If you haven't visited us before and don't know what to expect, this guide aims to make you feel comfortable and at home with us. We look at before, during and after the service and start with how to find us.
You will be welcomed at the front doors and the welcomers are happy to answer any questions you may have. There is a disabled toilet near the front door and also with other toilets in the rear premises. You can choose to sit upstairs in the gallery in the original pews or downstairs on the chairs. Door stewards will give you the week's notices to take away and any books you may need for the service.
You can sit anywhere, though some rows are occasionally roped off at Parade services for the Boys' and Girls' Brigades. There is good wheelchair access on the ground floor but not to the gallery. Stewards will help wheelchair users to find a suitable place. Just before the service starts, a church steward will ask that mobile phones be switched off and invite a few moments of quiet for personal preparation for the service.
Services are conducted by either ordained Ministers or trained Local Preachers. There is a mixture of singing hymns, prayers, readings from the Bible and a sermon or talk. At some services there may be sketches, music or other items. There is a collection to help support the work of the church and community centre. Singing is either accompanied by the organ or the Music Group.
In general, we stand to sing and sit to listen. Whoever is leading the service will explain where any hymns or words of services can be found. Increasingly these are projected onto the walls and can be easily seen by all. Microphones and a loop system help hearing.
Children are very welcome to either stay with whoever brought them or go out early in the service with the J Team for their own fun, activities and learning. If young children become restless during the service there is a crèche with toys in the vestibule. The service can be heard in there.
Everyone is invited to share fully in any service of Holy Communion. We accept the bread and non-alcoholic wine as symbols of God's love for everyone. Hence everyone can take part. When the Minister invites the congregation to come forward, people in the gallery come down first and the Communion Stewards will guide people to then kneel (or if infirm, stand) at the altar rail to receive the bread and wine. If children or others just want a blessing, they can put their hands behind them. After a final prayer people return to their seats.
The preacher and a duty steward will shake hands with people as they leave at the front of the church. However, everyone is invited to retire to the church hall round the back to relax with a tea, coffee or soft drink. This is a good opportunity to get to know people.
Our aim is always to make people feel welcomed but not overwhelmed or pressured in any way.
If you would like to come again we will be delighted to see you. If you would like to speak to our Minister or anyone else at the church, just let one of our duty stewards know (they will be wearing a name badge).
On the other hand, if your visit is a one-off, we hope you have some happy memories of your time with us.