Never been to church?
Never been to church before?
It comes as absolutely no surprise to us that many, many people have never been to any kind of church service in their lives. Some will have been to Weddings, Christenings and Funerals, but often that's it. So what can you expect if you join us on our normal Sunday morning.
Most people arrive between 10.15 and 10.25 for a 10.30 start.
Dress code: you really can wear what you like, as smart or as casual as you like.
You will be met at the door by a member of our Church - a welcoming steward - and they will answer any questions you may ask. Importantly you really are free to sit anywhere you like - we all tend to move around each week!
Another steward normally starts off with a quick welcome, reads any notices out and says an opening prayer. They then introduce the preacher for the day - this may be our Minister or a visiting 'lay' preacher. (Our ministers are in full time employment by the Methodist Church and lay workers are people from all walks of life, but have felt called to preach the Christian message.
We then have two or three songs before there is a simple talk for the younger children. This is often delivered by a member of our church, but sometimes by the visiting preacher.
A simple collection is taken each week, with any monetary gifts dropped into a cloth bag that is passed around, although many now give by direct debit. Nobody can see what anyone else gives. Following this the children go out to their own age specific groups at Junior Church, next door. The children can stay in the service but we find they enjoy themselves far more in their own groups away from the boring grown ups!
For the very young there is a creche at the Junior Church next door where your little one can be cared for, alternatively we have plenty of toys at the back of church, from where you can watch the service continue and hear the talk relayed through a sound system. There are also toys in shoebags for the benefit of little ones who prefer to stay in the seats
What is the music like?
It is a mix of classic hymns that we will all remember from our schooldays, and modern worship songs which mix some fantastic words with some great tunes.
There is no organ. The music comes from an electric piano,which is used to emulate various styles of keyboard. We also include guitars and very occasionally drums. The music is lead by our Worship Group which is typically three singers from a regular group of six or so.
All of the words appear on a large screen at the front of Church, though there are also large print versions of the song words available should you require them.
Bible Readings and Talk
After the children have left for their groups we have two Bible readings, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
The preacher will then give a talk based on one of the Bible readings. Although the Bible was written up to 2000 years ago, he shows it is just as relevant in our lives as it was then.
Our prayers are said whilst we are sitting down, not kneeling - though nobody would mind if you wanted! The preacher will lead a prayer of 'adoration and thanksgiving' - when we recognise the wonder of God's world and thank him for all that we have. Sometimes there may be a simple response - if so it is always be made very clear.
We will also have prayers of 'confession and intercession' where the preacher asks God to forgive us for our poor behaviour since we last met and that he might 'intercede', to intervene where we recognise that there is an injustice in the world, or perhaps someone needs help or healing. Sometimes we are asked to join in either out loud or silently, the choice is always yours.
If you would like someone you know, or even yourself, to be added to the prayers for that day just ask any church member before the start of service.
Once a month there is a communion service when we remember the events of the 'Last Supper' when Jesus gave the bread and wine to his disciples saying that they represented His body and His blood.
Everyone is invited up to the front where the Minister offers bread and wine to those who have confirmed their faith in God. If you are new to church, and/or are unsure you are ready for this you can of course remain in your seat.
Coffee, Tea and Chat
After the final song everyone is welcome to move through to coffee, tea biscuits and buns in the church hall. This gives people a chance to chat and catch up with friends - new and old. If you are new to the area we guarantee a warm welcome.