New to church? A handy guide
Not sure what to expect if you go to church? Haven’t been for a long time, never been at all? No worries! Here’s what you can expect.
- There is a car park outside St Nicolas’ Church, and a bus stop nearby.
- It is always free to come to church!
- Before you leave home: wear whatever feels comfy, there is no dress standard.
- If you have little children, bring a drink and snacks for them and maybe some toys- preferably toys that don’t sing or talk loudly! We have toys, and a Family Room if little ones or their parents need a break.
- If you have school-aged children they can go out with other children to Sunday School or stay with you, either is fine.
- Someone will greet you at the door. They may have a newsletter to give you- we print one every month.
- You can sit wherever you choose.
- Everything is on the screen at the front of the church so you don’t need any books
- The service begins at either 7:30am or 9:30am on Sundays; 9:15am on Wednesdays.
- There is music at 9:30 so the service begins with a hymn or a song; the words are on the screen
- Then there is a welcome and prayers, and then the children go out (during term-time)
- You won’t have to memorise anything; the words you can join in with are on the screen, and the person at the front tells us when to sit down or stand up (if you are able to stand)
- An Anglican service has prayers; readings from the Bible; a talk about the readings (the sermon); and, generally, Holy Communion.
- There is a bowl for people to offer money for the church; some people put theirs in an envelope, some put cash into the bowl, some give via direct debit or electronic transfer. Some give weekly, some monthly; if you don’t have any money then it doesn’t matter. Money collected keeps the church running and helps local and overseas charities and missions.
- When it is time for communion a sides-person will direct people to come forward. Everyone is welcome to receive the bread and the wine; if you are not sure or not comfortable to do so, you don’t have to, or you may come for the priest to bless you – in which case you just fold your arms across your chest so she knows to give you a blessing.
- After the service we have morning tea; every week after the 9:30 service and monthly after 7:30am. We go into the hall and (weather permitting) out to the patio area. Everyone is invited to stay for tea or coffee and a chat.
Here are some things it might be handy to know 😊
Anglican Church: also called the Church of England in England and the Episcopal Church in the USA.
More information can be found here: https://www.perth.anglican.org/church/believe/anglican-christianity
Hymn: a song about God or being a follower of Jesus. Some are very old and traditional; some more contemporary
Psalm: (pronounced sarm) There are 150 psalms in the Bible and they are poems and songs, all written before Jesus was born
Altar: the table where the bread and wine are set for Communion
Font: bowl where children or adults are baptised (=christened)
Priest: person who has been called, trained and educated to be a leader in the church
Offertory: the money people give for the church (also called giving or offering)
Sunday School: during school term time children can go out to the hall with a couple of adult leaders for part of the service and enjoy some child-focussed activity
Holy Communion: may also be called the Eucharist (which means ‘celebration’) or The Lord’s Supper. Before Jesus died, he shared bread and wine with his friends and said we should do the same to remember him; so Holy Communion is the central act of worship for Anglicans (and others). The priest gives each person a little piece of wafer, and those who choose may take a sip of wine as well.
The Bible: is actually a collection of books. Some are poetry, some history, some are letters; and the Bible contains four Gospels, in which the authors write about Jesus. We divide the Bible into Old Testament and New Testament; all the books in the Old Testament were written before Jesus was born and some are very ancient. The New Testament books were written after Jesus died. During our church services we generally listen to a piece from the Old Testament; a Psalm; a piece from the New Testament; and a piece from one of the Gospels.
Sermon: thetalk following the Bible readings