First Time?

What to expect when coming to a service for the first time…

(for a main Sunday 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 10.40am (it starts at 11). 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 and in term time our children’s groups meet during the first part of the service for their own teaching and prayers, rejoining the adults halfway through. There is Junior Church for the 5s and over, and Stepping Stones for under 5s, bringing their carers. Visiting children are welcome to join them.

Quiet toys and books are available for use in the pews if children prefer to stay in the service. For safety’s sake, when in church children should try to stay with parents/carers in the pews. If you have little ones who become uncomfortable during the service, you are welcome to take them through into the adjacent Green Room (door at the back of church) for a break, and where there are also toilets. Breastfeeding is not discouraged here.

Giving

We have a generous God to whom we wish to respond. Collections from this service go towards the ministry we offer in this community. Please do not hesitate to join us just because you do not have change 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.

Thank you in advance for any donation you would like to make, but we are delighted simply that you are here. We appreciate gift-aided donations, and offer planned giving/envelope schemes for regular givers. Information about direct giving through the bank is also available.

How does it start?

After a prayer outside, 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 and for parts of the Eucharistic prayer (see what others are doing!) 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!

We try not to get in God’s way here, so if you are a baptized Christian or receive communion/the Lord’s Supper in your own church you are most welcome to receive communion here. Those who are still on a journey are welcome to come simply for a blessing, you can just keep your hands down and head bowed. Please ask if you need a gluten-free wafer.

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.

Any questions?

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 are interested in learning more about the Christian faith or baptism, please don’t be shy to ask at the end of the service. 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)