What to expect
Not been to church for a while? New to St Peter's? Unsure what to expect when you come? We want you to feel as comfortable as possible, so here's a run through of what you'll experience on an average Sunday at St Peter's.
I don't usually go to church - can I come?
Absolutely! We usually have visitors or newcomers on Sundays and we'd love to welcome you. You're free to take part in as much of the service as you'd like, or just to listen in. If you're looking to explore the Christian faith, we regularly run courses to help people do that too.
Is there a dress code?
No. People turn up in anything from a suit to t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. No one minds, as long as you are comfortable.
What happens when I arrive?
When you arrive, a friendly person with a name badge will say hello to you. They are one of our Welcome Team. If you've got any questions about what to do or where anything is, they're happy to help you. They will point you through the doors to the church itself. As you go through, someone else will give you a Service Sheet. That tells you what order things will happen in during the service. If large print words would help you during the service, they can give you those too.
Where should I sit?
You can sit anywhere you like - no one has reserved seats! If you use a hearing aid, the hearing loop works better towards the front of the church.
How will I know what to say when?
The service leader will welcome people, and lead us through the different parts of the service. They will tell people when to stand up or sit down. All the words that we say together will on the big screen at the front. The service leader will tell you what to say when; but if you prefer just to listen, that is absolutely fine. There are lots of people, so no one will even notice. Song words all appear on the big screen. We make a good sound, but it's perfectly OK not to sing along, you won't be the only one.
What about my children?
We love having children and young people with us at St Peter's. We run groups for children aged 0-14 most weeks on Sunday mornings. They start the service with the adults and then leave all together, usually after about 20 minutes. If you are visiting, it is really helpful if you can go out with them just to register them with the group leaders, who will make themselves obvious. If your children are nervous, please feel free to stay with them. If you'd rather they stayed with you in the service, that's absolutely fine.
Will I be expected to give money?
No. No collection is taken, no plate is handed around, and no-one will ask you for any money. The good news about Jesus is free. If you really want to give something, there are a couple of collection boxes at the side as you enter the church.
What happens at a Communion service?
If it is a Communion service, the service leader will explain what to do. There are three options - you can either receive bread and wine, or you can just be prayed for, or you can stay in your seat. How you do each one will be clearly explained at the time, and whichever option you pick, there will be others doing the same thing.
If you have children with you, it is up to you as parents to decide whether you want them to receive bread and wine or not. The person giving the bread may quietly ask you what you would like to do. If you want alcohol-free wine or gluten-free bread, just ask the person giving out the bread when you get there.
I've got something on my mind. Can I talk to someone about it?
Helping one another really matters to us as a church. There's usually one of the pastors (church leaders) waiting after the service to talk or pray with anyone who'd like to, or you can ask anyone with a name badge on to point you to someone to chat to.