First time visit?
Firstly, welcome and thank you for considering visiting our church. We know how daunting it can be to take these first steps. We took them too!
Before the Service
Can I just walk in?
Yes! Anyone is welcome.
Can I bring the kids?
Yes! Children are very welcome. We have a crèche for the under 3s, or of course, they can sit with you during the service. Older ones can take part in our Junior Church which meets in the Lesser Hall just before the service. There is a Talk with the Children by the Minister, and then the Junior Church goes back through to the Lesser Hall for stories, songs, crafts and refreshments. Or, of course, your children can remain with you throughout the service, if you prefer.
I use a wheelchair – can I get in?
Yes. There is a side entrance to the Session House which is accessible to wheelchairs. In the Sanctuary of the church, there is a space provided for wheelchair users. There is also a wheelchair accessible ramp at the entrance to our halls.
Do you have a “loop system” for the hard of hearing?
Yes. Tune your hearing aid to position”T”.
I have difficulty walking or getting about unaided. Is there a way I can still come to church?
Yes. We have a small group of volunteers who may be able to help provide transport to the church. We are also working on providing podcasts of our services for those who are housebound. Watch this space!
Are toilets available?
Yes. There is a toilet/first aid room located between the sanctuary and the Session House. There are also male, female and a disabled toilet located in the main corridor at the halls.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code.
How long will the service last?
Usually around an hour and a quarter.
I don’t know if I’m Christian – does that matter?
No – all are welcome.
What happens when I walk in?
You will be greeted with a smile, a handshake and a welcoming ‘hello’ from the Welcome Team. They will give you an Order of Service, and, if needed that day, a hymn book. If you wish, you can put a donation into our collection plate, located at the entrance to the church. We do not normally have a collection during the service. The member of the Welcome Team will open the door to the church for you.
Where do I sit?
Pretty much anywhere you like, except the pulpit, the choir chairs and the organ chair! No one has a reserved seat in our church. There are seats available downstairs and in three balconies. There are no pillars obstructing your view and our new AV system provides three large screens that can be viewed anywhere in the church. The words of hymns and songs are displayed here, so you may not need a hymn book.
During the service
How do I know when to stand up or sit down?
You will only need to stand, if you are able, for the hymn singing.
And how do I know when we are supposed to say something aloud?
It is usual for us to repeat the Lord’s Prayer during the service. It’s up to you whether you join in.
What if I don’t know the hymns?
Don’t worry! We have a wide range of hymns and sometimes we’re learning them too! Try and join in as it goes along. No one will mind if you don’t sing.
Does it matter if the baby makes a noise?
Not at all – we know babies make noises and we love to have them in our church. However, if your child is fretting and unhappy, or you feel anxious, we have a crèche. You can decide whether to leave the baby with our crèche team and go back in for the remainder of the service or not.
What happens in the service?
The Order of Service will give you the programme for that particular Sunday. But usually, the Minister will welcome us to Church and we then open our worship with a hymn. The Minister will give us the intimations (what’s happening within the life of the congregation), there is then a short Talk with the Children, followed by a song and the children go through to the Lesser Hall for Junior Church. The rest of our worship takes the form of Bible readings, hymns, perhaps a song from the Choir, and prayer. Then the Minister teaches and explains (as we believe it to be God’s Word) what it means and its message to us today.
How do I know the service is ended?
The Minister will give a blessing and we sing ‘Amen’ three times, and then we sit down. A couple of the Managers will take the collection plates from the altar, the Minister will walk down the aisle to the door of the church to say farewell to the congregation. At that point, the congregation will leave the Church.
After the service
You are most welcome to join us for tea, coffee and biscuits in the Large Hall. We try very hard to make sure all are welcome, so you won’t be left standing on your own. There is a Visitors Book kept at the entrance to the church. We would appreciate your comments.