So I’m new

What to expect?

We get it – we’ve been in your shoes, we know that coming to church for the first time can be quite intimidating. Even for a seasoned church-goer, a new church throws up all sorts of questions. We thought we’d have a shot at answering a few questions you might have.

Our services

Do I need to be a Christian to go to a service?

No – all are welcome, whatever stage you’re at in your thoughts about Christianity. Come and see us on a Sunday. Our church is a great place to explore faith, ask questions, be still, be loved, and find hope. We hope to see you soon.

What happens when I walk in?

You’ll be given a smile, a welcoming hello, and a news sheet and sometimes a service card. It helps us if you let us know it’s your first time.

Do I need to sit somewhere particular?

You are welcome to sit wherever you like. There will be people to help guide you to a seat if you wish – our welcome team. It’s best to choose somewhere with a good view of the front. If you have small children, you might find it easier to sit towards the back – but it’s up to you.

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How do I know when to stand up and sit down?

Whoever is leading the service will prompt you – but a good tip is to watch what others do!

Will the sermon be long and boring?

No! We expect you’ll find the sermon (based on the Bible reading for the day) relevant and helpful for the real life issues we all face.

What if I don’t know the songs?

Don’t worry. We expect you’ll soon get the tune and join in as it goes along. No one will mind if you don’t sing.

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Why are some people ignoring the collection bags?

Regulars may be paying directly through their bank and so don’t put money in the bag each week. If you decide to come regularly you’ll find out all about our Parish Giving Scheme.

Help – people are shaking hands – what do I do?

At the ‘Peace’ the Vicar will say, ‘Let us offer one another a sign of peace.’ Here we shake hands with those around us – each time saying, ‘Peace be with you.’ Some people leave their seats to shake hands with those around them. You’re welcome to stay in your place, or move around, as you prefer. It’s usual to shake hands with others. It may seem a bit odd at first but most people get to enjoy it – it’s rather a happy time with even the children joining in.

Who is the Vicar? Who else takes services?

Howard Flint is our vicar, Ian Gulland is our curate and we have a number of lay readers as well as other non-clergy people involved in leading our services too.

Should I go up during the communion?

Please do. Everyone is invited up to the altar at communion. If you have been through a Confirmation service, or usually take communion in other churches, you are invited to take communion (the bread and wine). If not, you are most welcome to come up for a blessing (just hold your hands down so that the minister knows). If you prefer to stay in your seat, that’s fine.

What should I wear?

There’s no dress code. Some people feel more comfortable dressing smartly for church. Others, including most of our regulars, choose to dress casually. Please wear whatever you feel comfortable in!

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Bringing families

Is there something for my kids or do they sit in the service?

There is an all-age family-friendly moment before the children leave for their ‘Sunday School’ groups. These groups are a short walk from the church up Trevarthian Road. Our welcome team will give you a registration form explaining more when you arrive. Children are of course welcome to stay with you during the service if you prefer.

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Does it matter if my baby makes a noise?

Not at all – we know babies make noises and we love to have them with us. If you would feel more comfortable taking your little one to the crèche area, that’s fine. Or if you need to stand up with your baby and walk around, there’s plenty of room at the back of church.

There’s also room to bring your buggy into church and have it near you if your baby is asleep.

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After the Service

How do I know the service has ended?

The minister will give a final blessing and then invite everyone to stay for refreshments.

Should I stay for coffee?

Yes, please do! We serve coffee and tea at the back of church after services so we do hope you’ll stay around for a while. Let us know you’re new to Holy Trinity. We try very hard to make sure all are welcome, so you won’t be ignored. If you have children with you, it may be helpful to know that we serve juice and biscuits and there are toilets and a baby change facility. You are welcome to breastfeed. So there’s no need to rush off – let your little ones relax and explore the church!

What should I do with the news sheet?

Take it home and read the notices and forthcoming events. We create new sheets for each service so we don’t need them back.

I’d like to come regularly – should I tell someone?

Please fill in the welcome card in the back of the pew and let one of the welcome team or someone who was leading the service have it. We’ll look forward to getting to know you better.

Do I have to come every week?

No. Of course we’d love you to feel you want to come regularly, but if that’s not so easy for you, come when you can.

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