Attending Church - What to expect?
How do I 'do' Church?
New to this? Perhaps you are not sure how to go about 'coming to Church' - do not worry, it is perfectly fine just to visit, as often or infrequently as you like, and here are some hints...
What is the best service to come to?
If you are coming with children, come to the Sunday, 9:30am service, which is our 'main' service. It lasts for 60-75 minutes, and, during term time, we have the Sunday School for children.
If you want something a bit quieter, you could also try the Sunday, 8:00am service.
On the 1st Sunday in the month, the 9:30am service is an "All-Age or Family Worship" so that we all stay together. It lasts typically about 45 minutes.
What should I wear?
Whatever you are comfortable in. People wear anything from jeans and t-shirts to jacket and tie.
Can I park?
Yes - there is a Church car park with lots of space. It can be accessed from the east of the Church, via Shoreham Lane and Church Field, and if it is full, you can park in the roads just outside the car park. The 'Find Us' page contains a map, and can provide detailed directions to the Church.
What time should I arrive?
Why not try to get here at least 5 to 10 minutes before the start time. Then you can get settled.
How do I make sure I am not in someone's seat?
There is no such thing, really, even though people tend to sit in approximately the same place every week! If a seat is empty, with no 'reserved' sign on it - you can sit there. We are always very happy to welcome visitors, and it does us good to get a different view from time to time.
How do I get into the Church?
There are two main entrances: at the West end main door, at the top of the steps overlooking the mini roundabout of the A25, and through the porch on the South side. The West door entrance has steps. The South door entrance has fewer steps, and if necessary a ramp can be deployed there. The Church Hall can be accessed with no steps.
What books do I need, and where do I get them?
All the words you need for the service are in printed service sheets and hymn books, available from both entrances to the Church. There are large print and braille versions available - just ask if you would like one. There are friendly people who take it in turn to act as stewards; to welcome and help visitors, and to distribute the books.
Can I bring my children?
Yes! Children are very welcome - at any age, bring them along with you.
What if my child makes a noise?
Your child probably will make a noise, and that is fine - we would rather have the noise and your lovely child and you. We are happy for you to get up and move around if it helps you to comfort your child - there is a carpeted area at the back, and some books and toys, if it helps. We have Sunday School in the adjacent Church Hall for 3 to 11 year olds.
When do the children go to the Sunday School?
The service leader will announce that it is time for the children to go to the Sunday School. Your children can either go on their own with all the others, or you are welcome to take them round, and stay while they settle in.
The children return to the main service towards the end.
How do I know when to stand or sit?
The person leading the service will make that clear. We usually stand for hymns and songs (it is easier to sing that way), and at a few other times. Just look around and see what other people are doing if you are not sure.
What if it is a Communion service?
There is nothing to worry about. At the appropriate point in the service, everyone will be invited to approach the altar rail, to either receive Communion, ie. the bread and the wine, or to receive a Blessing. If you are receiving a Blessing only, then please take up with you a service sheet which indicates to the person giving Communion that you are receiving only a Blessing. If you prefer, you can remain in your seat during Communion.
Who can receive Communion?
The altar is the 'Lord's table' not ours so all are welcome to receive the sacrament. However you may wish to receive a Blessing. Either way all are welcome.
Do you have toilets?
Yes - in the Church Hall, including facilities for people who are disabled.
What happens after the service?
At the end of the service the leader says a brief closing prayer, and then walks down the aisle to the back of the Church. The organist or music group will play for a short while, but you are welcome to get up during this. People will tend to chat for a few minutes in the Church building, then many will drift through to the Church Hall (where there are refreshments) for more chat. We would love to meet you - so please come through and join in.
Any other questions? Please just ask...