New to Church?
It can be intimidating walking into a church for the first time. Or maybe it’s just been a long time (like 30 years ago when your parents dragged you to Sunday School). A lot has changed since then, and you are most welcome – just as you are.
Key information about our churches...
Can I just walk in?
Yes! Anyone is welcome and there is no particular dress code.
I use a wheelchair – can I get in?
Yes. There is mostly level access right into the churches from the area outside. Please contact the churchwardens if you need more information about access. Some of our churches' access is one small step.
Does it matter where I sit?
There aren’t any reserved seats in our churches, except during Covid restrictions. We’re always happy for people to visit our church, whether that be to join in with a service, to listen to the silence or simply to appreciate the peace and awe of the place.
Will there be a collection?
Every time we gather for worship we can make an offering of our money, time, gifts and talents to God. There is usually a collection plate at the back of churches.
During or at the end of a service there is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the work of keeping the churches open and providing support and help for people in times of joy and in times of trouble. This is called the Offertory. A card reader may also be available at St. John's.
We hope that our visitors value the experiences they have at Church and we welcome donations towards the work we do here which can be gift aided in a blue envelope.
Will I know when to stand up and sit down?
All our services are guided by the service leader who will explain what is going on.
Typically, responses are printed in Bold type and the service leader will indicate when to stand or sit.
If you need or wish to sit for the whole service, then please do so!
What happens at communion?
If you would like to take communion, you will be directed up to the communion step (in front of the altar) by the sidespeople.
All Christians are welcome to receive communion at our churches.
If you would prefer a simple blessing, just come to the front with a service sheet in your hand or your hands crossed to indicate that you would like God’s blessing.
I have children - are they allowed?
Absolutely- and welcomed.
The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your children will be. In most of our churches there are toys and books available and if your child is 5 or older they may well be asked to ‘help’ during the service.
I'm not sure I believe in God - can I still come?
We are all at different stages in our personal journey to know God.
Those who are seeking or want to find out more about our faith are always welcome. You might like to book time with our Rector and we do have informal learning sessions directed at those who have fundamental questions about God.
Adult baptism classes maybe held for those who are ready to commit more and if you were baptised and are returning to question more about your faith our friendly confirmation sessions might be a good starting place.
Wherever you are in your journey you will always be welcome here.
Will I have to shake hands with a lot of strangers during the service?
Not during Covid-19 but in many of our services there is a time when members of the congregation greet each other with the words “peace be with you”. This can be a bit daunting but everyone you meet will be delighted to see you and the greeting will be genuine.
As you get to know us this will become a strongly affirmative experience. However, anyone who simply sits or kneels in prayer during this time will not be disturbed – the main thing is for you to feel comfortable.
We hope that you will feel at home in our churches,
and we look forward to welcoming you.