What to expect in church

At Holy Trinity, everyone is welcome to come along and join in the worship.  If you have children, they are welcome too and please don’t worry if they make some noise and wander around.  You, and they, are welcome. 

We know it can be quite daunting going to a new church for the first time. It probably seems that everyone else knows what’s going on and what to do.  The most important thing to remember when you come to Holy Trinity is to relax and don’t worry about doing the ‘right’ thing.  Some of our customs may seem strange at first but you’ll soon get used to how we do things and if you have any questions, just ask.  

Hopefully this page will help you make some sense of what to expect at Holy Trinity, particularly on a Sunday morning.  

 

Welcome

Holy Nativity is a friendly community and do our best to recognise and welcome all first-time visitors whilst also being mindful of the fact that some people prefer to remain anonymous and have some space to be on their own. If you’d like to, please do introduce yourself to us and you’ll be very welcome to join us for refreshments in the church hall after the Sunday service.

The Service

Our Sunday service is fairly formal, although we try to do formal in a friendly and relaxed way! It follows the structure of a Church of England communion service (Mass) where bread and wine are shared.

All of our services use modern language so don’t expect to find Thees or Thous. There is usually a booklet which contains prayers, some of which the priest says and some in bold that we say together. You may find some of them familiar like The Lord’s Prayer, and some of them less so. It may come naturally to you or it may not. Don’t worry if you find yourself just listening to the congregation or praying inside your head, no one is judging you.

In addition to the booklet, you will be given a hymn book. The numbers of the hymns we’re singing that day will be displayed on boards at the front of church and also printed on the front of the notice sheet (which you’ll be given when you come in). The congregation has a wide range of musical ability—so if you can’t sing or don’t know the tune, you won’t be the only one!

At some points in the service we stand up and at others we sit down. If you are unable to do this easily, don’t worry.

Communion (also known as Mass or Eucharist)

Communion is where churches share bread and wine in the way that Jesus did with his disciples nearly 2000 years ago. This is usually towards the end of the service after the priest has led the congregation in prayer. The congregation usually come in a line and stand at the front of the church to receive the bread and wine and take it by putting their hands out.

If you don’t take communion you are still more than welcome to come forward. If you leave your hands by your side the priest will pray for God’s blessing to be with you. She usually places her hand on people’s head when she does this.

Collection (of money)

A collection is taken in every service of worship towards the work of God’s church at Holy Trinity and in the community of Shaw. It would be fantastic if you could give generously as it is only through this that we are able to continue to serve the community. However, if you do not wish to contribute, just let the plate pass by. Many members arrange their giving via standing orders, so a significant proportion of the congregation will not be putting anything in the bag. No-one will think anything of it if you don’t contribute. 

Children

There are many children who regularly attend worship at Holy Trinity. On Sundays our Sunday School often meets in the Church Hall, joining us in Church towards the end of the service. Children are welcome to go to Sunday School or to stay in church, whichever they prefer.

If your children choose to stay in church, please don’t worry if they make some noise, ask questions and move around. Once they’re old enough, encourage them to join in as much as they can, guiding them through the service booklet. It’s also good to sit at the front so they can see what’s going on!

At our Monday evening service everyone worships together in church. Children make up at least half of the people who attend this and the service is very much aimed at children and families.

Facilities

Our toilets are in the church hall;l feel free to wander down there during the service if you need to and then come back to church.

We believe that God’s love is an open offer and we do our best to be accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, the design of our building sometimes makes this tricky. We have a portable ramp and a loop system is fitted for people with hearing-aids.

Everyone is welcome at Holy Trinity. If you have any questions or require support during your visit, please just ask.