This page contains information about our usual service times and what to expect (this can be especially useful to those vising church for the first time). Whatever your stage in life, we hope you will find a place to worship with us….
8.00am Holy Communion A quiet, said service in traditional language followed by breakfast once a month 9.45am Parish Communion A warm and welcoming service with worship led by the choir. A time to think and pray followed by refreshments. There are simple activities for children during the service. 11.15am The 11.15 Service A lively and informal service with contemporary worship and special activities for children beginning with refreshments 12.15 Thanksgiving / Baptisms (as required) 6.30pm Evensong A meditative service. Worship is led by the choir. On the first Sunday of the month we celebrate choral Communion Midweek Services Thursday 11am Holy Communion A quiet, said service in traditional language Refreshments are served in the hall We invite you to join us. The most important thing to remember when you come to St Mary’s Church is to relax and not worry about whether you will get things right, just make yourself at home.
Welcome St Mary’s church is a friendly community and do our best to recognize and welcome all first-time visitors, but if we don’t manage as well as we’d like, introduce yourself at the end of the service and join us for refreshments (after 9.45 service and before 11.15 service) or for one of our celebration breakfasts! In a church it can be hard to stay anonymous but if you are looking for space to be on your own we will try to respect that. Structure At 11.15 the services are reasonably informal and generally takes place in the hall next to church. The 8.00, 9.45 and 6.30 services follow a much more formal structure and generally take place in church. There is usually a booklet which contains prayers, some of which the leader (usually the vicar) says and some in bold that we say together. You may find some of them familiar like The Lord’s Prayer, and some of them less so. It may come naturally to you or it may not. Don’t worry if you find yourself just listening to the congregation or silently praying. At the 11.15 Service we usually put the words on the big screen at the front of the hall where you can also find the words of the songs we sing. At some points in the service we stand up and at others we sit down. If you are unable to do this easily, don’t worry. Communion Communion is where churches share bread and wine in the way that Jesus did with his disciples nearly 2000 years ago. This is usually towards the end of the service after the vicar has led the congregation in prayer. The congregation usually come to the front of the church to receive the bread and wine and take it by putting their hands out. If you don’t feel comfortable taking communion, you are still more than welcome to come forward. If you leave your hands by your side the vicar will pray for God’s blessing to be with you. If you would like to stay in your seat that is fine too. Different Seasons of the Year We like to follow the pattern of the church year so there are lots of times for celebration or preparation. This will often come with a change of colour to the furnishings in the church and different things happening during the service. It isn’t just Christmas Day or Easter Sunday when this happens- just enjoy the variety. Collection A collection is taken in every service of worship. This money is given to help keep the church going and to reach out into the community. It would be fantastic if you could give generously to this work as it is only through our giving that it is able to continue. However, if you do not wish to contribute, just let the plate pass by. Many members arrange their giving via standing orders, so a significant proportion of the congregation will not be putting anything in the plate. No-one will think anything of it if you don’t contribute. Music The music at St Mary’s church draws upon a wide variety of different styles varying from traditional hymns to more modern worship song depending on the service. 11.15 is contemporary music (with band) and the other services tend to be more traditional (with choir and organ). The 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! Sermons The bible is central to the faith of the congregation at St Mary’s church and exploring it together is an important part of worship. More learning about the bible takes place in study groups during the week. Don’t worry if you are not sure what you believe – we are all learning and growing in faith and none of us have all the answers. You are welcome to chat to the vicar or join a group exploring faith. Children There is a good number of children who regularly attend worship at St Mary’s (especially at 11.15 but also at 9.45am) and we do our best to provide opportunities for them to learn and be creative. Children may choose to go out to our groups and parents are welcome to go with them but they do not have to. Nursing mothers are very welcome too. We do not worry if children make noise and ask questions – Jesus welcomed and blessed them. Disabled facilities We makes every effect to be accessible to everyone. At 11.15 which is usually in the hall, there is good access for wheelchair users and disabled toilet facilities. It can be more difficult for disabled visitors in the church building as we do not yet have toilets (though the hall toilets can be used – the hall is a short distance from church). A loop system is fitted for people with hearing-aids and a lift into church is available for those who need it. We do our best to make church as welcoming as possible to all. If you have any questions or require support during your visit, please just ask.