What if you're new?
We understand that going to church for the first time in a while can be an intimidating business. You might well worry about whether you are going to fit it, and maybe you have memories of particularly scary vicars from your childhood!
When you first walk through our doors, you'll be greeted by a person called a 'sidesperson'. It's their job to welcome you, to give you the things you need for the service, and to make sure you feel at home.
If you are new, there are some things which you might not be used to...
- Standing up and sitting down. We stand up to sing, and at some other parts of the service. However, you are always given instructions about standing and sitting, so don't worry!
- Singing. Our services normally have four hymns, which may be traditional or modern. Don't worry if you're not musical - neither am I! The Bible says, 'Make unto the Lord a loud noise' - being in tune is strictly a bonus.
- Saying things together. There are some bits in the service (called 'liturgy') that we all say together - for example, when we confess, affirm our faith, and come before God in communion. The general rule of thumb is, if it's written in bold, it's for everyone to speak together.
- The peace. This is probably the weirdest part of the service if you're not used to it. To make sure we are a united community, we are all invited to go round and shake's each other's hands, maybe with words like 'peace be with you', or 'the peace of the Lord'. A smile is fine though! You don't have to shake everyone's hands unless you really want to, and then you return to your seats.
- Communion. This is where we go to the front of the church to receive bread and wine, in memory of Jesus' body being broken for us. If you are comfortable receiving communion, by all means come up and do so. If you'd rather just have a blessing, come up with your service booklet so the minister will know that that's what you want. If you just want to sit the whole thing out, that's fine too!
- Tea and coffee after the service. We promise you we're not one of those churches that leaves you to sip your tea or coffee standing by yourself! It's tempting to just slip off when the formal worship is over, but staying around and getting to know the community is really worthwhile.
What's the worst that could happen? Give us a go!