If you have not been to a service in our church before, there are always people on hand to assist and welcome you. On entering the church for a service a ‘sidesman’ will welcome you and give you a service booklet, a notice sheet and perhaps one or two hymn books. You will be invited to sit anywhere in the main body of the church, no seats are reserved (with the exception of a special service such as Remembrance and some Baptisms).
You may find it helpful to sit next to, or behind, a regular attender so they can, if necessary, help you navigate through the service and answer any queries you may have. Other helpful tools include large format service books and sheets ( please ask) and a PA system with amplifying microphones and a hearing loop. We have modern kitchen and toilets in the Church Community Centre, accessed from church through the North doors or, if coming in from the outside, the rear of the church through a glass link.
The majority of our morning services offer Holy Communion, except that on a third Sunday morning where we have a Family Service - a more informal service with an 'all age' focus on a specific theme, usually led by lay people. They are for the whole family to worship together . A Sunday School and Creche are available on other Sundays. There is also Choral Evensong on the third Sunday in the evening (6:30pm) - at this the choir sing a special setting for the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, the responses, and an anthem, it is traditional Book of Common Prayer (BCP) : At a Communion service, the people are invited to go to the altar to receive, if you do not wish to receive Communion, you are warmly welcome to come forward and receive a blessing instead, we ask that people hold their hands down or take the service booklet so that the Priest knows to offer a blessing instead of the bread & wine. If you have mobility issues the priest is very pleased to bring Communion to you, please let the Sidesman know you require this, before the start of the service, so the vicar is aware.
Although there are steps leading to the front entrance, our Church does have level access for wheelchairs, scooters and any prams that require it. This is via the rear of the church (accessed via London Road and through the gate at the entrance of Vicarage Lane) There is also an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities in the Church Community Centre, linked to the Church.
At the start of the 9:30 service there is usually a procession ( choir and clergy) An announcement of the first hymn will normally signal the start of the service occasionally there isn't a hymn at this point and the Crucifer will lead the choir to music. It is custom for the congregation to stand up, but we respect people may wish to remain seated. . Most of the services have the same basic shape week by week. There is generally a point in our service called the ‘sharing of the peace’, this is an opportunity for people to greet others and offer the Peace of Christ, and our custom is to shake hands, you may see people hugging but usually they are known to each other and it is not expected.
After many of our morning services there is usually tea and coffee in the Church Community Centre, which is linked to the church building. You don’t have to stay, but it is a good chance to meet and chat with people, and is very friendly atmosphere -occasionally we have a special occasion which is celebrated with a glass of wine and special event cake, as well as the more usual tea, coffee etc.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. It is always good to have questions and for us all to grow together