What to expect when coming to a service for the first time…
(for a main Sunday morning worship service – there are a few differences with Messy Church or other services) We use the main door at the top side of the church; it is there, though you can’t see it from the carpark! Someone will be there to welcome you, and to help you up the path if needed. You will receive a warm welcome inside. People gather for the main Sunday service from 9.15am (it starts at half past). 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 Cuthbert’s Kids (through the door to the right of church) for age-appropriate teaching, activities and prayers, and you are welcome to join them – someone retrieves them after the main talk/sermon!
Quiet toys and books are available for use in the pews if children prefer to stay in the service. For safety’s sake, small children should try to stay with parents/carers. If you have little ones who become uncomfortable during the service, it’s fine to take them out for a break – but please come back, noone minds! Breastfeeding is not discouraged here. There is an accessible toilet in the church entrance and baby change facilities downstairs from the vestry.
We have a generous God to whom we wish to respond. Collections from this service go towards the ministry we offer in this community. Thank you in advance for any donation you would like to make, but we are delighted simply that you are here.
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.We appreciate gift-aided donations, and offer planned giving/envelope schemes for regular givers. Information about direct giving through the bank is also available.
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 a prayer outside, the choir and ministers enter singing the first hymn, walking round and through the church. The first hymn (red book) is not announced, but the numbers are on a boards at the sides and in the newssheet you will receive. (If you are visiting for the first time, don’t worry too much about the separate sheet, it mainly contains the text of the readings and notices to take away!) Someone near you will make sure you are ok! When everyone is in place, swap the hymn book for the service booklet. Please join in all the parts in bold, and if you get lost, do ask someone sitting near you. They will be happy to help.
What do I need to watch out for in the service?
We generally sit or kneel to pray, and stand to sing. If it’s a communion service, we stand for parts of the ‘Eucharistic’ prayer – just do what others do! 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. If it would be easier for you to have communion brought to you in the pew, please just indicate this to someone. We are happy to do so.
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. We admit children to communion from the age of 7 (please ask if you would like information about this).
How long does it last?
Just short of an hour. Refreshments are available in the entrance hall or downstairs in the church hall after the service, and you will be warmly invited to join us. Do stay if you can, whether you are an old hand, just visiting or this is your first time worshipping here. Please enjoy the service.
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 page for details)