Welcome and Safe for All?

St George’s Church is here to help you access services and events that will help your faith grow in the knowledge of God’s love for you.

We would like you to have as much information about what happens at church so that you know what to expect and can plan for your visit, should you wish to come. Everyone is unique so we are already a diverse and welcoming community.

On Arrival

After surfing this website and reading the information, we are really hopeful that you will find it easier than expected to make the transition from home into church. Let us know if there is anything else you need.

We would like to add one important detail. If you are coming for Holy Communion and have a gluten-free diet, please let a sides person know if you need a gluten free wafer.

Seating

There are no pews in the church. There are single green seats that, for ease, link together. It’s usual to be able to find a chair for yourself that suits your needs. The seats are quite comfortable.

The seats are arranged in an oval so that there is an increased sense of community and so that more people can find a place where they can see.

Don’t worry that you might be sitting in someone else’s place. There isn’t a seating plan but if you see a Bible on a particular chair, that means it has been reserved for someone for a special reason and we would ask you to choose a different place.

At the moment, holy communion is given to individuals using social distancing regulations and rather than explain in words, we will add a video so you can see what happens, as soon as we can.

Liturgy

The liturgy has been chosen to be inclusive and is theologically grounded in the incarnation: God with us.

At a typical service, you will receive a service book which has the Order of Service written inside it. You can choose one in large print, if you wish.

There are different Order of Service books for different services eg Holy Communion, Midweek Service or Celtic Communion. There are also different service books for different occasions, for example, we use an Order of Service on All Souls Day or Remembrance Sunday.

The example above is the Order of Service for Holy Communion, often used on a Sunday. We have added a commentary at the side of the liturgy to help explain what each section of the service is about.

Notices

The notices are announced at the start of the service. It’s a good idea to take notes but they are often printed in the notice sheet as well.

Please let us know if you need the notice sheet printing on a different colour and also if you require one that is printed in larger type. Currently, we don’t have any colour overlays so please bring your own, if you are used to using one and find it helpful.

If you would like someone as a ‘backup’ to go over the notices with you at the end of the service, that’s not too much trouble. If you like, we can ask someone to do that with you each time you come.

Furthermore, you can ask to have the notice sheet sent to you via email.

Sermon

The sermon at St George’s is usually 10 minutes long in a typical service. It’s usually very interesting and it can also be good fun!

There are members of the congregation who use the Loop System and say it is very effective.

Normally, everyone who wants to see the preacher preach can find a seat so they can get a good view. If you need to lip read, it’s best to sit in front of the lectern (stand) at a distance you are comfortable. Please ask if you need to reserve a seat. We can do that for you. It’s not a problem.

We all struggle to remember every single thing that is said in a sermon. If you want to, feel free to take notes. If you would like someone to write down the key points of the sermon whilst the preacher is preaching then it is usually easy to find someone nearby to do that for you – please bring a notebook and pen but if you forget, just ask and we will hunt for some!

Singing

To sing or not to sing? It’s fine. Just join in when you want to and we love to benefit from individuals who know BSL or Makaton sign-language.

On many occasion (usually in the final song) percussion instruments (often home made) are passed around and you are more than welcome to bring the song to life with your beat (or off-beat!) 🙂

Sometimes there are also ribbons available similar to those used by gymnasts and please feel free to twist those ribbons to the music as well.

All singing – quiet, loud, in tune, not in tune – is welcome. If you or someone you know has difficulty with sensory processing then please feel free to use the space outside of the main body of the church to re-regulate: the garden, hallway or Magdalene Room and just pop back in when you are able.

We can all be moved by words, music and action so we understand that emotions can catch us off guard. If the music and action feels too strong, for whatever reason, please take some time out and come back into the service when you feel able.

After the Service

People often chit-chat in the main church after the service and then gradually we move into the Magdalene Room where we have tea/coffee/juice and biscuits. Please let the individuals in the kitchen know if you would like a gluten free biscuit – they will probably have them!

If for whatever reason you want more time in the main body of the church, you are welcome to stay there. Sometimes there is a baptism straight after the church service so there will be Sundays when you can stay in the main body of the church longer than other Sundays.

If you are new to church and feel nervous about coming for tea/coffee then please bring a friend with you or family member, ask the person next to you if they will show you where to go.

We are (hopefully!) really welcoming to anyone so if you have any reason to feel socially anxious, we would hope that you will feel very welcome. If you find communication really hard, for example, then do try us out and let us know what helps you.

We don’t like to assume we know what you need. Please tell us.