First time visitors
We have a variety of Sunday services to choose from:
- 10.00am, Perry Street - a large and lively service with lots of groups for children and young people, including a crèche
- 10.00am, Sunnymede - a smaller, quieter service
- 10.15am, South Green - a family oriented service (meeting in the school hall), again with groups for children and young people, including a crèche
- 7.00pm, Perry Street - generally a more intimate service with contemporary worship, most ages represented well from teenagers to the elderly
We endeavour to recognise and welcome all first-time visitors, but please make yourself known as a visitor at the welcome desk in the foyer, or speak to one of the stewards on the door. If you’d rather stay anonymous to start with, just come in—there’s safety in numbers. One of the leaders will be on the door after the service, so you have another chance to introduce yourself then, once you’ve (hopefully) established that we are a reasonable bunch of people after all.
Here are some things you probably want to know, especially if you are not a regular church-goer:
The services are reasonably informal but generally follow a familiar structure. We don’t use an equivalent to the Church of England service book. There are no fixed texts, with the occasional exception of the Lord’s Prayer, and we sometimes close the service with the Grace. No-one will expect you to know these.
Communion is usually towards the end of the service on the first Sunday morning and third Sunday evening of the month, we do not place any restrictions on those taking part. You do not need to be christened, confirmed or baptised; you just need to have a relationship with Jesus. Only you know if that is the case: if you are unsure, just let the tray of bread and wine pass you by, no-one will think anything of it.
We take a collection, or offering, in every service. We are not centrally funded: the finances are the responsibility of church members. If you do not wish to contribute, just let the bag pass by. Many members arrange their giving via standing orders, so a significant proportion of the congregation will not be putting anything in the bag. No-one will think anything of it if you don't contribute.
If you’ve only attended “traditional” church services, you may be surprised to see a variety of musicians at our services, from a simple piano and ’cello to a full rock band. The songs we use vary from the traditional hymns to more modern worship songs.
We have a video projector and large screen, onto which the song words are projected, so you should have no difficulty keeping up. Our congregation has a wide range of musical ability—so if you can’t sing or don’t know the tune, you won’t be the only one…
Our sermons (or messages) often make full use of the church’s media equipment, with illustrations and photographs as appropriate. We tend to run a series of sermons across several weeks: if you happen to come in in the middle, and want to catch up on what you missed, our sermons are online; CDs are also available.
All of our teaching is rooted in the Bible. We primarily use the NIV (New International Version), but dip into other versions on occasion. Copies of the NIV are available in the church to borrow for the service, so don’t worry if you don’t have one. Some people prefer to listen rather than read, anyway.
We have lots of children in our church, for more details of our facilities for babies and children, see this page.
The church is set up to allow for wheelchair access, and disabled toilet facilities are available. A loop system is fitted for those with hearing-aids. If you have any other questions, just ask.
The Lord’s Prayer
When we use the Lord’s Prayer in services, this is the version we use. This is about the only use of old-fashioned English in the church, primarily because of familiarity—it’s the version most people know.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.
We close many of our services with the Grace, which is taken from the closing of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians :
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all, now and for ever. Amen.