What's Goes On in Church?

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Going into a Church can be very nerve-wracking - particularly if you have never been to one.  Unfortunately, unlike a coffee bar or a shop, there is no big window through which you can see what is going on inside. Are you going to be the only one there? Is it all a bit strange?  Once inside, you won't feel comfortable leaving until the end - when is the end? Will you end up being there all day? Will you have to sign up for something?  Will it only be full of ‘shiny, happy people’?

These are all natural concerns before visiting a Church for the first time.  We very much hope that you will join us, so would like here to give a little information to help you to decide that it is a good idea. 

If you do decide to join us then check first on our What's On? page to see exactly what is happening on the day you want to come.

What Are the Different Services?

If you want a quiet service, the 8 am Sunday Holy Communion service is quiet, with only a few attendees.  There are no hymns and the service is very short.  (We normally have a similar service also on Wednesdays.) 

Our main Sunday Holy Communion service is normally at 9-30 am.  This is a traditional 'sung' service with organ and hymns.  Whilst there is no specific provision for children, they are welcome to attend if they don't mind sitting through a traditional service.

At 11 am on most Sundays we have Together @ 11 which is an informal service that aims to offer something for all ages, including Junior Church most weeks.  Once a month this service includes Communion

When there is a fifth Sunday in the month we all come together for a collective service.

The easiest way to know what is happening on any particular date is to look at our What's On? page.

What Do I Need to Bring?

You don't need to bring anything with you.  There's no need to have a Bible or to have ever read one.  (If you are interested in looking at the Bible at home but don't have one, you can consult the Bible Gateway website.)

For the 'Together@11' service, everything you need is on the screen.  For other services the service booklet and the hymnbook 'Mission Praise' will be given to you. 

Feel free to sit anywhere but arrive early for a back seat (old Anglican joke!). 

We do have collections at most of our services.  There is no obligation to give but we mention it so that you are not surprised if a plate is passed round (at some services we just leave the plate near the door on the way out).  If you are giving we would encourage you to make it a gift aid donation using one of the yellow envelopes that you will find under the chairs.

Will I Know What to Do?

For Holy Communion services we use service booklets that have all the details of the service, so it is not a case of everybody having memorised a rite that is not known to newcomers.  For Together@11 the service details are normally projected on the screen.

For Holy Communion the clergy will normally invite people to stand up or sit down at the appropriate moments as people are often nervous about doing the 'wrong thing'.  Amongst the newer Church traditions is 'sharing the peace'.  This is an ice-breaker where we generally shake the hands of the people around us and say "peace be with you" or ("the peace of the Lord be always with you"). Hopefully it makes you feel more at home and it emphasises that we have come to an act of collective worship, not just as an isolated visitor.

What Do I Wear?

Essentially wear what makes you feel comfortable.  What others wear will vary greatly and depends upon their attitude.  Casual clothes certainly predominate at our Together @ 11 services with more of a mix at Holy Communion.  Some feel that they should always dress smartly in the house of God - others feel an air of humility is more appropriate.  Basically your guide will be whether you are more likely to feel uncomfortable being 'under-dressed' or 'over-dressed' if you have pitched it wrong.  Our suggestion would be not to be concerned about it at all.

Want Somebody to Pray WITH You?

We have a number of people who have been trained in 'Prayer Ministry' who are available to pray with you after the Together @ 11 service - these people are identified by name badges. Prayer Ministry normally takes place in the 'Lady Chapel' through the door next to the altar.

Want Somebody to Pray FOR You?

We have a 'Prayer Chain' who can pray for you or for someone you love.  Please email prayerrequests@strensallstmarys.org.uk
Please only supply information you are happy for us to share.

If you came directly to this page and cannot see the list of pages for St Mary's, Strensall's websites on the left (enabling you to go to other pages) then please click on this link.