A church is like a family. Just as families exist in all shapes and sizes, so there is an enormous variety of churches. Encountering a new group of people who all know each other and all know what is going on can feel intimidating. St Paul's has a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
If you don’t know anyone from the church, don’t let that put you off! St Paul's has welcomers who are there to greet newcomers and make them feel at home. You might like to identify yourself as new if they don’t seem to realise straight away.
There are many different denominations within Christianity but the core beliefs are the same: Christians believe that Jesus Christ ist he Son of God and his crucifixion and rising from the dead 2,000 years ago created a way for humanity to have a restored relationship with God and the prospect of eternal life with him. Some elements of church services are common to almost every church: praying (talking to God); worship (which includes singing songs of praise and thanks to God) and a sermon or talk by the minister or church leader. The church might also celebrate the Eucharist or Holy Communion. This is where everyone is given a small piece of bread or a wafer and a sip of wine to commemorate Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death. This is generally reserved for those who have made a decision to be followers of Jesus, so you should not worry about this, at St Paul's you are welcome to recieve a blessing. Nobody will turn a hair if you do.
Services might look a bit different at significant points in the Christian calendar, such as Christmas and Easter where the congregation will be remembering Jesus’ birth and his death and resurrection. At St Paul's there is an opportunity for children and young people to join Discoverers to follow a different session at the 10.00am service which is more tailored to a younger audience. So if you are taking your family – or you are a young person – you might want to join them in the Community Centre.
People go to church for many different reasons. Some prefer it to be a time of quiet reflection; others want to engage with the service; others go seeking prayer or spiritual support. Others go because they want to marry in their local church and are visiting to see what it is like.
Whatever reason you visit St Paul's you will be welcomed just as you are!