What To Expect

We realise it can be pretty daunting walking into a church, especially for the first time! So if you’re new to us, or thinking about coming along, here’s what you might expect to find on a typical Sunday morning...

Getting Here & Arriving:

Our building doesn’t really look like a typical church, so you may have been past it before without realising what it is! It’s located on the High Street, next to Chase Terrace Park. Click here for a map. If you come by car, you’re very welcome to park in the church car park, which is behind the church building & accessed via the road to the left of the building. It does fill up pretty quickly, so if it's full, feel free to use the Park car park on the right. Our main entrance is on the High Street, up some steps, although there is a sloped path if you’re in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy.

If you come to our 8.30am service, you’ll be greeted by one or two people - they’ll probably give you a copy of the latest Newsletter & a service sheet. Feel free to ask them any questions you have. The 8.30am service is fairly quiet & relaxed - a gentle start to the day! If you come for the 10.30am service, it will feel a bit busier. As with the 8.30am service, there will again be people to welcome you with a Newsletter in hand. Any song words in both services will be shown on TV screens.

In this foyer area, there are toilets & baby change facilities on the right. Straight ahead on the right is the entrance to what we call the Worship Area - this is where our services happen. Feel free to wander through…

The Services:

At the 8.30am service, people tend to take a seat straight away - sit anywhere you like, but most people tend to sit in the middle. If it’s the 10.30am service, there will be a mix of people sitting down & standing around - the person leading the service will usually call people together to begin the service. As with the 8.30am service, feel free to sit anywhere, either in the Worship Area or the Hall. A number of parents with younger children tend to gather on the right near the soft play area in the corner - if you’ve got young ones with you, it might be a good place to sit.

The 8.30am service is relaxed but follows a service sheet, & is usually a service of Communion. There are usually between 10-25 people who come. A Vicar or other Minister will lead the service up front, another person will give a talk or sermon, whilst there will be some hymns & prayers to join in with if you’d like to. You’d be most welcome to come up to receive the bread & wine at Communion (just follow what other people do if you’re unsure!) or to have a short prayer of blessing prayed over you (if you’d prefer this rather than have bread & wine, just keep your hands by your side when you come to the front). The service is finished by 9.40am, but if you’re able, staying for a chat is a good way to get to know people…

The 10.30am service is lively & informal, with around 100-150 people. If there's a Baptism, there'll be a service sheet, but otherwise all you need to know will be explained or shown from the front. The service will get going with a word of welcome, usually a short prayer, & then the band - guitars, drums, keyboards & singers - normally lead us in 2 or 3 songs of praise. We sing fairly modern songs at this service, with the odd hymn too. Don’t worry if you don’t know many of them (you won’t be the only one!) - they’re usually easy to pick up, & all of the words will be shown on TV screens. Some people may put their hands in the air or jump around a bit - feel free to be as static or lively as you like!

Children are very welcome to make lots of noise, wander around & play during the service, although most children have gone to their own groups by the time the talk starts after this opening block of songs. If you’ve got children with you between 3-11, they’ll be invited to join our ‘Sunday Stars’ groups which run during the service, or if you’ve children with you under 3, there is an unsupervised crèche area you can take them to - just on the left as you go back out into the foyer. You’re welcome to keep your children with you for the whole service, but they may well enjoy doing activities with others their own age better. Feel free to play it by ear, & ask any of the regulars if you’re unsure.

There is usually a talk or sermon from the front, which lasts about 20-25 minutes, & focuses on a particular theme or Bible passage. There will be an opportunity to pray - usually led from the front, although you may hear various people praying during the service at different times. There is an opportunity to receive some prayer if you’d like to - again, if in doubt, just ask. Sometimes we share in Communion - you’ll be shown where to go if you’d like to receive the bread & wine or a prayer of blessing. Children are also welcome to receive the bread at Communion if you’d like them to.

We enjoy singing, so there will be a few more songs. Bits of news & notices may be shared from the front, & after a final prayer, tea, coffee & soft drinks are served in the Hall. Our services tend to finish around midday, although people do stay to chat with each other long after that, so please feel free to join them.

And that’s the gist of it! Obviously, all this simply explains some of ‘mechanics’ of our Sunday services, but our hope is that through all this, you’ll experience & discover something of the love, the welcome & the good news of Jesus - the One who is at the heart of all we’re about at St John’s.

Any questions, do just ask on the day or get in touch with the Church Office - And we'll hopefully see you soon!