As you arrive you will be greeted at the door by a steward. They will say hello, offer you a sheet with church information, and can answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to take a seat where-ever you feel comfortable. Children can sit with their parents, or together in a group at the front. If you sit nearer the back, you can see when everyone else sits or stands! Whilst you wait for the service to start, there is usually a powerpoint presentation on the screen with information, news and prayer requests about church activities.
The words for the songs in the service are displayed on a screen at the front, however if you prefer to use a hymnbook, these are available in the pews..
At the beginning of the service, the minister and deacons enter. The minister gives a welcome, and then normally we join in a worship song. If you can't sing, no-one will mind if you don't! There are normally two or three amplified singers at the front to lead the singing.
The rest of the service varies from Sunday to Sunday, but will usually include prayers, which we normally sit for, more hymns and songs, a passage from the bible being read aloud to the congregation, a talk aimed particularly at the children, a collection for the running of the church, the notices, and a sermon (sometimes long and sometimes short, depending on the preacher!).
The service should last about an hour and a quarter, but occasionally overruns. If you have to go, please do not feel embarrassed to leave early.
On the third Sunday morning each month (usually) the service includes communion, where we remember Jesus's last supper with his disciples, his death, and resurrection, by sharing bread and wine together. If you love the Lord Jesus, please share the bread and wine with us. If you are not sure, just let the bread and wine pass when they are served to you.
People generally stand around and talk after the service, and we try to be friendly! Do make yourself known to us!. We serve coffee, tea and squash in the coffee lounge after each service, so please help yourself.
If for some reason you would like someone to pray with you, please ask one of the prayer team, who will be wearing a badge.
Sunday evening worship is more varied in format. Ignite services once a month are led by our young adults and can involve discussion, music, meditation and food. "The Four O'Clock Service" is a traditional service with an elder congregation in mind, followed by sandwiches and tea open to all. We also have a communion service with prayers for healing. Some evening services are held in the smaller hall which allows a more relaxed and informal setting for smaller numbers. We have had Labrynth services, where a there are a number of stations around the building with material for meditation on a theme..
Our church looks a bit different from the Church of England and reflects the emphasis of our beliefs.
At the centre, at the front of the church is an empty cross (ie without the body of Christ), which symbolises that Jesus rose from the dead, so is not on the cross. His victory over death is the centre of our faith.
A Bible is open on the table at the front for the church, which symbolises that God's words in the Bible are our inspiration and guide.
The communion table at the front is used when we celebrate the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples before his crucifixion. He told us to share bread and wine together in memory of him, so the theory is that we all sit around the table, but we wouldn't all fit, so the elder's sit there on our behalf. We don't have a priest and altar, everyone is in communion with God, and the table symbolises that.
Underneath the stage is the Baptistry. An important step in our journey of faith is believer's baptism. Baptism symbolises the washing away of sin, and the celebration of our salvation through Jesus. At a Baptism service, the person being baptised testifies to their faith, commits themself to Jesus, and is then immersed and baptised in the name of Jesus. It's a little difficult to put into words - come and see, or read more on the Baptism page.