What To Expect
We appreciate that coming to a new church can be daunting, and so to make your first visit as easy as possible we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you still have any questions, then please do get in touch and we will do our best to answer them.
We look forward to meeting you soon.
[ + ][ - ] When do you meet?
Since we have one minister who oversees all five of our churches our pattern of Sunday services changes every week. And if you are visiting in August then please be aware that every Sunday is a joint service. So, please do check our calendar.
[ + ][ - ] How do we get to the church?
Whilst you can get to all of our churches via public transport, unfortunately there is no bus service on a Sunday, except for Gotham, and so coming by car is the easiest option. Parking at all our churches is on the main road so please do consider other road users. All our churches are accessible by disabled users and although some of the churches have steps, ramps are readily available for wheelchair users. Further details and the facilities available at each church, can be found on the ‘how to find us’ page.
We would suggest aiming to arrive about 15 minutes before the service is due to start so that you have an opportunity to have a quick look around the church and to familiarise yourself with the service book. There will be someone to meet you at the door who will be able to answer any questions you might have about the service or the church.
[ + ][ - ] What do you have for children?
Children and young people are very welcome to all of our services. Once a month at Barton, Gotham and Kingston we have an “All Age” service; and Thrumpton has a Café-style service in March, June and November in the village hall.
Please be aware that Gotham is the only one of our churches with baby changing facilities, and whilst our churches lack a crèche, at Barton, Gotham and Ratcliffe, we do have an area set aside for children which allows the parents to be able to participate in the service whilst their children can play with toys or colouring. Each church does have a small activity pack for children, and if you were not given one as you came in then please do ask.
At Gotham we have a weekly Sunday Club for 4 to 12 year olds. This runs from 11:00am to 12:00 on a Sunday morning in the Church Hall which is opposite the church. Children can be dropped off from 10:45am. Once a month for 12 to 18 year olds we have our Xplore Group which meets in the Rectory on the third Sunday of the month. On the other Sundays of the month our young people are encouraged to be in church and to spend time getting to know the older folk and for them to get to know the young people, as well as learning to serve in different ways. All our leaders and helpers have been DBS checked, and we have a full child protection policy in place, and it is reviewed once a year.
[ + ][ - ] What about the service?
Each Sunday we have a time of teaching from the Bible that focuses us on the Lord Jesus Christ so that we may worship him better during the coming week, as well as instructing and encouraging us to live in ways that honour God’s holy name and reveals us to be his children. All our churches use Today’s New International Version (TNIV), which are available on the seats.
We aim to make our services as accessible as possible, and as well as various prayers and responses we aim to have a mix of traditional hymns and contemporary songs in all our services. If you need a large print hymn book then please do ask. Whilst we hope you will feel able to join in, we do not want you to feel under any compulsion to take part in anything that you don’t feel comfortable with.
The services last about an hour and free tea, coffee, biscuits and cake are generally served after the morning services; we hope you will join us and enjoy our hospitality and get to know us better.
The person leading the service is available if you would like to talk to someone about the church or would like someone to pray for you.
[ + ][ - ] Is there a dress code?
There is no dress code, so come smart or casual, whichever you feel most comfortable with. You will receive a warm welcome whether you come in your ‘Sunday Best’ or in jeans and t-shirt.
[ + ][ - ] Do I need to bring any money?
During the Sunday service a collection is normally taken which allows our church members to provide for the work of the church, although many give by Standing Order. As a visitor please do feel free to just pass the collection plate on without any embarrassment.
Refreshments after the service are free and we hope you will stay and enjoy our hospitality.
It does of course require money to support the ministries that we have and to keep the building going, and we receive no money from the Government or the Diocese towards that. We are very grateful to the people who do contribute financially, and any amount of money which you are able to give to the work of the Church will be much appreciated.
If you are a UK tax payer, then we can claim some tax from the Government, at no cost to yourself. All you need to do is to fill in and sign the Gift Aid declaration on the yellow Gift Aid envelope in the seat and place your gift inside. Thank you.
Leaving a gift in your Will, known as a Legacy, is another way of supporting your local church financially.
[ + ][ - ] What about Communion?
Holy Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is a service that we hold once a month at each church. The bread and wine are symbols that Jesus told us to use to remember his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and so only those who have had their sins forgiven and have come into the Family of God on the basis of Jesus’ death should receive these symbols.
And because this is the Christian Family meal, if you normally take the bread and wine at your home church then we hope you will join us around the Lord’s table. If you have any question over whether to receive the bread and wine please do speak to the Rector before the service. If you have mobility issues, please let the Rector know when you arrive and we’ll make sure that the bread and wine comes to where you are sitting.
If you do not normally take the bread and wine, then you are welcome to remain in your seat, or if you would like, you are also welcome to come forward for a blessing — just go up with everyone else and keep your hands by your side and the person handing out the bread will know to pray for you instead.
[ + ][ - ] What next?
Even if this is your first visit to church, we hope you have a great experience, and that you’ll encounter the God who is so important to all of us. We believe He offers a promise and a hope to everyone, and our aim is to make it as easy as possible for others to discover this for the first time. Our Sunday services are a great place to do this, but if you want to go further, please speak to the Rector or the person leading the service.
And if you have any questions, then please do get in touch.
We look forward to meeting you soon.