Arriving – going anywhere for the first time can be a bit of a nerve-racking experience but please don’t worry about ‘doing things wrong’. We aren’t super-spiritual beings who will look down on you and we’ve all had a ‘first day’. We are a friendly bunch and will be only too pleased to help if you have any questions. You’ll be greeted on the door by someone from our welcoming team and then given all the books and information you need by one our sidespersons. People often use the time before a service to think or pray quietly, so if they’re not all talking to you this might be why.
During the service – normally services last up to an hour. There may be some variations in how we do things but generally you can expect a mixture of prayers, hymns or songs, readings from the Bible and a fairly short sermon.
Most services are modern and use the Common Worship book while others use traditional language and the Book of Common Prayer (usually at early morning Holy Communion). It may sometimes be necessary to flick backwards and forwards through service books but page numbers should be announced. If not, please just ask a nearby person.
We normally stand for hymns or songs and sit or kneel for most prayers. The service leader will normally direct you but, if not, just do whatever feels natural or follow the other people in the pews around you. We sit for the first Bible reading, which is often read by a member of the congregation, but stand for the Gospel reading, which is generally read by the person leading the service. We also stand when we say the Creed or Affirmation of Faith.
At some services we may ‘share the peace’. This just means shaking hands with people and saying ‘Peace be with you’. You can join in with this or not as you please. People may also use this time to say hello if you are new.
After the service – there is usually tea, coffee and biscuits available (for which there is no charge) after the main Sunday service. This is an opportunity to get to know people if you would like to. You will also find that the person who has led the service will be available to talk to, often standing by the door, or you can chat to the rest of the people in church.
Our hope is that whether you just want to visit us for a one-off service, are looking into Christianity for the first time, or have been a Christian for many years, you will be encouraged and inspired by your visit. We hope that everyone who comes through our doors will meet with God and feel welcome among us.
If you would like more information about what takes place in Anglican (Church of England) churches like ours please follow this link to “What to expect at an Anglican church“.