First Time At St John's
We hope that you will always feel welcome at St. John’s but walking into a church for the first time can be daunting.Here are some handy hints:
Come on in
We are used to meeting new people and delighted to welcome you. We have a Welcome Team, who are members of the church. Ask them anything you want to about the service. We will give you the hymn books or leaflets you will need and there will be a bible in the pew. You can sit wherever you like, there are no reserved seats in the main part of the church, if you want to sit near the back that is fine, so is sitting on the front row! We usually stand to sing, and sit or kneel to pray but it really is more about how you feel comfortable; there is no "right or wrong" way. The person leading the service will usually ask those present to stand or sit etc; but just watch what everyone else does.
The service will probably involve "Communion"; receiving the bread and wine. Someone will generally come to the end of your pew and tell you when it is time to go up. Generally the choir receive communion first and then it is the front rows of the church, then the second row etc, but someone will tell you. You do not have to go up for communion if you don't want to. We go up to the altar steps to where the bar will be drawn across, stand or kneel at the bar and hold out our hands to receive with your palms facing upwards, just watch someone. You will have the bread first and then the wine. If you are a member of the Christian Church of whatever denomination and are used to receiving communion, then you are welcome to receive it with us, but if that is not right for you then please still come up to the rail and stand or kneel, but keep your hands down and we will know to just give you a blessing. There is no pressure to go up for communion and if you don't want to you don't have to.
The 9:30am service on a Sunday lasts until about 10.30am. Then there is tea, coffee or squash afterwards at our little "cafe" at Church House, and sometimes a stall selling fair-trade products. This is a time for people that go to the church to have a chat. If you are new to the church follow the crowd, Church House is a few moments walk away. If you are new people will be happy to chat to you, we really don't bite! We welcome children of any age, preferably with their parents!
Finally; It is very good to laugh at the jokes in the sermon, and is positively encouraged by the rector!