The service begins at 10.30 with a family focused slot with activities for children (and adults!) to enjoy together.
The Church is a kind of family, and this means all people are important to us, including children. Hence, we do our best to include the children. This part of the service is a fun time when the children will hear a Bible story or have a short talk and usually sing a song or two. The children's part of the service lasts about 10 minutes. It is interactive and the songs often have actions. Some adults like to join in the fun and encourage the children. Others prefer to not join in at all but relax watching the children have fun. You are free to participate or not so far as you feel comfortable.
Ephesians 5 tells us "be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
and this is what we do in this part of the service by singing a couple of songs. The person at the front will guide through the singing, asking the congregation to stand. This is a 'general leading' and you should not feel you must stand or sing. Again, participate so far a you would like to.
At the end of the songs the children aged 0-5 go to the crèche. Parents should feel free to keep their children with them throughout the service if they prefer, or to accompany their children to the crèche to help settle them down. However, we respectfully ask parents to return to the main service once their child is settled. This is part of our Child Protection Policy which states that only Church approved members who have undergone proper Police checks (Data Barring Service (DBS Checks)) are allowed to be with children and vulnerable adults. This means you, as a parent can have confidence that whatever adults are out with the children, they have been properly screened and trained.
We then have a short time of prayer. Though not restricted to this time, it is specifically designated as an opportunity to pray. The congregation will be led by the person leading the service. The person leading the service may invite the congregation to pray out if they would like to, so don't be surprised if the person sitting next to you begins to pray out. You are welcome to join in or quietly observe.
Next we have the mornings reading from the Bible, a passage which will later be the basis for a talk or sermon given.
After the Bible reading, children ages 5-13 go out for their own activities where they will learn in a fun and relevant way about Jesus and the Bible. Once the children have gone, there will then be a sermon from the Bible which lasts up to about 40 minutes.
The sermon is followed by a Response time. This is an opportunity to respond to what we have heard. This usually happens through worshipping God in song. We will sing up to 3 songs at this point and will have opportunity to reflect quietly on what we believe The Lord Jesus has spoken to us through the message.
The service is usually closed with prayer and an invitation to join us for tea, coffee and a chat. This is a great opportunity to discuss what we've heard and a chance get to know one another a little more.