Thankyou for visiting our website and showing interest in this page.
If you are a present or past worshipper, you will probably know what you are looking for in a church, so why not come and see if we can provide it? At the very least we hope you will find that you feel welcomed, at home, and in God’s presence.
If you are new to faith, or wondering about it, you are likely to have more questions than we can answer here – you’re very welcome to get in touch with us and we will try to try to help you with whatever you want to know.
Everyone has questions before they try something new. We’ve tried to answer some of the common things that people want to know, but if we’ve missed anything, just get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer.
What is the room like?
The church building was 125 years old in 2019, so we have high ceilings and a traditional pulpit (which is no longer in use) but we don’t have an organ. The room is plain – we have no candles, statues, religious pictures, incense, holy water or crucifixes, just a plain wooden cross we were gifted, hanging on the wall above the pulpit. Our speakers address the congregation from the platform where we have a simple wooden lectern. We have central heating and we sit on modern upholstered chairs – there are no hard wooden pews. The floor is old parquet wooden flooring.
What is a service like?
In our Sunday morning service you will find something for everyone, both new visitors and regular members. We are fairly traditional in our service format with hymns, prayers, sermon and offerings, but we are open to trying new ways, We occasionally may use a “responsive” prayer, where the congregation may join in with the minister, but generally we do not. We don’t use a prayer book or a missal, or have fixed prayers for certain Sundays or times of the year.
We use a modern projector and screen for all the words and songs, so it’s easy to follow. This screen is also used to show slides and videos as part of our worship. Any of our members will be happy to help you with any questions you have about what to do or what will happen during the service. We are a very small congregation so you won’t be lost in a crowd. You will quickly become “one of us” if you decide to stay.
How long are your services?
Our Sunday service currently lasts around 50 minutes as we do not have any children in the congregation and so we no longer have a children’s address.
What is the music like?
We currently have no musicians and so music is provided via a modern electronic hymnal, which can produce a variety of styles to accompany both old hymns and modern worship songs. We also use CDs and downloaded music videos.
Will I know what to do?
We stand up to sing hymns, as the introduction to the song starts, and sit down when it ends. We sit down for prayer, and we don’t kneel down at any point in the service. If you find standing up and sitting down repeatedly too painful or tiring simply remain seated during hymns.
After the last hymn the preacher gives a blessing or we say the Grace together (the words will be projected on the screen), and then we sit for a moment’s reflection.
After the service we have simple refreshments – tea/coffee and biscuits for which you are welcome to remain. We don’t at present offer any appropriate food for Coeliac, vegetarian or vegan diets, just standard biscuits.
t’s always a bit nerve wracking trying something new. If you’re not used to church please tell us and we’ll explain anything you need to know. We want you to enjoy your time in our church and become a new friend, so everyone in our congregation is happy to help.
What about Communion?
Any Christian believer is welcome to join in our Communion service which takes place at the end of the regular first Sunday in the month service. If you don’t feel ready or happy to take part you can stay and watch but not take the bread or wine, or you can leave quietly during the hymn before Communion begins.
We remain in our seats and are served the bread and wine by our church minister, or by an elder. The wine is served in individual small glasses and we do not share or drink from a common cup.
If you need us to explain WHAT and WHY about Communion that’s perfectly understandable and okay. Never be afraid to ask questions.
We use standard supermarket bread, which is not suitable for people with Coeliac Disease.
What should I wear?
Most of us wear smart casual, but if you are more comfortable in jeans or leggings that is fine.
What happens to my children during the service?
Sadly we currently have no activities or creche available for them during the service. Children are welcome to remain in the service with their parents.
Do I have to give money to the collection?
No, It’s called a “free will offering” which means exactly that. If you don’t want to give, can’t afford to give, or want to know where the money is going before you give that is fine. Just wave the steward past you to the next person. We use a bag to collect the offerings rather than a plate, so whatever you put in will be completely private.
Many church members and regular attenders support the work of the church through cash donations, standing orders, or using envelopes that allow us to receive Gift Aid on donations.
What are you going to do with any money I give you?
We have to pay bills like everyone else – gas, water, electricity, wages to cleaners, repairs, renovations, and so a lot of the money goes to keep the church running, but we also make regular monthly donations to four charities, HARP, Water Aid, Bible Society, Leprosy Mission, and collect for others too. We are also required to make a monthly payment to the Ministry and Mission Fund of the URC which pays for the salaries of current ministers, the pensions of retired ministers and the cost of running the denomination administration teams.
What about prayer?
Prayer is simply talking to God. Christianity is about having a relationship with a living God, and so we talk to Him. A relationship cannot thrive without communication, and prayer is the way we communicate with our God. Prayers don’t have to be said in a particular style or in old fashioned language to be heard by God. A short, simple, sincere prayer is all that is needed. During the service we have opening prayers, prayers for others (intercessory prayer) and closing prayer or blessing. We close our eyes to avoid being distracted, and when the minister brings the prayer to a close we all say “amen”. We usually say the Lord’s Prayer together at some point in the sermon, using the older version. If you don’t know the prayer just listen. We usually project it on the screen for the assistance of anyone who isn’t familiar with the words.
If you’ve come to our church needing help in the form of prayer please speak to the minister, the secretary or one of the elders. It would be our privilege to pray with you and for you at any time. Anything you say to us will be kept completely confidential unless it involves criminal activity.
If you want to know why we come to church and what we believe – just ask. It’s that simple.