First Time at Church?
Is this the first time you've been to church? Not sure what to do? Worried that you might do something wrong?
Of course it is strange entering a building full of people you don't know. We try to be as welcoming as possible - and some first-time
visitors have told us that we are - not all, but nobody's perfect!
The door stewards will give you a weekly notice sheet, and maybe a service sheet and/or a Methodist Worship Book. Often our worship songs are displayed on a large screen so there's no need for a hymn book. Everything you need will be given to you on your way into church. Feel free to sit anywhere you like.
Most of our services don't use the Methodist Worship Book; you'll have received one if it is going to be used. One advantage of being a church without a fixed order of service is that the regular congregation need directions to what we are going to do and which page of which book to turn to, just as much as you do, so you won't get lost.
Hall Lane has an induction loop so anyone with a hearing aid isn't left out - just switch it to T.
"Do what everyone else is doing" is the best advice, as is "there's no obligation to join in", but read on for more specific questions:
"How long will the service be?" One hour. That's what normally happens, anyway. Family services can be a bit shorter; Holy Communion can be longer.
"How do I know when to stand up or sit down?" Everybody (if able) will stand when we sing, and we remain standing after the last hymn for the blessing. We sit down for everything else. It gets a bit more complicated at Holy Communion, in which case we stand for the communion prayer as well. Just follow what everyone else does. Or stay seated all the time. You won't be the only one if you do that - some of our elderly and disabled members will be doing the same.
"I don't know the tune" - but there is no obligation to join in the hymns or songs. We all had to learn sometime.
"What about the collection?" A plate will be passed along the congregation at some point to collect an offering for the church's work. PLEASE do not feel you have to put something in. No-one will pass comment if you don't. Just pass the plate on.
"What about Communion?" Again, no-one is obliged to take the bread and the wine. When the communion stewards direct you forward to the communion rail, you don't have to go. Or you can join the queue, but not hold your hands out to receive the bread and wine, and the minister will give you a blessing instead. The Methodist Church has no fixed rule as to who may receive Communion - all Christian people are welcome at the table.
We always stop for a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits after the service - if we're lucky there might even be a piece of cake!
You may even want to come back! We would be glad to see you again. It may even be completely different next week - the variety of preachers often makes sure of that. See who is leading worship for the next few weeks on our notice board.