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What time does the service begin?
The service begins at 10.30. We encourage people to arrive in time for the start of the service to minimise disruption. We understand that first time visitors may feel uncomfortable arriving too early so if you want to arrive on 10.30 you are welcome to do so.
What to expect?
Below you can learn what to expect if you join us on a Sunday morning. The service unfolds in the order listed below. We try to keep to the same order, not for tradition sake but so that visitors can have some idea in advance of what is going to be happening.
You will be greeted by someone at the door. On entering the main hall you will find we are a small group of around 30 people. We are a mixture of all ages. You will be warmly greeted.
What will happen?
People generally begin to arrive at 10:20am which gives a chance for a friendly chat and cup of tea or coffee.
A Warm Welcome
The service begins at 10.30 with a warm welcome to all and then is usually followed by a 10 minute 'children's focus'.
The Church is a kind of family, and this means all people are important to us, including children. Hence, we do our best to include the children. This part of the service is a fun time when the children will hear a Bible story or have a short talk and usually sing a song or two. The children's part of the service lasts about 10 minutes. It is interactive and the songs often have actions. Some adults like to join in the fun and encourage the children. Others prefer to not join in at all but relax watching the children have fun. You are free to participate or not so far as you feel comfortable.
As well as being family, we are a community with all kinds of things going on. So the children's slot is followed by any news or notices of upcoming events, activities and other news.
We then begin a period of sung worship led by the church band. We usually sing just one or two songs at this point. The person at the front will guide through the singing, asking the congregation to stand. This is a 'general leading' and you should not feel you must stand or sing. Again, participate so far a you would like to.
Either during these songs and if not during, then at the end of the songs the crèche age children go to their crèche. Parents should feel free to keep their children with them throughout the service if they prefer, or to accompany their children to the crèche to help settle them down. However, we respectfully ask parents to return to the main service once their child is settled. This is part of our Child Protection Policy which states that only Church approved members who have undergone proper Police checks (Data Barring Service (DBS Checks)) are allowed to be with children and vulnerable adults. This means you, as a parent can have confidence that whatever adults are out with the children, they have been properly screened and trained.
We then have a short time of prayer. Though not restricted to this time, it is specifically designated as an opportunity to pray. The congregation will be led by the person leading the service. The person leading the service may invite the congregation to pray out if they would like to, so don't be surprised if the person sitting next to you begins to pray out. You are welcome to join in or quietly observe.
Next we have the mornings reading from the Bible, a passage which will later be the basis for a talk or sermon given by Julian (church Pastor) or Grenville (one of the leaders) or perhaps a guest speaker.
Children's activities and Sermon
After the Bible reading, children ages 5-13 go out for their own activities where they will learn in a fun and relevant way about Jesus and the Bible. Once the children have gone, there will then be a talk or sermon from the Bible which lasts up to about 40 minutes.
The sermon is followed by a Response time. This is an opportunity to respond to what we have heard. This usually happens through worshipping God in song. We will sing up to 3 songs at this point and will have opportunity to reflect quietly on what we believe The Lord Jesus has spoken to us through the message.
Tea and coffee
The service is usually closed with prayer and an invitation to join us for tea, coffee and a chat. This is a great opportunity to get to know one another a little more.
The service formally finishes at 12.00 noon which is when tea and coffee is served. People hang out for anything up to about an hour, give or take 15 minutes. Toward the end of this time people muck in and help pack up or simply chat for a while longer.