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Coming to a church service & what to expect

By Douglas

Maybe you are thinking of attending a church service, and you have little to no experience of one.

On top of that it is in a big old building unlike anywhere you are used to.
And then it is full of strangers.
Plus a lot of new words and rituals from a man in a robe thing, with everybody else joining in at moments as if they know everything.
Anxious much?
Thinking of attending a church service?

Relax, we are all good folk here

Well we could say “Relax, we are all good folk here” but quite honestly, true as it is, it might not be what you need to hear. After all, if you thought for one moment that we were a bunch of evil-minded nasties then you would not be coming.
But it is the first step.
Notable Quotes
Notable Quotes…
Notable Quotes
I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!

CS Lewis, The Last Battle

Relax, we are all good folk here.
And good does not mean that we are perfect, it means we try hard and acknowledge our sins to God, ourselves and each other. Plus we work passionately on loving everybody, friends, enemies and all stations in between.
In order to create a better us, nearer to the Divine, on the way to creating a better world for all.

Let us know

First, it is important to stress only do or say what keeps you comfortable. We certainly do not expect anything more.
If you are new, let us know, if you wish, and somebody can help you, even sit with you if you fancy. If you want to just sit apart and observe that is fine too. If you want to talk about anything afterwards that works for us, or you can slip away and chat to the priest later by phone, email or text.
And we know that all us Children of God come in various flavours; God loves variety, after all he made it.
So if you are neurodiverse, invisibly or visibly disabled, or have a difference to mainstream society which you feel is not appreciated in any way, discriminated against or worse… God loves us intensely and we are brothers and sisters in God.
We means we, each and every all of us.
Faith Guide
Faith Guide
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want.
In grass meadows he makes me lie down,
by quiet waters guides me.

Psalm 23, vs 1-2, 6

If it helps for you to tell us who you are and what you want or need beforehand or just as you enter, then please do so. You might find it helpful to check the church facilities that we have listed on each individual page as well. Click here to view all of our churches.
Contemplation in Church

The service

In our normal Sunday services you will find lots of words, folk bobbing up and down praying and singing and listening, sometimes the priest speaking, sometimes the congregation…
All very confusing for first timers, or even for fifth timers. There is enough going on that to explain it simply on this page would be quite a task and really rather missing the point.
Because our relationship with God is not about following rules and rituals, as powerful and holy as they are. It is more personal than that.

Grow

First, nobody comes to Faith knowing much, if anything. We grow in our understanding and in our communion with the Divine.
Neither do we arrive as perfect humans, we turn up with our sins, our hurts and our joys, we come as we are. These are our gifts to God.
This is what God invites. This is what God rejoices in. Honesty and clarity, who we are, not who we pretend to be.
Warts and all.
Notable Quotes
Notable Quotes…
Notable Quotes
But just as your body needs sleep, your soul needs time to rest in God. To learn more about Him. To talk to Him. To worship and praise Him. To fellowship with other brothers and sisters.

Craig Groeschel

And our Anglican services are based on two thousand years of thought, understanding and traditions, growing in beauty and love through the centuries.
So by being here, just being, sitting open hearted, softly gentle as you will, we are embraced by these two thousand year old customs and rituals, we belong in this space, we are loved.
Whilst all around us the whole community, and yes, that includes you and all those not present too, is being prayed for.
So you are welcome to just sit or join in as you will.
This is for you.

Develop

As we grow we come to understand the words and how to use them, the rituals and their deeper meanings and our surging union with the Divine.
This, to be fair, is a never ending process. Sometimes we go backwards, sometimes sideways, sometimes forwards, sometimes falling into despair, sometimes soaring with joy.
But the words and rituals are signposts, they jog our memories, they pray the prayers we cannot say, they are our gateways into an understanding that we cannot describe in our own sentences; they inhabit our souls, they let us glimpse God, they are the scaffolding of our faith.
And here you might be taking more part in our service, and you might be wanting to know more about everything.
At some point, if you are not yet confirmed, you might want to decide to take that step, to formally join our community of love.

Live

And then we live the faith. Always growing, always flowering in strange and wonderful new directions, and here the Anglican service is deeply experienced for what it is. Or what it is to you and you and you and each of every one of us.
We are a broad church, we do not police minds and thoughts, but there are lines that our faithful do not cross, with very good reasons. Paths have boundaries, and the Path of Christ very much so. Otherwise we would just be wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of the human world.
Faith Guide
Faith Guide
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago

Isaiah 25:1

And here again our ancient Christian services reveal greater depths, whether you come every day, every week, or every month: they help us stay on that path, to find it again when we have stumbled and fallen away, to be the change in our own personal conversations with God.
Ours is a reflective Christianity, we meditate on words and customs, meanings change our hearts and souls, we find our way within our church services, not only where we need to go but also where we are and where we have been.

Welcome

So welcome, always and forever and whenever.
Here is what you can do now:
Chat with one of our priests who will happily listen and explain more as you wish.
Come to one of our church services, you can access the services calendar for each church and if you are not sure what might suit you, then please ask.
Join one of your parish church events, we have some for adults and for children.
Oh, and one more thing, you might like to know what we actually do in a church service, the technicals if you will. Well, here we have you covered.