share the peace of the Lord with you, but a full-scale walkabout is not necessary!
All communicant members of other churches are welcome to receive communion at St Peter’s. We believe that God’s gifts are available to all, and welcome all adults who wish to receive. We admit children to communion from the age of 7 (please ask if you would like information about preparation for first communion).
If you have not been confirmed and do not wish to receive or are a non-communicant member of another church, you are still most welcome to come to the altar rail for a blessing.
Help is always at hand at the steps up to the communion rail, but the elements can also be brought to you in your pew, just mention it on arrival.
How long does it last?
The service usually takes about an hour. Then many of the congregation retire next door into the Green Room for fellowship over coffee and biscuits, to which you are most warmly welcome.
Even with an outline of what to expect, sometimes it’s still hard to step over the door the first time. There are often other visitors, or families coming before baptisms or weddings, so you will not feel out of place. If you have an particular question you would like to ask in advance of coming to church, please do call or drop us an email (see Contact Us)